Consumption Culture is Our Downfall
Our culture has become so vapid, dismissive, and fearful.
Respect as a whole is what we are lacking. We do not hold respect for ourselves, others, and our surroundings. In the Era of Impatience, we toss away what does not work, even slightly, and choose something new. Have you noticed your patterns, and how the ‘something new’ might hold the same issues? When and where do you realize the inherent problem is you?
Cutting, I know, but we have shorter attention spans, settle for whatever is at our disposal, without much work ethic or a striving for what is good for us and others. Or on the other hand, when we lose all our expletives to give, we feel an odd sense of entitlement to things, but it becomes quantity over quality. I have found that people settle because they do not want to do the self-work. They look externally for a fix of whatever ails them. From viewing the neverending void of consumerism and genuinely taking the time to what truly makes me feel good, I have honed my perspective by observing the human condition.
I grew up in the 90s. We had great toys! But also, all of the plastic. Recently, sharing my old Playskool dollhouse with my 3-year-old BFF, and surprisingly not being upset about it, I was nostalgic. I was also inspired by the thriftiness and defining the line between saving fond memories and hoarding. The dollhouse itself still holds the opportunity for endless imaginative playtimes, and it becomes more special for my BFF because it was from me. In the ’90s, everything seemed to speed up. From the extensive advancements of technology to fast food, consumption rates increased, and heading into the 2000s with the advent of cell phones, the spike in consumption transpired, along with the threats of global warming.
Now, because I am a sentimental and loyal person and not a nihilist, I hold a unique perspective as someone who was partially programmed by this consumptive nature, given my age. However, I also had an early skew toward animal welfare and holistic remedies for health, along with an alternative viewing to the standards presented to me. I loved the toys, and the TV, don’t get me wrong. But I skewed toward naturalism in a multitude of ways. It was only in more recent years where more interest and support in this (profitable) way of living for it to become popularized for marketing. As it began to collide further with the consumptive, fast driven culture we had become accustomed to, there was a distinctive divide between the old and new. The new being, however, what was once a normalized way of living. Also, with the advent of social media, we saw a spike in superficiality, competitive, and illusionary practices. So there is this juxtaposition only becoming more prevalent in our culture. It’s the recognition that every choice you make holds an impact.
The rushing through life and the pressure to grow up faster can often leave a lot of people confused. Maturity levels always vary, however, in this consumption culture theory I bring forth, it has been noticed that people can jump from person to person to practice the fine art of avoidance, and dating apps and other social media platforms add to that problem. We see this in romance, friendships, and even people and their pets. If someone is not filling a void for you, they are the problem, and you repeat your patterns looking for the easier option that will also bring you inner peace. The more we consume such content, as in treating each other as entities, the less we remember how to think and feel for ourselves authentically.
The other argument is that the younger generation who only knows life with social media has issues with communication because they are so geared toward their screens and trying to appear a certain way. This search for self we go through from puberty onward tends to already have enough issues that we carry through adulthood without proper awareness, thus the rush to grow up is misconstrued with actually doing so. Boredom or fear of insecurities leads to a lack of tact and we end up giving ourselves to more people and we zap our energy, along with the ability to see our truth. Consuming people is cannabilism, just ask Armie Hammer.
In this day and age, when our attention spans are short, and we have no patience to do the work, you see a whole new divide. The divide between the proverbial wolves and sheep. The ones that look for a quick fix rather than try. Or worse, having the work ethic of a blade of grass that can quickly be cut. Those who do have the ambition and drive need to remember ethics and be brave in their pursuit of leadership from this heartfelt place. If like me, you are an idea person, keep them in mind, don’t dismiss them, because you never know when you can pull something seemingly out of your ass that you were sitting upon for many years. It is having the centered knowing to be patient and your time will come. Work toward your goals and do not settle for the easier option, as it will lack satisfaction.
Developing confidence in your skill-set, and aligning with your purpose is the key to success. You will not need the money to fill your wallet, though, yes it is somewhat necessary. The passion that drives you is often found within your pains I have resolved, and when you are working on achieving your desired outcome, you will learn that professional consumption is meant for focus, not distraction. Think of your competitors as your collaborators and your consumers as your community. In the execution of integrity, we find a depth to our professionalism that will bring value.
It can be related to the perceived need to fill a void and the addiction tendencies developed in the world. Like the mentions above to grab your attention and define the correlations, we buy things to fill voids. As a professional, does your brand offer an essential for the individual consumer, and also holds a high level of ethics? How can our purchases as customers make headway toward positive and thoughtful impact? How can we support one another through our purchases and the world we live in? Focusing on the understanding of what our essentials are, we can see what we need to survive. Our wants can be refocused to better match what we need to thrive.
As we move into this age where minimalism in your inner and outer worlds are more prevalent and marketable to us as consumers, it is a shift in mindset required to make this the societal norm. Does it have to be? No. Should it be? Yes. The connectivity we share in this world always seems to be that missing piece of the puzzle that needs to be found. It’s a matter of understanding, caring, then making concerted efforts to live with healthier intentions. Not just for you, but everybody. That goes from what you buy to how you treat one another and how you work to be purposeful, not for a state of survival. The egoic positionings we implicate upon one another are detrimental to our society and the cause for consumption. It lies firmly in every individual’s belief that somehow, someway, that they are not good enough. We then think we need people, work, and products to fill ourselves up. It will never work.
Essentially, Consumption Culture is relative to our collective state of Lack of Mentality. We seek outward validation for internal peace.
At one point in 2020, I researched becoming a monk. Aside from shaving my head (I have a scar across my skull and a dent at the front, not a deterrent, just facts,) I was strongly considering it. I would have no disappointments as I would have no expectations. Distraction removal could transpire, and I would learn more about Buddhist culture which I had been exploring since I was a teenager. The desire for inner peace does make me want to shut off the world sometimes. It’s in the knowing of susceptibility to consumption in any variant that we have to take our accountability. Where do you seek distraction from yourself?
See, in our strides to consume people, places, and things to take us away from ourselves, we forget to trust, respect, and love who we are. From there, we then find it difficult to offer that same kindness to others. And in the consumption of the negative, toxic sludge in the world, we forget the power we have simply by breathing. When you have that epiphany, however it comes to you, you slowly but surely stop consuming what does not serve you. Some things may come as a surprise, but in their release, you feel lighter, as though it’s magic.
In the acceptance of self and fully embracing my free-spirited nature, and streamlining and curating my existence accordingly that I could forge forward toward this concept to explain what does not work well for me. From these efforts and staying in tune with myself, I have found more fulfillment than ever before. We do have to take accountability as we grow, and we need to breathe, support, and do good things. That’s about it.