Finance, Minimalism, Simplicity

Are We All Hyper-Consumers?

While listening to CBC radio today about China’s growing smog problems, the word ‘hyper-consumerism’ was mentioned when referring to consumer trends in North America and China.The lady said it quickly and matter-of-factly as if it was a commonly known term, but to me the word felt like a slap in the face. Hyper-consumerism!? Whoa, I had never heard that before, but it conjured images of big shopping sprees, hoarding, and houses packed with stuff. Interestingly, here is the definition from Wikipedia:

“Hyperconsumerism, hyper-consumerism, hyperconsumption or hyper-consumption refer to the consumption of goods for non-functional purposes and the associated significant pressure to consume those goods exerted by the modern, capitalist society, as those goods shape one’s identity. Frenchy Lunning defines it curtly as ‘a consumerism for the sake of consuming.'”

So…I don’t know about you, but that pretty much sounds like your average consumer to me! Should we be concerned that the word ‘hyper-consumerism’ describes us to a ‘T’? It makes me glad now that we’re trying a Buy Nothing (Stuff) Challenge, which I have to say is going well, despite a couple hiccups (but I needed a new hat OK!?). It’s quite fascinating to realize what I would’ve bought had I not done been ‘on the challenge’, and afterwards being so happy I didn’t buy the item, as I really didn’t need it at all. In fact, when I mentally total up what I would’ve purchased in the past 3 months, it’s probably around $400 to $600. That’s crazy!I put the challenge out there to try avoiding being a hyper-consumer and see how much better you are off for it.

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