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Does Following Trends Make You Happy?


We’ve all probably been there, we chase after a trend or new technology because we think it will make us happy or make us fit in with others, but that chase is never-ending.

Ever year a plethora of new trends are popularised, from clothing to apps all the way to the way people speak. Every year new technology is released, promising to make our lives easier, better and even insinuating that we’ll be happier if we make the upgrade. But unless you have a boatload of cash lying around, you will never be able to keep up with the trends and the new technology, so does that mean you will never be happy? If you always chase, then.. well yes.

A month ago I was highly interested in upgrading my PC. With all the new PC components being released by AMD and NVIDIA, I wanted to enhance my gaming and work experience by getting a better GPU, CPU, RAM, motherboard and SSD. I did the math and for a simple set-up, it would cost me R15,000.00 (or $1,000). I was depressed for a while, but more importantly upset that I live in a world where I can’t get things that will make my life easier, better and happier. I made myself unhappy because I wanted to follow a specific trend.

Every year new trends will be born, because there will always be companies and people trying to get themselves on top and make their product/choices seem important, but that won’t last long, there will be something else that pops up just as quickly as the previous appeared. You buy a new top of the line fridge, just to find a newer model released a few months down the line. And once you get sucked into desire and want mode, you can’t be happy unless you spend, spend and spend.

It’s more logical to invest into things that make YOU happy regardless of what is going on with the rest of the world. Do you like sewing? Well sew clothing that works well with your body and that you like to wear, not the new trendy shit that has come out. Do you like woodwork? Then get a basic set-up of tools and accessories, you don’t need the fanciest tools that promises to make your life easier. Sometimes the repetitive, boring and unncessary (extra) work makes you value something more. If you wash your dishes by hand, you will appreciate the process of making food and all the work required more than using a dishwasher, same with making food yourself versus buying take-out. The list goes on and on.

Now all of this is easier said than done because the city life (in particular) is filled with technological advances and trends. Let’s say you just finished washing that dirty pile of dishes, sit down and watch some TV just to have a dishwashing machine ad appear, bragging that it will make your life easier and instead of washing dishes, you could rather do X, Y or Z. It’s difficult in those moments to say you don’t need this technology, you don’t need to follow this specific trend, the fucking temptation is everywhere.

The only way you can escape it all is by escaping the congested city life, move somewhere where people are not always comparing their shit to yours, where trends are not everywhere and be your fucking self. Think for yourself, be self-sufficient and just be able to relax.

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