(About a 3 minute read)
I suspect I look at consumerism in a rather unusual and somewhat off-angle way. In other words, I’m most likely standing off to the side of most of us when I look at it, seeing it from an unusual angle.
Kind of reminds me of the “off-angle” view I had in middle school regarding the issue of girlfriends. Most of the boys preferred their girlfriends to actually be breathing, I myself preferred Playboy center-folds. After all, the center-folds were the more approachable girls, the less daunting ones.
Have you ever bought anything merely or just for the fun of buying?
Myself, I think that’s a fairly universal human pleasure. I think most of us now and then buy stuff solely — or at least mostly — for the pleasure we get from buying things.
To me, consumerism is the consumption of goods, services, and anything else primarily or solely for the pleasure we humans can take in acquiring things.
In practice, consumerism can be pure — we can buy something only and solely for the fun of acquiring it — but so far as I can see, consumerism is most often merely the main or primary reason we buy something.
If we buy mainly for some other reason than the pleasure of acquisition, it’s not consumerism to me.
So, three possibilities:
A Super-Soaker water gun bought for no other reason at the time of purchase than the fun of buying it consumerism.
A Super-Soaker bought mostly for the fun of buying it is still consumerism.
A Super-Soaker bought mainly for the necessary and just purpose of soaking Marysa Storm from head to foot before she even knows what’s coming is by no means consumerism — it is instead altogether fair and righteous shopping in the eyes of the gods.
I suspect most people think of consumerism as pretty close to, or even the same as, materialism. “Not so!”, say I.
As I see it, droves of people consume “spiritual” things all the time. I suppose in truth, they are not technically consuming things like love, friendship, Jesus, or gratuitous anger at the truly evil folks in our world who happen to disagree with their views on politics and the proper methods of wanking. Yet, I’m pretty sure it’s possible to, say, seek love from other people mainly or even solely for the thrill of discovering someone loves you.
“Oh, look Ma! I just acquired a boyfriend!” A few months later, if that, and the novelty has won off. Time to consume another one.
Could it be that seeking “likes” on social media might at times be a form of consumerism, albeit an admittedly harmless one? According to my def, “yes”. Shocking, I know! Please “like” this post if you disagree with me! Teach me the errors of my way!
An economist sees consumerism in economic terms, a sociologist sees it in sociological terms, an anthropologist sees it in cultural terms, a spiritual person sees it in spiritual terms.
They’re all WRONG! ALL WRONG! I win! I win! Here, I believe I am channeling my inner psychologist to see it in psychological terms. Or perhaps, even in philosophical terms.