The Age of Mass Consumerism

Video DromeWhy is it that we as humans go to extreme lengths to get the next new object? We stand in lines (often times wrapped around the establishment) like we are starving for food for something that is not a necessity.

These are questions I’ve asked both myself and those around me infinitely.

Humans are supposed to be among the most intelligent beings on the planet. We’re a step up on the evolutionary ladder, yet when the newest smart phone, gaming console, or TV comes out we rush like madmen/women to obtain the said electronic device. Is it the change of society? Were we always like this? Both possibilities are quite realistic. Those of you that were around in the 90s all remember the Tickle Me Elmo in all of its rabid mania. For those of you that don’t, people were basically knocking each other over and throwing elbows for a hunk of fluff stitched together that giggled. If you ask me, it was damn creepy. My opinion is invalid to the point, though. (If you like, you can read about my morbid fear of certain dolls here.)

Has our fascination with that which “everyone has to have” become an obsession in this age of technology? Take on one of my favorite subjects for example. The ever-so-dreaded “Black Friday” sales that take place at most of your major retailers are becoming undeniably more popular every year. My family and I laugh hysterically at the term “door busters” yet; it is becoming part of our language.

The Sad Truth

The upsetting part of this growing haywire nature of consumerism is sometimes people get hurt or even killed in the process. Not only do innocent bystanders get trampled so some idiots can get a flat screen, but sometimes people get shot or maimed on the street for having the hot new item like a pair of highly desired sneakers or a next-gen gaming console.

The responsibility we have as individuals is to ask ourselves is this all really worth it? Yes, these shiny things may bring us a lot of happiness, make our lives easier, or even help out with a lot of our menial tasks, but at what cost? Is it really worth risking your life over? Would it really hurt just waiting a few weeks or months longer? You may not be the cool kid on the block, but at least you can say you didn’t harm anyone or get harmed over it.

The Weight of it All

When you hear an upsetting story on the news, do you turn away? Or does it make you think? We may never fully know or understand what drives us to seek out such animalistic behavior over a mere possession. Perhaps it’s something deep-rooted. Maybe, just maybe it’s something deep within our humanity’s past that was passed down from our ancestors. It may have something to do with the fact that we are largely territorial creatures, and this as we see it, is our territory. We do all have to eventually accept the somewhat dismal truth that we cannot take it all with us when we die. Your job, the money you make from it, the suffering we endure, and all the possessions we lust after will not come with us. In the end, we go out much like we came in, alone.

Have you ever gone crazy over an object? Was there ever something you just had to have? Did you ever go to a “Black Friday” sale?

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Thoughts from the Clouds

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