Consumerism is Empty
Consumerism originally means protection of consumer right. However now it carries a more negative meaning of influence for overconsumption.

Materialism catalyses consumerism. Materialistic determinism is wrong because how much a person is admirable is not determined by what item he or she owns. Attachment to material possession is shallow. Materials are pursued at all cost, including sacrificing integrity. We have been social-engineered.

Bad points about consumerism:

  1. It brings emptiness in the long run. Purchase of a new item brings temporary happiness. It is like an addiction that needs to be satisfied with continued acquisition of new items, either by purchase or theft. When addicted, people will buy even they have no money.
  2. It drives up the price of things by driving up the demand. Cost of advertisments are also eventually paid by consumers.
  3. If we make a habit of buying things we do not need with the money we do not have, we will soon be selling things we do.
  4. Each purchase adds extra worry to our life. Every physical item we bring into our life represents one more thing that can be broken, scratched, or stolen.
  5. Planned obsolescence comes from consumerism.
  6. The more things we have the less time we have. Possessions require maintenance. The things we own require time, energy, and focus. They need to be cleaned, organized, managed, and maintained. And as a result, they often distract us from the things that truly do bring us lasting happiness.
  7. It breeds narcissism.
  8. If we are hoarders, our family will have headache clearing our things in case we pass away.
  9. It depletes natural resources.

Before buying, think the following:

  1. If people from the past did not need this, why do we need it now?
  2. Do we already have one?
  3. Do we have cash to buy it, instead of buying it on credit?
  4. Will the item be used continuously, at least monthly?
  5. Can the item be improvised or handmade?
  6. Where should the item be kept? If a new storage rack is needed, then do not buy it.
  7. Leave the idea for one week to see if we still want the item. Meanwhile make some surveys online. Do not buy on impulse.
  8. Is the price right?

Do not buy if it appears on the TV ad and billboard ad unless there is no other alternative. The thing is more expensive because the producer needs to spend a lot of money in those ads. Necessities do not have to be advertised. Only things that are not necessity are advertised. An example of useless product: exercise machine.

Less is more. Human being comes into this world with nothing. Nothing can be brought away upon death. Having one less thing is better than having one more thing.

Posted: 2016-12-20; updated: 2017-01-10 by Ong Seng Aun.
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