Life experiences vs. Material things

According to the article “How to buy happiness” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, a person can be more happy depending on how they spend their money and not how much they have. The authors start by asking a question whether what would a person do with a million dollars. Followed by this, they state that research shows that the first response people think to this question are about satisfying their wants with material objects. Moreover, the authors continue to explain that it’s been proven scientifically that buying material things will not guarantee your happiness. According to the authors’ ongoing research, they guarantee that one can be happier by sharing experiences with their relatives or loved ones. Doing some activities such as trips, special meals and concerts can make an individual much happier than buying material things. This is proven by the authors’ experiment where they gave away Starbucks gift cards in a university campus. There were three experimental groups; people who bought something for themselves, people who gave away their gift cards, and people who used the gift card to buy something for someone else and shared the moment with them. The conclusion of this experiment was that the third group reported to be happier than the others. The authors conclude the article by restating that people can be happy spending their money wisely on experiences rather than the ultimate house of their dreams.

I completely agree with the authors’ opinion. It is better to spend money on experiences that we will remember the rest of our lives, rather than material things that might only last for a few years. I am actually glad there is research to prove this thesis. I think we should spread more awareness in our communities, about how we are defining the concept of happiness. Hence, now in these days we have become more dependent on material things for our happiness; such as having a cellphone, clothes of the season, and so on.