To help us all understand that word consumerism, let’s have a brief look at what consumerism really is and how it is impacting on us as parents. Here is a KISS (Keep it simple sweetheart) definition of consumerism:
(1) “A preoccupation with and an inclination towards the buying of consumer goods.” (Source: choosethewayyouwanttolive.blog.spot.com.au)
(2) People rich and poor alike, attempt to impress others and seek to gain advantage through “conspicuous consumption” and the ability to engage in “conspicuous leisure”… creating “conspicuous waste” (Source: Torstein Bunde Veblen Norwegian Sociologist)
We have reached a point where we want more and more and more, bigger, faster, stronger purchases at our finger tips with endless choice. Some might say this is a good thing and at first glance it appears it is; but if we dig deeper this is what we find.
We are no longer satisfied with spending our hard earned dollars on the basics in life, a home, food, clothing, work and family. We now crave “the lifestyle” we have been told is essential to living a “good and happy” life.
Shinier cars, bigger boats, expensive holidays, regular eating out, hundreds of electronic gadgets, the latest brands, frequent fast food, reputable schools and sexier must have brand name clothing, accessories and appliances.
We are conditioned from such an early age (some experts even believe advertising starts in the womb) with marketing to believe these things in life are absolute essentials in making us happier, healthier and, most importantly, successful. Not only do we want these things but we want them in excess, one TV per household is not enough today we must have one in every room, including the bathroom.
Fast food once a treat is now available 24/7 and considered an everyday meal, a snack and a staple. I was talking with a friend the other day and he informed me that there are kid’s apps out there where you need to pay real money to move to the next level of competition.
The car game app requires you as the parent to pay real money for virtual fuel, to fuel your virtual car on the virtual app; I wonder is there a virtual prize, probably yes. It’s no wonder we feel virtually overwhelmed!