Last week, we watched the Story of Stuff. It explained to us the process of how our material possessions come to be and the flaws within the system. It really got me think, why exactly are we so crazy about shopping and endlessly buying more and more things?
One reason, is like the video showed, we have this never ended source telling us we need to consume more things and not only that, but we also need to keep up with the latest trends of buying the newest, fastest, and best version of something we already have that’s working perfectly fine. After class I saw the new Macbooks that came out and funnily enough I thought to myself “Woah I want a touch bar!” but then, another thought came into mind which was “Why?”
This lead me to my next article reference which overall states that we use consumption as a way to promote our self-image or somehow change how other people view us as individuals. Having the newest technology makes us look ahead of the curve. As though, we are some how the most advanced and willing to spend whatever amount we need to have the best of the best. Its all about status. Additionally, in class Dr. Sastry mentioned driving an SUV and the fact that most people driving SUV’s never use them to their full capacity. He also mentioned the whole idea of green lifestyle geared consumerism. I myself am 100% guilty of this! I felt like such an idiot for falling into this trap. I have bought countless pairs of Toms, I buy products that give back to charity ALL the time, oh and I drive s Subaru Forester (SUV). It really blew my mind how targeted I have been my entire life as a consumer.
All of this thinking about consumerism and endless amounts of things brought me to ask Dr. Sastry, if consumerism is so terrible, how do we break the cycle? Does donating to goodwill solve any problem? He essentially told me that good will is better than throwing the stuff out straight away, but it still aides in the cycle of donations covering up a problem rather than pointing out how widespread poverty is which forces people to buy things at Goodwill in the first place. So I decided I’m really going to try my absolute hardest to pair down what I have by giving it to friends or family who would have a use for said clothing item or object and if that doesn’t cover everything, I’m going to either try to sell clothes on Poshmark or last resort, donate them. Once I’ve only kept what I need to be comfortable, I’m going to challenge myself to go 30 days without buying anything. The only exception my be Christmas presents, but even with those things I’ll either buy used, or make presents. How do you guys feel about this? Did watching that video have an effect on you and how you spend money? Also if you have any good ideas for handmade Christmas presents please let me know because all I can think of is cookies or muffins!