I was driving to the gold coast for a day on the beach with my girlfriend Eimear last sunday. Along the way we had the tunes blasting. The sun was shining (finally back to proper Brisbane weather) and Lilly Allen came on… we had 2 options, plough the car into the guard rail so our ears didn’t have to suffer the pain OR bop along and try to enjoy her sickly sweet pommy note. We end up doing the latter and I am glad we did because one of the lyrics in her song hit me. she said this.. “I am a weapon of mass consumption.. its not my fault, it’s how I’m programmed to function” and I don’t know why but it just resonated with me. What a spot on and truthful way of putting it. Tell the spy’s to stop sniffing around Korea and rather take a look at the databases of local banks for customers of my generation.. that’s where the real terror lies! There are so many weapons of mass consumption around its not funny. And the ammunition fuelling the consumption catastrophy is a sexy, colourful, innocent little piece of plastic sitting in our handbag or man bag.
Our desire for new things and our obsession over new innovative products knows no bounds. The easiest example of this is the latest iPhone or Samsung phone. Those bastards are coming out with a new version every 6 months these days and they know for a lot of us, it’s a MUST HAVE.. hence the lines of people camping out the front of the stores waiting to get their hands on the new toy. Those extra 3 mega pixels in the camera and the new eye scrolling technology is a absolute world changer for us right??. Today we are bombarded on every device, computer screen, billboard and back of the local bus with new products, pushed towards us. How can we not be brainwashed into becoming G.I Consumer soldiers when this stuff hits our eyes roughly every 20 seconds. Let’s face it, most of the stuff we buy we might want, but definitely do not need. But even then, no one can deny the appeal of online retail sites where it is so easy to fill your cart up and click the PayPal purchase button and it’s in the mail. It’s just too convenient that I must do it!
It’s all the visual clutter that fuels our natural instincts to want more. It literally makes our urges stronger than our will power and transforming our “want and have it now” desires into weapons of mass consumption. We have to stop and wonder about when we will reach the breaking point… Is it when we finally look at that credit card statement, or when the friendly debt collector comes knocking at our door or even worse, when we go to purchase something of actual value to us, something called an “investment” that the good lender can’t budge because of the toxic bills you’ve racked up. I wonder when our senses will be fatigued by the daily invasion of deals and whether we can still take pleasure in the fact that we as consumers are playing a part in a retail revolution.
How should we youngsters fight the war on terrorising consumption?? Are we are own enemy or can we also be our own hero and take the necessary action to change…