to label myself as an anti-spender is an exaggeration but over time I have found shopping an anathema. my detests roots from feeling overwhelmed when I shop, I do not want to spend the effort comparing each product in it’s value with the monetary value in costs. but upon closer inspection, i’ve realised other alarming effects of consumerism.
Identity is tied to goods
from the invention of the ipod to customisable sneakers, we are obssessed with personalisation. we try to personalise our rooms, our phones and even our lifestyles. we try to attach our identity to objects to bring more meaning to our lives. although this attempt feels authent, it cannot represent our multifaced, everychanging personalities. morevoer, curation is often cofused with craftmenship, the difference between the two is the feeling of satisfaction.
valorisation of goods
while some objects have inevitable meaning tied to them, it’s important to remember that they’re just objects. tying too much importance to goods can produce a perverse relationship between the good and buyer. this relationship can affect our relationship with our peers especially between the haves and the have-not. society feels extremely dystopian when we start to treat humans and animals as goods.
encourages the possessor mindset
terrible processes such as colonisation and climate change have rooted from our human desire to dominate our environment. I came across this analysis while reading “the history of europe” which sought to explain why the Chinese had not led crusades of exploration and murder as Europe had, despite Chinese hegemony in the medieval period. the historian pointed to the confucius philosophy which accepted living harmoniously with the enviornment rather than attempting to dominate it.
the spender is never satisfied
advertisements sell us an unattainable dream. The spender pursues the dream via a superficial pathway which will not contribute to our desired outcome. It’s not always the case of course. For example, buying a clock encourages discipline,
shopping is bad therapy
as the brain is malleable, i can dictate my therapy and find a productive way of releasing emotions. What if you cleaned whenever you were stressed or worked out at the gym? these methods are productive as a cleaner space improve our mental and physical health and the gym has several health benefits. shopping as therapy can mean compulsive, unwanted buys which damage your wallet. damages are comparable to compulsive eating which do not have any positive results. for those that shop for therapy, the behaviour was taught and can also be untaught but only if effort meets the challenge,
buying = clutter in the house. it’s bad for our physical environment and mother nature and maintaining a minamlist lifestyle means less chaos,
one of my lessons from my early 20s have been the pleasure of investing in a craft or improving a skill. unfortunately, shopping only leaves the shopper momentarily satisfied – until a new trend. investing your time into a long term activity is likely to produce satisfaction for longer. likewise, less shopping will free more time to focus on a long term skill.