How does consumerism affect society and our planet?
This is a question of incredible interest for me because of how shockingly integral it is in our society. Recently, I have been watching quite a few documentaries and educational videos about economics (YouTube recommendations are weird). While I knew prior to watching those videos that consumerism was important for the structure of our modern society, I had not truly noticed how important it was. It might just be common knowledge to some, but I had never noticed how nearly each and every part of our lives revolves in some way around consumerism. We learn so we can work and we work so we can buy. We determine people’s wealth by what they can afford to consume/buy and in turn, that level of wealth determines where we are placed in society. We are so conditioned to think in this way, to the point where buying things has become the principal thought of many. Of course, this works very well on us because humans become bored incredibly quickly; a new item will become the status quo before we know it. Consumerism develops us to become consumers, individuals whose main purpose in society is to purchase more and more products. This also results in us buying things we do not need and causes us to have a surplus. Typically, the results of this are demonstrated in landfills and calculations of the world’s pollution. Buy a new iPhone every year? Not only is it likely that the old one will go straight to a landfill, but there is also the pollution caused by the factory to take into account, as well as all the mining of the necessary resources. All of this and more goes into consumerism and we, as humans, are still unsatisfied. We are very strange.