The word that at times doesn’t allow me to sleep is, ‘Consumerism’. I have no clue where it’s taking us, but surely it’s able to do the job that it’s supposed to – washing our brain out! As a marketing guru once said, ‘Create the need in consumers’ mind’, and that’s exactly been followed by the companies worldwide, creating needs in our mind every moment.
First thing in the morning when I pick up the newspaper, I see a quarter page advertisement. Open the window and I would see the huge hoardings offering some discounts on some premium brand cars. Switch on the radio while driving, and I hear the musical ads for some shopping festival online, which is offering never-before types discount. After a hard day’s work, when I sit with a coffee or vodka, the big screens there do not keep any stone unturned to build their brands. The line between information, entertainment and promotion of products has been blurred so people are more reformulated into consumerist behaviour.
The screen shot above is from my laptop while my 6 years old son was using it. I suddenly looked at the screen, and found out that he was trying to write a mail to Amazon to send him a password, so that he can buy a pair of shoes online. This was intriguing for me, thinking how consumerism has already been planted to a 6-year old’s mind…amazing! Like all other, he sees the animations channels on TV and that’s his only recreation other than playing with his friends outside. And every commercial breaks that comes on those channels creates the need in a child’s mind for something or the else. When parents like me always give deaf ear to his unnecessary wants, children try to go around to find some other ways – writing to Amazon is perhaps one of them.
I’m pretty sure this idea of consumerism will fall flat one day, perhaps in a century or two. But by that time, it’ll kill trillions of minds. These minds will not be able to think, dream, express anything outside of their materialistic wants. In the year 1955, economist Victor Lebow said: “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction and our ego satisfaction in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever-increasing rate.”