Consumerism: A Problem in American Society

The advertising world’s reach in society has become wider than ever. Because of its massive influence, lots of individuals today have this rampant need to own the latest in gadgets, clothing, appliances, services and vice versa. There are in fact experts who say that this particular need originates from a person’s insecurities and uncertainties while some say that companies make use of advertising to take advantage of consumers in as early as grade school by means of trends, commercials and magazine ads.

Effects of Consumerism

Look back and see what society was like decades before advertising became the norm. Individuals back then never really felt like they need to go shopping and purchase the newest cars and gadgets. The needs of the people back then are based on essentials, meaning food, shelter, clothing, and standard transportation methods. Because of advertising and consumerism,

Back in the day, there is only one family member, the father, who is needed to work just to support his loved ones. However, in these times, the majority of family members need to become wage earners themselves. Because of advertising and consumerism, many people are getting in more debts than they ever need to. This desire to buy was amplified, and today, people often have this large desire to buy more stuff just to keep up with the times.

We have to ask ourselves this question: do we need all of the stuff we buy? Why are people working themselves too much just to acquire items they do not use most of the time? Why do they spend lots of money on trends they do not care for? Individuals these days have to ask themselves first before pulling out their credit cards: is this craving for the latest smartphone produced by companies’ constant promotions and advertising?

Ads and commercials exploit individuals’ perception of themselves by generating this notion that they are not as good as other people unless they have this or that item. For example, if you do not have the current pair of basketball shoes that a certain hot brand has come up with, then you are not as hip or cool as the person who has it. This is the reason trends change on a seasonal basis, and brand new models of everything are launched. We are always swamped with an infinite cycle of cars, gadgets, clothing, shoes and other items that you will not use or wear.

Take a Step Back

In this age of widespread consumerism, you might think that letting go of that feeling that you need the latest stuff is really difficult. You can still save yourself from the stress and financial waste by separating essential needs and excessive desires.

You can let go of this bit by bit. Through a slow and steady approach, you can learn to become more conscious of your compulsions and deduction behind the desire to purchase new stuff. More often than not, we are not inclined to purchase something. Through time, if we move away from these unnecessary needs, we can streamline our lives by purchasing less, avoiding unwanted debts and receiving less. More importantly, we can accept the things that we do have and become happier and contented with them compared to dwelling on items that we do not possess, or experiences we have not undergone.

Once we detach ourselves from a consumerist society, you will begin to comprehend what is essential. Life becomes simpler to handle, and you will gain more depth. People will be happier in their current situations and have a better sense of identity. They will become more selfless and caring. Only a few of us are given a huge fortune, but we as individuals must always feel lucky for what we currently possess. Remember, real happiness comes not from material items, but from the self.    


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