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About anything and everything on the planet

January 9, 2011

Pressure of “consumerism” – we consume to live or live to consume?

I am not sure whether “consumerism” is even a word. Well I have just made the word “consumerism” without any serious thought and without bothering to check the dictionary (due to procrastination!). However, I wanted to mean consuming more and more of anything. For example, food, fuel/gas, car, cloth, electronic, new styled product. I have visited many shopping places like Superstore, Save on Food, Safeway, Sears, Zellers, Fields a number of days and I did not observe that much of difference between Christmas time shopping and off season shopping. It seems like there is no reflection of “off season” in consumer market. People are busy to buy for eternity. There is no sign of stopping nor restrict oneself from buying things.

We feel happy to see that our necessary item is in place in the market aisle. However, seldom we pause for a moment to think about the processing chain behind the product. Even, most of the products end up as residual wastes after use. A product is produced from a mixture of raw materials. It requires energy, manpower and overall natural resources.

Competition or you can call it show off tendency in the society is another metaphor that influence consumers to consume more. To up hold our social status we buy a luxurious car/ house instead a general priced car/ house. Now a day you can find a car that is equipped with all modern equipments (e.g., wireless phone, digital stereo, leather seats, sun roofs etc). Well if you need too many things on the road shouldn’t you be staying at home? And if you are busy with your phone or stereo system on the road how will you concentrate in driving? After all, driving could be a risky activity if you are not attentive.

Advertisements of different types of products on mass media vastly influence the consumers. Recently I watched an advertisement on children toys. At the end of the advertisement it says, “ask your mom”! Well, my question is why to ask to moms only, what about the dads?

Advertisements continuously bombard its audiences with new products. There are many advertisements which also tell you that if you are broke or if you do not have purchasing power that is acceptable to them, you just have the product now and pay later. You do not need to worry to pay/ or pay the interest for 2 or 3 years. If you have bad credit or so called 0 (zero) credit no worries too. You are pre approved to have their products. However you better know that you have to pay after that limited period.

Moreover, the main message of these scattered thoughts is that justify your consuming behavior. Next time when you go to purchase something ask yourself whether you really need it? What are the other options you have? Will it really serve your purpose? It is always wise to know your limit. And the best is to save your money then purchase by cash rather than depending on credit cards.

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