False needs are those which are superimposed upon the individual by particular social interests in his repression: the needs which perpetuate toil, aggressiveness, misery and injustice. Their satisfaction might be most gratifying to the individual, but this happiness is not a condition which has to be maintained and protected if it serves to arrest the development of the ability to recognize the disease of the whole.
The result is euphoria in unhappiness. Most of the prevailing needs to relax, to have fun, to behave and consume in accordance with the advertisements, to love and hate what others love and hate, belong to this category of false needs.
Such needs have a societal content and functions which are determined by external powers over which the individual has no control; the development and satisfaction of these needs is heteronomous. No matter how much such needs [TV worship and correlating camaraderie among peers] may have become the individual’s own, reproduced and fortified by the conditions of his existence; no matter how much he identifies himself with them and finds himself in their satisfaction, they continue to be what they were from beginning–products of a society whose dominant interest demands repression.
— Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man 1964 pg. 4/5