Why not? It beats other methods such as alcohol, drugs, food, eating disorders, attempting suicide, and beating up your kids. And it stimulates the economy to boot. I think I am doomed to this tendency, it runs in the family. The year that my dad lost his job when we were little kids was the year that we received the most presents at Christmas. This past year, something really bad happened, and my mom has bought a new house and today, she just bought a new car. It's a reflection of the consumer driven values of our society, but like I said, it does beat the other methods, the only thing that spending money harms is your credit card balance.

Interestingly enough, in regard to Chaos Monkey's observation, there is actually a sociological and psychological explanation for this happening. Sociologically (hey, it's what I know), this feeling is call social anome and is explained fairly simply. People become accustomed to certain standards in their lives, whether these are standards of success, or standards of what is acceptable and what is not. These standards begin to feel normative, or feel as if everybody follows these guidelines. When people have a sudden change of life circumstances, particularily monetarily, they experience social anome. Basically, they feel that the floor of their value systems has fallen out from underneath them. Suddenly, the old measures of right and wrong, success, and acceptability have changed both on the part of society and on the part of the individual.

Most people don't think that they would ever experience this anome (especially the depression associated with this feeling of being thrown suddenly from the familiar). However, almost all people who experience a sudden change of finanical or other circumstances experience it at least to some degree.

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