Consumer culture revolves around the idea that more things bought equate to a greater amount of happiness. It is a very capitalist idea and companies use it to prey on people to buy their products. The creation of trends also has an impact on consumer culture as people will buy whatever is cool at the moment, and when something else picks up heat and the next trend starts, that is more money in the capitalist's pocket. Whilst being able to buy what you want and spend your well-earned money seems fun and rewarding, consumer culture may have a negative impact on the planet environmentally.
The problems with consumer culture
With the world's population rising rapidly, and with more people spending money on products than ever, this means that companies will keep production up to a maximum to ensure that the greatest amount of products are being created to ensure the greatest amount of money made. With the world already facing a global environmental crisis, having more and more companies creating more products can have a massive impact on the environment. According to an article on The world counts "We are currently overusing Earth’s natural resources with more than 70 percent. If everyone on earth lived like the average American we would need 5.2 planets to support us. The number is 3 if everyone lived like the average Japanese and about 3.3 as Europeans". We are depleting our planet's resources at an alarming rate due to the lifestyles that we have become accustomed to. If the rest of the world lived like us the planet's resources would deplete at an even more alarming rate and we would destroy the planet in no time, so why should we get to live our chosen lifestyles whilst the rest of the planet suffers.
There is no denying that social media has had and will continue to have a massive impact on the very day life of the modern human, and consumer culture is something that is especially inflated by social media. When browsing Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, or any other social media website, you will be bombarded with images of other people, images of other people's items, and images of other people's success and happiness, whether real or fake. This creates a problem as people will then be constantly comparing themselves to other people and their accessories, and seeing them so happy with their newly purchased items may make you want a slice of that happiness leading you to go out and purchase something you may have never even wanted before going on your phone and going on social media. This can create a never-ending cycle of wanting to have what other people have, not only creating a possible monetary problem for yourself but a mental health issue. Constantly comparing yourself and trying to be like others can be a detriment to your mental health, and with people mostly only posting good things about themselves online you may feel like you need to be more like them and have the things they have when everyone has their own problems and issues outside of social media as no one is perfect. Realising this, or cutting down on social media may lead to a more stress-free life where you can focus on yourself and what you want, rather than comparing and contrasting your own life with the life of others.
Living a minimalist lifestyle
Living a minimalist lifestyle is living a life where you strive to buy things that only serve a purpose. Whilst you don't have to live this lifestyle to an extreme it is a great lifestyle alternative away from consumer culture. Instead of filling your home with unnecessary items that you spent way too much money on, or stockpiling your wardrobe with trending clothes that you may never wear, you could buy things that you like, things that you will wear and reuse rather than things that other people may tell you to like. Living a more minimalist lifestyle has many benefits, in fact, they are practically endless. You will save money by only buying necessities, increasing your savings, and allowing you more financial freedom in the future if you are not buying simply for trends. Having minimal things means a cleaner, more organised home and without the clutter of items you never needed to buy your home will be a more stress-free place to live. Having fewer things is also good for the environment as the less we consume, the less damage we are doing to the environment. More information about living the minimalist lifestyle can be found on becoming minimalist.