While reviewing articles for an exam I came across a very interesting one by Robert E Lane explaining the relationship between friendship, consumerism, and happiness. It points out that
"increasing consumption-oriented activities at the cost of friendship explains an important portion of the recent growth in clinical depression"
In plain terms: Money can't buy you happiness!
Lane goes on to give 5 reasons why giving friendship priority over commodities promises to protect against depression and lead to happiness. They are as follows:
1. Satisfactions of friendship mature slowly whereas pleasures of consumption are often instantaneous
2. Friendship is a variable-sum game and eternally expandable
3. Self esteem (key characteristic associated with happiness and effective guard against depression)
4. Friendship reward systems are based on praise which is interpreted as informational opposed to controlling
5. In comparison to consumption, friendships are economically friendly
So instead of sitting at home watching television, playing video games, shopping for the next big toy, or simply socially isolating yourself try picking up the phone and calling a friend to hang out with. Don't worry about buying the latest and greatest, because in the words of JLo "love don't cost a thing"