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What Is Consumerism?

by James Tang (4587 views)
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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Consumerism has been termed as the social and economic order or ideology that encourages people to purchase and consume goods and services with an ever increasing amount, far more than required. This phenomenon started in 1899 and starting gaining popularity due to the rise in middle-class civilians and was further boosted to its current state by globalization. 

With the ability of large manpower and industrial infrastructures, this has allowed mass production of goods and also a deterioration of quality of mass produced items. In addition, the increase in franchise companies such as McDonald’s KFC and Starbucks have started leading to a shift away from competition, and community, creating an environment of familiarity and constant purchase.

How Have Companies Gone About Forcing Us To Buy More Products?

With the introduction of mass media such as televisions, print media, and even social media, the advertising industry has never been more rampant. Aggressive posts are found while waiting for videos to load while browsing the net and even at bus stops around us. They aim to bring across only one point: that buying their particular product will bring you happiness.



Not discrediting the fact that certain products are indeed useful in our everyday life, but companies have also found a way to get us to purchase even more of these necessities. By simply reducing the quality of the goods, the shortened life span of such products can easily force us to increase our purchase of such products. Light bulbs have had their life spanned shortened since its first inception in the early 1900s despite technology moving forward with each year. Furthermore, these conglomerates take on further tactics such as the illusion of a more superior product and making you pay more for it. 

Has Consumerism Become The New Religion?

Of course, with people not realizing how they are being sucked into this devilish scheme of consumerism by the major players in the world, their devout practices of consumerism has been likened to religion in itself. If you’re practicing consumerism, any ordinary t-shirt won’t suffice. No, you have got to possess that one Ralph Lauren shirt or that Burberry pants to go with the shirt. It is no wonder so many vices in today’s modern world have escalated so quickly with consumerism driving people wild.

The Problems It Has Given Us

We can’t forget the problems that consumerism will potentially cause us because it is far too huge a problem to ignore. With tons of clothes and raw materials being thrown away, a precious land is being sacrificed to treat these dumps and non-recyclable materials. Incinerating these materials then causes further harm to the environment and this endless cycle repeats itself, becoming more widespread with each cycle. So decide for yourself the next time you wish to purchase that gadget you saw on the advertisement just because it claims to “help you in your life”.