You are not your khakis. Self-correcting consumerism in the digital age.

Your salary will etch. Mannequins will holler. Billboards will flourish. Online Banners will tempt. Catalogs will fly into your hands.

It’s the time of the year when the word sale makes shopping look like a thoughtful activity.  Take a walk in the any big city mall and you see the shopping extravaganza so singular in its purpose that it is almost Zen-ish. 

With shopping spree comes guilt that nudges us to question our consumerist tendencies.

 So there couldn’t be a better time than now, to find inspiration in the works of these digital natives who self-corrected their consumerist inclinations with beautifully rendered blog projects:

  1. The Toaster Project is a tale of familiarizing oneself with the origins of the objects that flood our existence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ODzO7Lz_pw
  2. Kate Bingaman documented everything that she consumed, purchased, and shopped into envelopes. The book published by the collected blog posts –  Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? has cute sketches of Bingham-Burt’s choices and objects, collected during self-observed and corrected life as a anti-consumerist.
  3. Aanderson started this website http://kitanderson.com/ where he showed the world how he downsized his life by getting rid of all the accumulated things.

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Revive something old.

To distract myself from shopping I found the activity of digging old cassettes records quite engaging.  So I am getting involved in the Cassette Revival thingy and going to collaborate with few audiophiles to get the project rolling. 

You too can be part of this – just visit a record store and go through their inventory of cassettes. Find the ones you will listen to. (Get crafty with old useless ones.)  Feature the classics on your blog or share them with your music-loving friends. They might cost fortune as years go by. You never know they might get your grand kids out of an economic slump.

Collaborative Consumption

Pass On. Take. Share. Repeat.

Collaborative consumption as a concept focuses on sharing idle objects from each household and promotes its sharing and exchange. Books, toys, magazines, Vinyl records, household items, stationery, clothes, shoes, furniture, musical instruments, appliances, bags, vehicles etc. Each one of us hoards stuff that is no longer functional for various reasons – weight gain, weight loss, end of relationship, change of plans, change in values, lack of time, lack of space and list goes on. Get these idle objects out of their inertia.

Carlin

How much ever you fight against consumerism, it won’t really mean anything. People will spend, your credit will decline, economy will emerge, women will shop and your self -righteous pride will weigh on you more than all the shopping bags in the world.  As George Carlin said “Just because you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.”  

I think the best revenge against consumerism is shop-lifting, or staring creepily at the people at the check-out counter or telling the girl at the cash register “Where will you be when buyers’ remorse hits me hard?”

One thought on “You are not your khakis. Self-correcting consumerism in the digital age.

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