Tuesday, 21 August 2012

EVERYDAY WISDOM - ESCAPE CONSUMER TRAP


Everyday I enjoy listen to the radio while I work in the kitchen. My work becomes a pleasureable activity as I keep listening to the beautiful songs and programs being aired. What I find a bit annoying in the middle of the bliss, are the advertisements after every two songs! Brands, products and shops are constantly being promoted aggressively and the radio jockey keeps asking the same thing, 'have'nt you been here or there, there is this offer....best price...least price...if you haven't gone there, make sure you do'. What does this do to you? Even if you didnt want to buy something, you would be curious, tempted and literally forced to go to this place they spoke about and buy stuff you may not even need. 

Well, besides the radio, every day, we come across millions of visual messages in the form of advertisements that center around clothes, toys, personal care products, electronic gadgets and equipment, mobile phones and lots of tempting various offers on T.V., or when you are walking or driving in the street, at shopping centers and department stores or malls.  Let's not forget the advertisements for food, snacks, beverages that contain high amount of fats, salt and sugar. These advertisements dominate our personal lives. We want everything we see, because we are being brainwashed to want to buy them. It's not just parents, but teenagers and children aslo fall into the consumer trap. And when you don't have the budget or money to buy yourself what you saw in the ads or what your friend has, it can lead to a sense of frustration, sadness and unhappiness. Children too would put pressure on parents to buy them stuff their friends have or what they saw on T.V. or in a shop.

Consumerism - Is this truly the road to happiness or a bottomless pit of unending wants, which if unfulfilled is causes discontentment? Do we really need all the stuff we keep buying because the advertisements subtley yet persistently encourage us to buy. How much is enough? They make us feel endless buying is essential and normal. You visit your friend and realize he has a new car, or new gadget or new wardrobe or new furniture or new tableware and you want the same or better for yourself. Don't let what other people have bother you. Be happy for them and  buy only what you genuinely or truly need, considering the affordability as well. Otherwise, constantly acquiring new stuff will become a hard to break habit that leads to temporary happiness and has negative consequences environmentally, emotionally and socially.  Let me share a fact with you, which you should always remember. Big business brands and enterpreneurs are always finding new ways to target consumers and forcing them to believe in acquiring new products and engage them in endless spending. Why? to make their business grow. What's the solution, it's simple, ecourage yourself and your family to buy only what you truly need, that fits your budget. Make intelligent money management a family affair.

Here is a beautiful quote I'd like to share. "The purchase of a new product, especially a ‘big ticket’ item such as a car or computer, typically produces an immediate surge of pleasure and achievement and often confers status and recognition upon the owner. Yet as the novelty wears off, the emptiness threatens to return. The standard consumer solution is to focus on the next promising purchase".- From the book, The All Consuming Self by Allen Kanner and Mary Gomes




1 comment:

Susan George said...

Consumerism is also about feeding one's ego. The ego is mind based and not really what or who we are, and it is a characteristic of the ego to be obsessed with material possessions and so on. And yes unfortunately the society we live in today feeds the ego with feeling it needs to own more to be happy.