I will go straight to the point with this one because it is something that I have been wanting to write about for so long.
I came around the idea of compulsory consumption when I was listening to one of the minimalists’ podcasts, it was very intriguing and I wanted to expound on it and learn more about this topic.
Compulsory Consumption is a state where someone get to buy things, not because he or she need them, but because he or she is made to think that they need them. I must say that we all at one point have bought something unnecessary and regretted it later. This is mainly due to the influence around us.
See, the other day I was watching News with my parents and ten minutes down, there were advertisements, they lasted for at least three minutes if not five. This sequentially went on throughout the entire News session after every ten to fifteen minutes. It was really disappointing. It didn’t feel like I was watching the News at all because my mind was distracted all the way through. Somehow, It felt like I was being more compelled to buy the things that were actually being advertised. I have never been more displeased. Then I related that to the issue at hand, through those adverts, most of us feel like we have a duty to actually respond and get those products since they are appealing and very catchy. We see things we hardly need but our minds don’t know that our minds are created to want everything nice we see.
This brings me to the issue of fashions and trends. According to me, these tend to be the most deceiving markets because something new will always come up and we all want to be on top of the radar with the newest gadget or those trending shoes. “Forgetting they make Y’all look like you’re in uniform or something “. We live in an era where we have 52 different seasons instead of the usual 4 because that is how much trends change. One week you’re having this and the next week you’re having that, this just absurd. We do not need all those things but we fear missing out on what’s latest and that is what is bringing us down. People are forced into deep stressful situations that were not meant to be there in the first place. But since these adverts, people actually suffer both psychologically and physically.
Compulsory consumption is one of the things that have led to people dying in debts. Some even end up with mental issues because they are made to spend what they don’t have. We have sales in our market where people get to consume products, just because they are cheaply available. With such tendencies, people end up building up clutter in their space. I am very convinced that none of us wants to live in a messy place. That is why being mindful when buying something is really important. Remember a clean space is equal to a happier and a more free life.
So, what are we supposed to do to avoid compulsory consumption?
It’s simple, have some self-control. As much as this sounds so cliché, it’s the easiest way out. Self-control comes in many ways
- Make a budget and stick to it
- Buy only what is necessary to you now, not in the future
- Don’t buy something on impulse. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you can buy anything, unless you’re ready to deal with clutter.
- Learn to say no, and
- Learn how to shop like a minimalist.
- Read the article By the Minimalists about Compulsory Consumption.