Escaping the Affluentenza Epidemic

Escaping the Affluentenza Epidemic

My wife and I have been in Idaho for a little more than week as of the time of this writing, and it’s amazing now noticeable the differences between California and Idaho are. I had a conversation with another transplant and she said she was glad to have escaped the Aflfuentenza outbreak. At first I thought she was saying influenza, but then she repeated it: “Affluentenza”. What is affluentenza and how do you escape it? Read on.

Affluentenza is basically the belief that you have to have instant gratification. It also means that you’re in a struggle to keep up with the Joneses, or Millers, or Johnsons, et al. People living in California, especially in the affluent areas have a profound need to have the best. Their kids also demand the fanciest clothes, the newest gadgets, etc. all in an effort to be cool, popular, or something that they’re not.

Here in Idaho, the pace of a life is a lot slower by comparison and things are a lot less expensive. I mentioned it in an earlier post, but for the same auto insurance coverage, we’re paying less than half what we were in California. And it seems that here kids actually get to be kids. They play with other kids in their safe neighborhoods. They’re involved with activities and aren’t glued to their iPhones, tablets, or Playstations. They actually get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. They don’t require having every shiny new thing that is invented being content with the things that they do have.

Families seem to be closer here and the kids seem to be more respectful of their peers and parents. They certainly don’t seem to have the sense of entitlement that a lot of kids and people in California have. And for my California friends, I’m not saying you’re all like this. But there are lots of people who go out of their way to be overly affluent. To have the best. And for what? Just to say that you can?

Escaping Affluentenza

  • Be content with what you have. You and/or your kids don’t need to have the latest and greatest. Make it a reward.
  • Get outside and get active. This goes for your kids too.
  • Don’t be a slave to technology.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Organize get togethers. Invite them over for a beer.
  • Let your kids be kids. Don’t overburden them with so many expectations and demands.
  • If all else fails, move out of state.

So what say you? Are you crippled with Affluentenza? Am I way off base? Sound off in the comments below.

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