We live in a consumer culture, that is pretty well known, we even have “holidays” revolving around spending money I’m talking about Black Friday. But the question I want to talk about is why? Even if you try not to watch commercials, and re frame from paying attention to advertisement you will still feel the need to consume things you don’t need. Why?
Marketing Is Sneaky
In America we come across about 200 advertisements a day. We may not pay attention to them but subconsciously our minds process these advertisements. We see someone wearing Ugg boots and a North Face jacket drinking a Fiji and we think wow they must have money. We associate brand names with someones social and economic status. Besides what billionaire shops at Walmart, right? In reality we buy things so that people will perceive us in a certain way. You wish you got up every morning and went on a jog so you guy LuLu lemons yoga pants and hope that will inspire you to get off the couch. If it doesn’t at least people will perceive that you just came from a run because why wear yoga pants if your not working out in them, right?
We Buy Unnecessary Things For Other People
If you were on this planet by yourself and you had a choice between a pair of Ugg boots and some other high quality brand of boots which would you pick? It wouldn’t matter because no one is going to see them. The Uggs boots aren’t going to make you feel any particular way and neither are the off brand boots because no one is going to compliment you on them. No one is looking at you thinking wow those are $100 boots. Obviously there are necessity’s we buy just because we enjoy them and we need them and I am not against name brand products. I like name brand items and I believe a lot of times they are of higher quality I am just pointing out the reality of why we often buy things.
I Need To Fill Up Space
Something I struggle with is that I had always grown up with this idea that if there is a counter top we gotta put stuff on it, decorations, cookie jars, coasters. No one taught me this but I seen it, it was very rare I walked into someones house and they had bare counter tops and coffee tables. So it is natural after getting rid of a bunch of stuff to feel like you then need to fill up the empty space again. You have to get used to it. You have to see the benefits of having empty space where you have room to live your life and if you still feel empty think about downsizing your home or getting a roommate or evaluating why you feel like you need to accumulate things.
Minimalism is not easy it is not something that comes naturally especially for people who have grown up their whole lives in a consumer driven culture. There are many things that are going to hinder your ability to be a minimalist. There will be moments of weakness but my advice is to continue to read about the benefits of minimalism and continue to explore it to the point that you can recognize the consumer culture and it starts to bother you. Noticing advertisements and how I culture revolves around consumerism will help you with the minimalist journey.