I recall reading in a study that when television was introduced into American cities, the shoplifting rate increased dramatically in the same proportion as television’s reach. Researchers ascribed it positively to the increase in advertising that consumers saw. Society coming in the form of television creates these wonderful “ads”, whereby if you just buy their product, all of your life will be OK or even better. Society was creating “needs” which never existed before. Suddenly, perfectly satisfied people were clamoring for the “new” thing that their neighbors had purchased.
Thousands and thousands of new items were created, and experiences born (like a trip to Disneyland). Suddenly, families around the world were working harder and harder for less and less (as they could not keep up with their efforts to acquire more and more items). Their homes suddenly seemed tiny, and so the square footage of the typical average American home increased as time went on. Parents desperately tried to work ever harder to satisfy the desires of their children, who daily kept on getting more and more temptations from ads in newspapers, movies, television, magazines, and so forth for “must have” items.
That is what society does…create more desires for a never ending parade of “stuff” coming off their assembly lines in their factories. It does not matter that the public has no real need of them. Those late night infomercials that show the new pasta maker, the new chicken rotisserie, the “new this, that, and the other thing”, all are created and pushed onto the public, who are so easily manipulated and convinced that what they had no need for a week earlier, they must have right away.
They use all the behavioral science and statistics and market research at their disposal to make a person feel like they “need” something or are in “lack” of something. Then, Society does not even stop there. Society created credit cards so people could borrow money from banks to continue to purchase things they did not need, creating a mountain of debt that the citizens could not ever hope to pay off in their lives.
Of course, this is happening in other countries as well, not just in the United States. The problem is that Society simply is a monstrous creator of new “shiny” things and creates advertising that makes its citizens desire this new “shiny” things. Society is in the business of creating endless desires and makes sure that its citizens are convinced that their lives would not be complete without all the new items that are developed.