Anti-consumerism and a hairdryer

 

“In [the consumerist’s] collective delusion, development is confused with consumerism, wastefulness with success, and growth with fattening. The pandemic is considered a sign of good health. [Consumerist] “success” has been so overwhelming that there is no ideology or political system in the world that is not bent upon reproducing and multiplying it.”

– UN Chronicle

March 14 I attempted to pursue an anti-consumerism diet. The way I define anti-consumerism is that it is a lifestyle that aligns with values of charity, humanitarianism and environmentalism. Anti-consumerism is not anti-consumption, it is a phrase that refers to excessive economic materialism. I do not find consumption in and of itself a bad thing. There are levels of consumption that are reasonable – it is only at the point that we systematically consume goods at greater levels, or choose to ignore our freewill to participate in the economic and social order that is built to dictate consumer spending habits, that consumerism risks excessive reliance on consolation through buying , ignorance and greed.

 It is only through a longing for authentic collectivism and emphasis in social interaction that my intent to avoid economic materialism emerged. It is through personal experience that I noticed a reliance on consumerism as a way to console myself after watching cable television or being in the presence of the typical mainstream girliness, such as beauty salons, the mall or the pretty modelesque ladies at the Nordstroms make up counters. I want to be pretty like them, I secretly think, no matter how foolish and immature that sounds.

My interest in this post is not to judge others based on their consumption habits, it is only to explain my values as it relates to anti-consumerism. In my last post on anti-consumerism, I assumed that anti-consumption and anti-consumerism were the same thing. Anti-consumption is not participating in the final life cycle of any product – the use and disposal of the product.

1) Anti-consumerism does not mean anti-consumption

2) The anti-consumerist diet is one that promotes consciousness and presence of mind when making purchasing decisions, to pay attention to ones consumption habits and trends, as well as honing them in when one recognizes their unnecessarily increasing consumption levels occur.

3) Anti-consumerism promotes a reassessment in the way we pursue happiness and pleasure in life. It intends to recalibrate our pursuit of happiness with the way we spend our time.

In retrospect, I think that since anti-consumerism was new to me, taking the time to stop consuming for a short period of time gave me a moment to rethink my spending habits and notice them . Over the last few weeks I became more aware of how many times I wanted to purchase something or make plans to go shopping. Since I wasnt fulfilling those plans or interests, it also gave me a chance to notice how long the interest to purchase an item dissolved and be forgotten. I noticed that on average it took 2 days to forget about some product of interest. I think that is good information, in that, if I want to make certain purchases, I should wait at least 2 days before I do so to see if the interest dissolved, or if I still consider it a “need”.

 

Even though I broke my diet, with my purchase of a hair dryer on April 1, I still think the 2 weeks I spent paying attention to my consumption habits was helpful. I would like to continue with my anti-consumerism, not anti-consumption, intentions, and pay more attention to my participation in the economically materialistic social order that I am inevitably “consumed by”, if you will, on a day-to-day basis.

 

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