The buyosphere. Google it right now. First you’ll see a fashion website/store that closed. How about “define buyosphere”? You get a wonderful result from Urban Dictionary: “The complete collection of places online where you can buy stuff” (Credit to user Jiffer). Scroll further down from the Urban Dictionary result and you’ll get a master’s thesis. Reading it will give you basically what we talked about in class with more detail.
When it comes down to it, all three of these are basically one in the same.
We have evolved, if you would call it evolution, to the point where we are consumed by what we buy to consume. I am currently running an ad-blocker, but for the majority of the internet users they will see pop up ads on nearly every site they visit now. Then we have delivery services that can bring it to our door that same day or the next day. I got something from Japan in three days and they apologized for it being late. We have the power to buy almost anything on the internet.
So did the buyosphere just envelope us recently? No. It has been around since the dawn of advertising; it has increased in size with each advancement of advertisements. Radio and newspaper ads were common before TV stepped in. Once TVs became an integral part of the home, ads saw the opportunity for profit. This is the main goal of an ad: Even if you don’t like or want the product/service, you at least associate their name with the product/service.
Then the internet came along and the buyosphere grew even larger.
No longer were you limited to local or regional ads. Now you could get an ad from another country. Italian River Cruises! Buy German Beer! Ads were not limited to just your local area, but they could now reach a global audience faster and more effectively. Add the recent targeted ads and you get ads that are put specifically before you so that you see them and want to buy into them.
Then certain websites come along that allow you to ship to your house next day. Others where you can look at unusual and interesting things that make you want to buy it. The world of options expand and with it so does the wallet. You have to work to buy the weird fluffy thing you saw on your Facebook feed for your dog to bite through in a matter of seconds. A fluffy dog toy costing $25 would require a minimum wage worker to work at least four hours to cover (assuming an $8 min wage and no taxes).
We have gotten to the point where we work four hours for a fluffy dog toy.
Then we feel guilty about the splurge, but you see your dog happily annihilate the toy. Then you see some giant hamster bubble thing that you want. $689. That would require at least 87 hours of work to pay for it. But you really need the bubble. You need to feel the rush as you topple over yourself rolling down the hill.
Now we work 87 hours for a human hamster ball.
The cycle would repeat again. You want something. You work for it. You buy it. Now you need more money for more stuff. The endless cycle of needing, working, and buying. Only way to escape the cycle is to either drop of the grid and live off the land. Or you can always die. That’s a little bit too drastic though. So how do we escape the cycle? The best way to put it is to quote Hotel California by The Eagles:
“Relax said the nightman
We are programmed to receive
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave!”
- Josh Obermeyer