Yes, we have already established that our nation presents a severe case of materialism. I mean don’t get me wrong, I love carrying and wearing designer items, however, I cannot solely be judged by what bag I carry or what shoes I wear, or even what car I drive.

Sadly, the majority of us think that the more money we get, the happier we will be, yet is that really the case? Is it true that men and women are happier today compared to what they used to be because they grasp different means of transport along with other things of that kind? People are acting spontaneously because of money — the fact that they believe this to be true gives an idea of the extent of the problem. What is even more disturbing is that we are being divided into groups that we should belong to. As a result, and a very common misconception is the fact that relations are established to bring people closer and bring about an understanding between them, only if they belong to the same “category”. However, in reality the influence is just the contrary.

Whether young or old, black or white, Muslim or Christian, it seems to me that we all seek approval and acceptance from others. Perhaps a lack of self-esteem or what I believe a major core for this cause is the spread of social media. The purpose of social media is to share with the whole world the philosophy of globalising capitalism. What ties most ‘relationships’ nowadays is a common interest — either money or fame. Materialism focuses on the transformation in many countries, from a more conquered culture to materialistic individuals who used to prefer non-materialistic life-goals above materialist ones.

Social acceptance, happiness, and success are coupled with high levels of material consumption. It is assumed that those who have what we do not are happier, more popular, and more successful than we are, yet, we need to change this thought!

— The reader is an Emirati student based in London, focusing on international business.