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Does Money Buy Happiness?

Can money buy happiness? This is a question that has troubled the minds of people since the dawn of humanity. From Kings and Queens from the distant past to the average nine to fiver today, the question has remained one with no obvious answer.

Happiness is the one thing that all humans strive for. No matter how much the world has changed over the years, that has remained constant throughout time. We are currently looking for ways to find and increase our happiness.

The effects of social media on our daily happiness

And now, in today's day and age, the question holds more weight than before, with the extensive use of social media poisoning our minds with unrealistic expectations of what life is. We can all agree we have fallen victim to this mindlessly scrolling down our social media feeds, seeing other people 'flexing' their lifestyles as a need of social acceptance. I believe we are unaware of the subconscious effects this has on us. Constantly comparing our lifestyles to others who only show the aspects of their lives they want us to see is very detrimental to us. Naturally, as humans, we are jealous beings who seek social approval and acceptance in any way we can and in this day and age that is most accessible through social media. This creates a constant battle of who can get the most social interaction with their posts, forcing us to create a false narrative of what our lives look like, showing only the good whilst omitting the bad. Social media has been a contributing factor in the debate that money can buy happiness with the constant promotion of wealth forced on us.

Current affects of the cost of living crisis

With this being said money can be used to erase most day-to-day worries we have to think about. This is even more evident today during the cost of living crisis where families are struggling to put food on the table let alone do things we all enjoy like going on holiday etc. This period has affected us all greatly; we are all dealing with different consequences. Increasing poverty has been known to increase mental health issues, and in the current financial climate, this has been proven true. As people, not being able to provide for the people we care about is bound to create feelings of inadequacy which could create conflict within the household of a nuclear family.

Most people in this situation would state that all they would need is money to eradicate all their issues and they would be able to be happy. I would be inclined to believe this but throughout history, we have been shown that there are those who have little in terms of monetary value but still find happiness in their lives. This is surprisingly true as recent studies have shown that 'poorer people reported higher levels of meaning in their lives. While only 66% of people in wealthier nations reported having meaningful lives, this number rose to above 95% in impoverished countries(Borgen magazine,2020). I believe that those with less in those impoverished countries are happier as they have less to worry about. An increase in wealth means you have an increase in things to worry about like losing your money, people only liking you for money and the fear of not finding anyone who truly likes you for who you are. In recent times we've seen an increase in rich celebrities feeling they live empty life regardless of the amount of money in their bank account. So can money truly remove our daily struggles?

The different side of the coin

However a recent American experiment studies have shown In a six-month experiment, people who received cash transfers of $10,000 generally reported feeling happier than people who did not receive the payment(DailyMail,2022). Which would prove that money can buy happiness.

Personally, I believe it is not possible for money to buy you happiness. I believe the happiness purchased through money is only momentary and creates an addiction of constantly wanting to chase that feeling.

I don't believe the type of happiness we strive for is one that can be bought with materialistic things. Throughout history, we have seen people who had large amounts of wealth despite this struggle to find happiness.

I believe this should be a lesson to us that money can't buy happiness and constantly chasing it could leave a gaping hole in our lives. To me happiness is attained through interacting with the people we cherish; family friends and those we love. You could have all the money in the world but without someone, you care for it is all meaningless.

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