15 Things Society Makes Us Think Are 'Necessary' But Really Aren't

Jordan Claes
social media symbols
Unsplash | Alexander Shatov

When it comes to living life on this earth, there are a few things that every human being must do. These include things like eating, sleeping, having proper shelter, and drinking water.

Everything else, despite what you've been programmed to believe, is a bonus and all for show. Take a closer look at what I'm talking about and check out these 15 things that society makes us believe are necessary but really aren't.

Fast food

in and out
Unsplash | Ashley Green

I live around the corner from a Tim Horton's doughnut shop. Directly across the street from their location, across the traffic divide, is another Tim Horton's. And can you guess what restaurant happens to be two blocks down from that location? I'll save you the trouble — it's Tim Horton's. Enough is enough already.

Ridiculously expensive weddings

Unsplash | Victoria Priessnitz

I feel like I've quoted these facts so many times that it's causing me to go hoarse. So in case you've missed it up until this point, the average wedding in Canada costs roughly $30,000. A marriage license, on the other hand, will cost you less than $300. You do the math.

Cell phones

cell phone
Unsplash | Neil Soni

How many times do you think you check your phone over the course of a given day? According to statistics published via Fox News, the average American checks their phone once every ten minutes — an average of 96 times per day. I assure you, nothing on earth deserves that much of your attention.

New clothes

hugging clothes
Giphy | Target

I'm not saying that it isn't nice or enjoyable to treat yourself to nice things every once in a while. But if you're one of those people who never wears anything twice, you might want to stop and ask yourself why that is?

A neverending supply of cosmetics

Unsplash | Jazmin Quaynor

"Yeah, it’s nice to take care of yourself or treat yourself. And hygiene is for sure important. But you shouldn’t have to go every few weeks and drop tons of money to feel pretty cause that’s what society says." - Reddit u/CoffeeandCynicism

Celebrity culture

kim kardashian
Giphy | E!

Obviously, celebrity culture is how I make the bulk of my bread and butter, so I understand how that might come off as hypocritical. At the end of the day, I'm not saying do away with it entirely. All I am saying is that if you are more in-tune with the ongoing of the Kardashians than you are your own family — something is wrong.

Side-hustle culture

hustle mug
Unsplash | Garrhet Sampson

Making money is important and nowadays saving for retirement is vital if you don't want to be working well into your 70s and 80s. But if your side hustle is coming at the expense of your mental and physical health, you need to be self-aware enough to reorder your priorities.

Working overtime

cartoon sarcastic employee
Giphy | Adult Swim

In most jobs, if you were to tragically pass away on a Friday afternoon, there would be someone there to fill your seat and take your place come Monday morning. Never once in all of human history has anyone on their deathbed ever regretted that they didn't work more.

Dwelling on the things in life you don't have

crying in hands
Unsplash | Ivan Aleksic

"Some people are addicted to comparing their lives to others when they should really strive to be the best they can be. Trying to outperform others leads to endless frustration, but trying to outperform yourself leads to true improvement." - Reddit u/BlossomtheMare

Mountains of presents on holidays/special occasions.

the grinch

It's in times like these that I prefer to defer to the immortal words of Dr. Seuss: "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more." I apply this same train of thought to birthdays and other holidays as well.

Cable news.

reading the news paper
Unsplash | Roman Kraft

It really shouldn't even be called news, it should be called "Cable Speculation." The number of times I've actually heard credible news reported on any major outlet is so few and far between that it almost makes their very existence seem redundant.


busy highway
Unsplash | Alexander Popov

"Most countries in the developed world don't use them nearly as much and are considered some of the best places to live in the world. Americans are unhealthily obsessed with car culture." - Reddit u/SwordofMine

Keeping up with the Jones.

Homer and Ned in the backyard

Who cares if your neighbor next door just bought a brand new car?! It should have absolutely zero forbearance on how you live and go about your life. The constant comparison act only serves to leave you feeling depleted and depressed.

5-day/40-hour workweek

office workers
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

Just because you're in an office for a preset number of days and a prescribed amount of time does not necessarily mean that you're going to be productive. When I was in the call center, the bulk of my day was devoted to playing Minecraft and figuring out ways to try and look as if I was doing actual work.

Social Media

cell phone
Unsplash | Georgia de Lotz

I know that this is going to be a hard pill for many people to swallow but it doesn't make it any less true. If you don't believe me, try deleting Instagram/Facebook/TikTok, etc. for a day or two. I promise you, you'll feel better about doing it.

h/t: Reddit