Searching for Happiness in a Consumption Driven Society

Adrian S. Potter
4 min readMay 1, 2022

Stop looking in the wrong places.

Photo by Max Fischer:

It is no secret that the past two years have been challenging.

Endless periods of adjusting and readjusting to the new abnormal and of growing distant from each other muddled our minds. This resulted in lives that felt incomplete and unfulfilled.

How did many of us respond? We tried buying our way out of our collective funk.

Now we have houses cluttered with electronic devices, dust-coated mementos, and collections of junk. And a few clicks on Amazon can deliver boxes full of more crap to our doorstep in a flash.

We also cram our lives with career ambitions, side hustles, fitness goals, and digital media posturing. While those activities might fill our days with appointments and commitments, they often include us needlessly doling out cash for pointless purchases.

We seek contentment through material gains — until we discover that version of happiness is a cruel mirage.

Squandering savings on the latest technology or fad is the equivalent of throwing money into a financial and emotional black hole. Yet we eagerly line up to toss dollars at corporations and billionaires who somehow pay less in taxes than we do.

We need to wiggle our way out of this cycle.

In the words of filmmaker David Lynch, “Mankind was not made to suffer. Bliss is our nature.” We deserve better than squandering cash to chase synthetic happiness.

Consumption culture leaves us feeling perpetually empty, wanting, and dissatisfied. So how can we debug this paradox that has been hardcoded into society’s algorithm?

Photo by RODNAE Productions:

Happiness in America is falling like leaves in autumn.

The 2022 Happiness Report has disheartening news for United States citizens. The US is listed as the 19th happiest nation, a decline from a decade ago when it was at number 12.

America experienced a greater drop in joy during those ten years than most other…

Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·