Why mil­len­ni­als are spend­ing more on ex­pe­ri­ences

The in­valu­able al­lure of ex­pe­ri­ences in the age of de­creas­ing ma­te­ri­al­ism

Red Magazine - - Editor's Note | Contents - WORDS BAMBINA OLI­VARES WISE ART NIMU MUALLAM

There is a new trend in con­sump­tion th­ese days. From the ul­tra-rich to the mil­len­ni­als, peo­ple are spend­ing more on ex­pe­ri­ences and less on stuff. As a CNBC Re­port noted, “The spend­ing of the su­per-rich is no longer just about stuff and sta­tus. It’s more about mem­o­ries and mo­ments... and lots of home ren­o­va­tions.”

“Mil­len­ni­als think money is made for mem­o­ries,” said an­other CNBC re­port. “Mil­len­ni­als are pri­or­i­tiz­ing their cars and homes less and less, and as­sign­ing greater im­por­tance to per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences—and show­ing off pictures of them. It’s a trend that’ s ul­ti­mately help­ing fuel growth of bil­lion­dol­lar-plus start-ups like Uber, WeWork, and Airbnb.”

It could be said that ex­pe­ri­ences nour­ish the soul in a more deeply sat­is­fy­ing way, whereas the joys of a new pair of shoes or a new out­fit may be fleet­ing and ul­ti­mately su­per­fi­cial. You may in­deed feel “fight” in your brand new Aquaz­zuras, but they’ll be of lit­tle use to you from your lux­ury tent in Ngororo Crater as you gaze at the wilde­beest through your high-pow­ered binoc­u­lars, watch­ing them cross the Mara River on their an­nual mi­gra­tion to­wards the Serengeti. But that won­der, that ela­tion, that spiritual high that en­gulfs you as you sur­vey the splen­dor of Mother Na­ture in front of you? As Master­Card would say, “Price­less.”

Per­haps. But even when it comes to ex­pe­ri­ences, there are ways of as­sert­ing sta­tus. Af­ter all, for those who are as dis­cern­ing about the la­bels they wear as the places they go to, even travel, gas­tro­nomic, or even cul­tural, ex­pe­ri­ences can be cu­rated to en­sure a level of ex­clu­siv­ity. Like go­ing to Art Basel, but on Col­lec­tors’ Night. Or hav­ing Joan Roca cook for you and your friends at a spe­cial Chef ’s Table event. Or rent­ing the en­tire Blue Train so that you and your group can make the jour­ney to Cape Town in style and in com­plete pri­vacy.

Of course it could also be ar­gued that there is a tinge of su­per­fi­cial­ity in the cu­ra­tion of ex­pe­ri­ences, be­cause there is a de­lib­er­ate­ness at play in this man­ner of col­lect­ing mo­ments and mem­o­ries; they could also be seen as “ser­vic­ing a life­style.” It’s just that the ben­e­fits—apart from brag­ging rights— are largely in­tan­gi­ble, and there is no real met­ric for mea­sure­ment. At least, not in the way, say, a Valentino dress stacks up against the high street rip-off.

And yet… stuff like fast fash­ion can be con­ve­nient and ubiq­ui­tous, and ul­ti­mately throw­away in qual­ity, but ex­pe­ri­ences don’t ac­tu­ally have to be ex­pen­sive to have any value. Sure, you may be a lit­tle worse for wear go­ing the pack­age tour route, and in cat­tle class at that, but once you get to your des­ti­na­tion, there is still magic to dis­cover by climb­ing a moun­tain, sam­pling the lo­cal cui­sine, and mar­veling at the art in mu­se­ums. And those are plea­sur­able ac­tiv­i­ties that don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to cost the same price as a be­spoke trip.

And any­way, there’s al­ways In­sta­gram to fil­ter in the fab­u­lous­ness and make your ex­pe­ri­ences seem even more ful­fill­ing—and envy-in­duc­ing—to oth­ers. Be­cause what is the point of ex­pe­ri­ences if you can’t doc­u­ment them?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.