When I was a very new college student, one of the very first modules I completed was on the consumer society (or some variation thereof, I can’t quite remember). In the first lecture of this course I recall how the lecturer put up a slide (hey, it was pre wifi) about the word consumption and how its meaning has changed over time.
Many of the books I read as a child had a heroine dying of consumption. One can be consumed by fire or love or desire. And one can consume anything these days. When we did that course over a decade and a half ago I don’t think anyone in the lecture theatre would have predicted just how far consumption would go, how many ways and opportunities for consumption there are and how we are becoming consumed by consumption.
I don’t know how to deal with how we’re being told to consume these days. When instantaneous marketing via snapchat means the laws around what can be marketed to whom and how are blurred, ignored, flouted or simply don’t cover the medium. It’s insidious to realise that a good review of a product or service is not really a review, but a marketing opportunity.
I have dipped my toes into the zero waste movement this past year, and have stopped buying many things like magazines and fast fashion. I am a work in progress and I love stuff, but I’m getting so tired of anything and everything being a opportunity to make money. Like your child’s first day at school or your holiday or the date you’re on. Just stop selling me stuff, be it jeans, a hotel, a meal or an experience. Stop it, please.