ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Avoiding Consumerism

Updated on September 7, 2015
Dr Vishal Varia profile image

Vishal is a casual writer who expresses thoughts based on his experience and facts. He is passionate about technology and its use in studies

Is Consumerism Consuming us?

Consumer, as we spell the word, means, “One who consumes”, here consumption relates with any thing we have, we purchase, we own, we wear, or we consume. In other words, it refers to the person who purchases different products for one’s use and luxury.

In today’s scenario, the concept of being consumer is changing. Today’s consumer does not purchase goods or commodities only for consumption but also for possession. The concept of possessing more things has gained wide acceptance. Parents often tend to purchase goods for the children which they generally don’t require. Today’s children are facilitated more then necessary. Out of love towards children parents often forget that over facilitating the children in turn makes them more dependent and intolerant. Such purchasing happens as a result of extensive marketing done by malls and such shops. Off season sales on certain goods and unavailability of some goods in certain season lures the consumer towards stocking of goods with a provision for future use. This habit of the consumer makes him a quick buyer of goods and a slow user of the same, and thus the concept of stocking, store housing and warehousing develops.

Day after day, we are bombarded with countless advertisements promoting their products and services to us: They invade us in our homes...on our TV screens, our laptops and computers, our cell phones and our radios. They attack us outside from every possible angle—billboards, posters, flyers, t-shirts, etc. They simply tempt the prospective users for purchasing goods that they offer on sale and the user gets slipped on their lucrative offers and ends up stocking goods that they probably may never be using.

This is a serious problem with every house hold that cannot put control on their temptations. This infact is a disease that is highly contaminating in nature and spreads from one house to another, from one kitchen to another and from one office to another. This disease of stocking goods that has less utility or zero utility is referred to as Consumerism. Yes, Consumerism is a disease that is fast spreading its effects and people are often found infected with it.

Just as the word, Consumer means “one who consumes”, Consumerism refers to its opposite, “the one who gets consumed”, Yes, this is true in today’s context where the products have started consuming the consumer. That is why consumerism is referred as a disease. The basic concept of stocking goods for future purpose has changed into possessing such articles that are of no use. Availability and sales of winter fur jackets in a hot country like ours is just a befitting example.

According to Bertrand Russell, “Consumerism is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, which prevents us from living freely and nobly.”

Simply speaking: don’t let your possessions possess you. In a consumerist society, advertisements and commercials objectify and disempower the consumer. Even though advertising emphasizes desire and customer control and choices, it is misleading because they are actually manipulating people in order to make a sale.

Stop being bogged down by so much stuff. The less carbon footprints we leave on this earth, the better. Give your child the heritage of human values, strong character, good manners rather than materialistic things. Try spending your time and money on worthier objectives, and it is guaranteed that you will feel much, much better—you will never be plagued with the insecurity that materialism causes.

Nowadays, we have turned consumption into a necessity. Will you be one of the people who define themselves by their possessions? Or will you take a stand and put a stop to all this madness? The choice is yours.

I, would like to mention a few quotes by great philosophers and leaders who foresaw the effects of this materialistic world.

Socrates in his philosophical view point suggest that, “Contentment is natural wealth; luxury, artificial poverty.”

Thomas Carlyle quotes that, “Not what you possess but what you do with what you have, determines your true worth.”

Gandhiji as we remember gave a message with his life style, “limit your requirements and believe in Simple living and High Thinking”. His few lines are adopted by UNESCO in their book for Nature conservation that, “Nature provides for Man’s Needs and not for Man’s Greed!!!”

Jainism favours the concept of “Aprigrah” meaning, not to possess materials that you don’t need. If you have not purchased a good yourself and it has been gifted to you and such an article is not your necessity then you should find the right needy person for it and donate it.

What do we learn from this? It simply means that do not fall victim of this hazardous disease and create a diseased generation ahead. Rather prevent its contamination and create a healthy generation and a better world. It is time to take a step back and realize that excessive consumption is not delivering on its promise to provide happiness and fulfillment. Consumption is necessary, but excessive consumption is not. And life can be better lived and more enjoyed by intentionally rejecting it.

Consider this list of ten practical benefits of escaping excessive consumerism in your life:

  1. Lessen your debts. Use credit cards less or possibly avoid using it.
  2. Lessen your temptations towards possessions.
  3. Lessen your desire to upscale your lifestyle norms.
  4. Lessen the damage done to the environment. Don’t use such products.
  5. Lessen your need to keep up with changing trends.
  6. Lessen your pressure to impress with materialistic possession.
  7. Be more generous. Enjoy the joy of giving.
  8. Be more content. Be happy with that you possess.
  9. Empower your ability to see through the empty claims of advertisements and promotions.
  10. Empower your ability to greater the realization that this world is not just material.

Escaping excessive consumption is not an easy battle. If it were, it would be done more often… myself included. But it is a battle worth fighting because it robs us of life far more than we realize. True life must be found somewhere else, within one own self and not outside.

Dr. Vishal Varia

@DrVishalVaria

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dr Vishal Varia profile imageAUTHOR

      Vishal Varia 

      2 years ago from Rajkot, Gujarat, India

      Many Thanks for your kind words of appreciation and more for your agreement with the topic - Johan Smulders.

      Hopefully, if more people having such like mindedness apply some common sense then in the long learn we may have some changes in the lifestyles.

      Thanks again!!!

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 

      2 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Excellent article that speaks to a need in a society that has gone mad about having more and more instead of giving more and more and enjoying the really important simple things in life!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)