It is often said that our pace of life is becoming faster and faster and that we do not have time to think about what our society has become like. If we take a moment to think, we can see that consumerism plays a great role in our lives. Many people think that the more things they have, their lives will be better, easier, and happier. Tons of products are constantly being produced and purchased in all spheres of life, from simple grocery and clothes shopping to education and leisure. Consumerism is omnipresent, even though we sometimes seem unaware of it.
Consumerism and advertising
It is difficult to resist the temptation of buying something when advertising is everywhere. The TV, the radio, billboards, and newspapers are things people got used to a long time ago, but their impact on modern society remains huge through advertising. Advertising takes various forms, from commercials in movies to free products that companies give to online influences in order to get positive reviews and indirectly increase sales. Although articles about traveling, makeovers, or new gadgets do not sell things directly, they can convince you to buy them by showing how your life would be better if you had them. Celebrities have a big role in advertising, too. Their glamorous lifestyles are often something that we would like to copy, from their designer clothes to private jets.
Negative effects of consumerism
The negative aspect of consumerism is that it taps into negative emotions, such as low self-esteem, envy, and greed, to persuade people to always want more. It convinces us that we will have a better life if we buy a new item, implying that our lives are not good enough at the moment and that we should not be satisfied and content with what we have now.
Because of that, people willingly spend a lot of money on material possessions and invest a lot of effort and energy to earn more money to be able to afford all the new products. The struggle to have more and more money can be quite stressful and it can lead to various problems if people are not careful, such as going into debt or neglecting families or health. Consumerism creates a belief that goods can give us all that we need and that we should always strive to have more. However, behind all of this, there is a simple truth that consumerism is encouraged and perpetuated by companies as they benefit from it the most.
Changing the way we think
Harsh consumerism leads to a number of serious problems, from pollution and environmental issues to human rights abuse. Therefore, we must think about consumerism and our habits more carefully and realize for ourselves what we really need and what advertisements tell us that we need. Having material things does not necessarily mean that we will be happier and that our society will be more successful. Sometimes less is more and our priorities need to be revised and changed.