Why You Should Invest in Experiences, Not Things
Posted in: TRAVEL
Woops—hold on. Don’t click that Add to Cart just yet. Leave the checkout section. Forget that electric grill you’re thinking of buying. And ignore that article about the next iPhone’s possible features. We’re going to be talking about something else.
Remember the last time you and your mother decided to spend a day at the beach? The beach wasn’t anything unfamiliar and was really only 20 minutes away, but you could still feel how your skin soaked in the rare warm weather that day. How about the time you and some friends went to Ibiza? You were broke afterwards, but you would never forget the blotches of colors under the water when you went snorkeling.
Now, let’s get back to phones. Take yours in your hands. Switch if off. Wait for several seconds, and then switch it back on. It will probably vibrate softly in your hands, and the screen will light up a little. After some more waiting, the logo will appear. Do you feel giddy? No?
The most common attitude we have over material possessions after having them for a while is probably boredom. We see these things everyday, have used them more than once, and now we’re just over it. The problem is that we still buy the things under the reasoning that they will last longer. Experiences, however, are different. Despite the fact that some of these only go once—concerts, getaways—or don’t stick around as long, like holidays, experiences still have a higher value than material possessions.
Science has a way of explaining why people actually enjoy experiences more than material purchases, and it all boils down to our ability to adapt: because we’ve been exposed longer to material possessions, the novelty of these have faded and we’ve worn ourselves out over them. It’s the very reason we get bored over these, despite the fact that they have a longer presence in our lives.
On the other hand, contrary to common perception, our experiences can be relived long before and after they have occurred. Experience, you see, starts first from anticipation—and the kind of excitement saved from something immersive than for something possessive is superior, therefore overtaking material purchases. After the experience, the memory is relived and reworked through photos and stories referring back to that day.
It doesn’t end there. Apparently, the sense of competitiveness between human beings is observed more when material things are involved: materials can, in a way, elevate people into statuses that can cause envy. Experience is a little more different. Experience is a conversation starter and sustainable element. People are drawn to sharing experiences they’ve had, and that kind of conversation can cultivate connection—not competition.
Even the worst of the food you’ve tried in your last summer trip can become a great story when relived. Experience gives people opportunities to recreate and personalize; these activities, along with the reflection that forms, makes the experience something novel and exciting over and over again even after it has been done. Layers of human recreation just add more to it, and in that way it becomes more special than material possessions. So if you’re thinking between an iPhone or saving up for a trip to East Asia, you know what to choose.
MYC Writer: MYC ContributorSubscribe to UpdatesRelated Articles