I know of people who are geeks when it comes to collecting action figures. There are those who like to collect Mattel’s Barbie dolls, which come down as they age. Others like porcelains and crystals, and the list goes down. But it just makes me wonder why people do so. Is there any motivation or desire for doing so?
Just for the simplest of all explanations, while staying guarded from veering away from the basic reasons, I will focus on two things:
- People collect out of filling-in that anxiety, uncertainty, and insecurity. The fear of not staying afloat and surviving leads people to this kind of behavior. One likes an object and lives on collecting for the rest of his or her life. This can be attributed to mild hoarding, but this is unique to the individual given that the purpose is not merely survival. People with the hoarding compulsion clearly have insecurity to lack, die, and not survive. But people who collect “leisure” items live on the happy thought of just getting as much happiness. The question then is why do people select a particular object over the other objects? This leads us to the second reason.
- People collect out of a fond memory, a happy thought, so to say. There is a psychological sense of fulfillment in collective certain items. The collector may have a strong association of such items to pleasure. The more that he or she has, the higher there is pleasure. It’s like a drug, but more on a psychological distinction. And this makes sense. Thus, it seems a little creepy to see middle aged men get quirky when showing people a collection of cars models.
The whole collection craze is not something that is generating questions. It’s just a matter of getting into the reason and motives. It may seem creepy that old people get happy when they see their collections. It’s a way to cope with life’s bland realities. Everyone is a kid inside. There is no limit to that.
So keep collecting!