By Mushfiq Ali Khan
Individualism has made all of us great customers and lavish buyers. We are very conscious and critical about our personal lives. This egoism never lets us to think for the societal issues and our way of life is steered by the market trends. Acting as individuals, we spend most of our money and efforts to makeup ourselves and acquire every possible private comfort.
Consumerism and resources
Consumerism evolved to bring economic efficiency, growth and equal distribution of resources. However, today it does the totally opposite. Resources are wasted by over consumption and the level of unequal consumption is steep where richer bags every possible reserve. It has produced a world where, one dies of hunger and the other of obesity. One lives on scraps and the other brings food just to smell.
Resources are wasted because of overproduction. Corporations are under enormous pressure to produce and sell as much as possible for their sustainability. Management is incentivized to make an extra sale, for them, more selling drives more bonuses however needless the sale may be to the consumer.
We are doomed in an unnecessary acquisition of brands and tools. Whether it be a cell phone, a car or an insurance policy, we acquire it more than our needs. With the passage time, we realize how pointless these extra purchases are and scrap them endangering the ecosystem.
Consumerism and health
Our generation is obsessed with the pleasure of eating fat. Unlike before, it is easy to order and appetizing to taste and hazardous to heath.
Our lust for commercial food leaves us ailing. To the time when we start to experience maturity and sagacity, we have already clogged our arteries by extra fats.
Not just unhealthy food is promoted and sold today, but unhealthy habits too. Like smoking. A soaring number of youths is involved into this curse, yet tobacco companies hit hard to explore more un-tabbed and potential buyers.
Health no longer remains an easy access for everyone. It is heavily commodified and presented as a luxury. Hospitals are transmuting into profitable businesses. On the other hand, people consume commercially advertised pills and undergo commercially marketed surgeries never fully realizing the need and aftermaths of these practices.
Pollution: a severe outcome
We are helpless against our desire to consume, to the extend where we’re no longer capable of controlling the waste we produce through this consumption. We throw it, dump it and burn it disbalancing the natural equation of ecosystem. Meanwhile, we are helpless to cut down a few unnecessary purchases.
Further, the intoxication which we have injected in our environment is shaping our culture and morals very interestingly. Never in history, but we appreciate planting trees as a virtue, for there was no pollution and dearth of trees in past. Similarly, we are inured to the city smog and have achieved great levels to welcome it. Yet even more interesting and bothersome is our society’s “continue consuming” behavior amid pollution inflected fertilities and tribulations caused by consumption waste.
amidst all this fuss of consumption and repercussions of the waste it produces, we are not ready undermine the comfort of money for it buys every desire. We work more to make more bugs and spend it on shopping. To keep up with the society, we need to consume more to satisfy ourselves. What brands I choose, what services I subscribe to and how punctual I must be in shopping, have all become the determinants of our identity.