Even when people have everything they require, they feel deprived. In spite of having enough money, enough “STUFF”, some people lament their state of affairs. Modern consumerism is, in fact, a creation of our consciousness to cope with the emptiness present within ourselves. Consumerism creates the mirage that we’re rich and so flourishes in the world today. This is further facilitated by credit cards where one is allowed to make purchases beyond their income level.
Advertisements also reshape our desires and push us into buying things which we might not require. We are focused on creating the illusion of an ordeal free life, full of choices that make us feel that we are in control. We need multiple options for each and everything so that we feel like kings of the universe. We need faster medication, appliances and gadgets to take away all inconvenience and automate everything, and communication devices to foster the instant exchange of information. We need the quickest and the best of everything. All of these create the illusion of complete pleasure at our fingertips, with none of the hassles of pain and discomfort. When this kind of physical materialism rules us, we identify ourselves by what we have, not who we are.
The human ego is never satisfied, consumerism feeds on this fact and hence thrives. Increased consumerism comes along with a hefty price. People are incurring debts and working for more hours to pay for the demanding high-consumption lifestyle as a result of which they are spending less time with their family and friends. In the rat race to earn more, our health gets affected, and we feel stressed. They get caught in a vicious cycle. In Fanatical consumerism, we have manifested a Beast with a humongous appetite for the Earth’s natural resources. It is depleting and polluting the earth, sapping future generations in addition to the current generation. Excess consumption can have detrimental effects.
The irony is that fewer needs, i.e. being satisfied can cure some of these problems.