Money apparently CAN buy you happiness

The Vice Guide to the Japanese love industry revealed Japan as a country where both time using electronics and time spent furthering one’s career has begun to trump time spent on human relationships, and where people are willing to commoditize absolutely anything. The combination of these two traits leads to a culture where it is plausible to have a thriving industry of recreational love and affection.  Do I think these types of relationships are better than relationships of the past? Personally, no, but at the same time how can one deny the influences mass consumers.

While the idea of paying for affection strikes me as both desperate and uncomfortable, clearly there is a large enough subset of the population in the world, or at least in Japan, that disagrees with me. Convenience is the word that seems to be defining our world more and more these days; for example we see this with the continued success of unhealthy fast food companies based solely on the convenience of their product. Our generation has now brought about the demand for convenient online hook-ups and sex with apps like Tinder, Tingle, ect.

Do I see the current U.S. view on convenient and emotionless hook-ups leading to a culture like Japan with cuddle cafes and prostitution rings? Not anytime soon. I feel that although there has definitely been a shift in gender roles and a severe appreciation for conveniency in the United States as well, there are still vast cultural differences between the US and Japan. However, even though I don’t expect a cuddle cafe to pop up in New York City anytime soon, I do expect the online-dating culture to continue to grow in the United States. More and more teenagers and young adults are using social media and applications to meet potential significant others or hook-ups and the more and more we become attached to online communication the less and less people will want to go out and find a partner the good old-fashioned way.


4 thoughts on “Money apparently CAN buy you happiness”

  1. Hi Christian! You talked about how convenience is one cultural value that is common in both Japan and U.S.
    I’m curious, from looking at the video and from your experience-do you think that relationships formed through these convenient means are somehow less genuine than those from more “traditional” dating?


  2. I agree with you that there won’t be any of the Japanese cuddle shops coming to New York anytime soon. I just feel like there is way to big of a cultural difference between the US and Japan for that to take place. I like how you compared apps like Tinder to fast food because they are both based on convenience. It’s a connection I never would have made, and found it interesting


  3. I too wrote about the connection of technology’s negative impact on relationships being guided by convenience. And while I agree in that Japanese cuddle shops won’t be coming to America anytime soon, I wonder how far our pursuit (be it direct or indirect) of convenience will bring us dangerously close to Japan.


  4. I wish you would have gone further with your initial thought- if there is a market for this, it must be what people want or meet a need.

    Maybe there is far too much hand-wringing around here about a decline in emotional capacity and human connection. We live in the most connected age ever in some ways. If people are liberated from cultural norms or lack of income to pursue intimacy or sex how they like, maybe this is the dawn of a new utopia?


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