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My friend sent me an article that argues this point:



Some of the points the author makes are valid, but you just can't make the blanket statement that we all value positive experiences above products. In fact, I have a friend who isn't at all big on going out (whether it's to parties or visiting different countries) but loves to collect books and other items.

I think a product could hold as much -- if not more -- value than an experience, especially if it was given to you by an old friend or late family member.

Do you agree?
 

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Hoarding is a generational phenomenon in my family, and like my grandmother and my mother, I value objects more than isolated experiences. It seems to happen mostly to the creative types. Objects can create opportunities for ongoing experiences, and there is a certain freedom in being able to use them however and whenever I want. For example, I like my purple harp more than any vacation I have ever been on, because I can play it whenever the mood strikes me, and that opportunity doesn't go away. As long as I own it, I can create unlimited new experiences with it. I like my art supplies more than going out to a fancy dinner that costs the same amount, because long after the dinner is over, I can still use my ink pencils for making as much art as I want.

The problem with enjoying objects more than isolated experiences is that one must have space to put them. When one throws money away on something temporary, there is nothing lasting to show for it, and because of this, one needs no special room to contain anything. We hoarders, who place value on the things we collect, see each item in our hoarder stash as an opportunity for future experiences, but when there are too many, we lose things, they get broken, or they crowd us out of our own spaces. Perhaps there is nowhere to put my sewing machine because the room is so full of old clothes I meant to disassemble and turn into patchwork quilts, or I know I have a special tool for heat fusing the edges of polyester appliques, but I haven't used it for so long that it is in the bottom of a box I can't get to without rearranging the entire room. Maybe I had a digital camera for that photography project I wanted to work on, but by the time I manage to get to it, the latch that holds the batteries in has been broken off because it fell into a box of wood carving supplies. In my mother's case, she packs things very tightly and neatly into boxes, which is one reason I still have a fear of organizing. When she wants to find something, she can't, so she has to buy another of the same item, which then gets packed neatly into another box and has to be re-purchased again the next time, adding to the number of boxes she must go through to find anything else she may need.

There was a basic difference between my non-hoarder brother and me from the time we were young children. Our mother would give us each a quarter to spend as we wanted on the special occasions where we went out for pizza as a family, and while my little brother went straight for the arcade, to play one of the many fighting games he enjoyed, I went straight to the little vending machines with the trinkets in them, and I got far more satisfaction from the little toys I purchased than I would have from wasting the money on a few seconds of button mashing excitement that would be forgotten the next day. I suspect it is something we are born with, rather than something learned.
 
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It's an interesting thought, but I think the problem is that the article seems to be comparing apples to oranges.

It seems to me like they're comparing products that we can get at any point to experiences that we cannot. Now, if that was their point, then sure...but then it's like you said "products" and "experiences" are words that are too broad.


Like you said, there are all kinds of everyday experiences that we forget and don't remember either. There are all kinds of times that I spent with friends and family that I don't remember, and certainly there are tons of day-to-day experiences that I don't even want to remember.

And there are certain products that I've valued for years and years...my teddy bear, for example. And people collect all kinds of things.



I think where I would agree with the article is that we value genuine things more than superficial ones, but superficial ones are easier to get. I also think that sometimes we get sucked into advertising and in the spur of the moment we might buy something superficial thinking we'll love it, and it turns out we get tired of it soon.


And I think that's the other issue...a lot of times we buy products so we can use them for our convenience. We use them over and over and over again, so we get used to them....we take them for granted. But once we lose them, we get really frustrated. It's like having internet access or running water or anything else that we get accustomed to.

The experiences that we value, on the other hand, are usually things that are unique that we can't replicate.


So I agree with the idea that oftentimes we end up spending money on things that we won't remember as much in the long run, and we have to be careful to remember what's really important to us and not make quick decisions to buy new stuff based on the excitement of it. But I don't think that means that we all value experiences over products.
 
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Because memories is who we are. What really lasts.

I spend a lot of money, but I have little to show for it. I mean, I have TV, computer, car, etc. basically everything I need. But I know people who are always buying some kind of new "toy". And I'm not into that. I've always been about experiences.
 
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I find experience is very important, only use objects as a trigger of memory. People nowadays at concert film the thing rather than enjoy it which is rather annoying.
 
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I think a lot of people seem to value products more than experiences..
 

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I am an experience junkie! What few goods I do buy are acquired due to experiences that they impart (fragrances, good food, music). I so value experiences to the extent that I conserve my money for trips and outings, foregoing the latest and greatest version of nearly anything. I only buy cars I can pay off in two years, then drive them until they fall apart. I only own as much house as I need.

"Nothing to show for it"? My memories can never be taken from me! They mold who I become and keep me warm at night.

Certain life events might have made me this way. Despite owning little and living humbly, I have been robbed 5 times (3 house break ins, one car break in, and one wallet snatching). I also lost my life mate to cancer and have seen two homes burn down. (Not mine). So, I get that we cannot take the stuff with us, but that our memories are irreplacable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Because memories is who we are. What really lasts.

I spend a lot of money, but I have little to show for it. I mean, I have TV, computer, car, etc. basically everything I need. But I know people who are always buying some kind of new "toy". And I'm not into that. I've always been about experiences.
I agree totally.
 

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Sorry but I don't know how you could not agree that experience is more valued than product.

1) experience dosen't have to be with other people

2) experience lasts forever in memory and is only enhanced over time

3) product is man made and attached to the earth, experience is spiritual

While people might claim they like product more than experience, it's only a shallow feeling that only lasts until you buy something els.


I mean... how could you possibly think otherwise?
 

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It's really a silly comparison. Some experiences are not as good as other, some products are not as good as other, some products are better than some experiences, while some experiences are better than some products and so on.
 
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