The world we live in today is fueled by Negative Values and Hyper Consumerism. It has a created a society in which consumption extends far beyond subsistence or need. The world needs to be productive to cover the demands of consumer goods and as those demands, and consequently the production, continue to increase, materialism takes over and we lose sight of more mindful, humane principles, e.g. ethics, morale, compassions, etc. Losing sight of these key components results in creating deceptive, unbalanced outcomes in our society and culture.
Consumerism and materialism are closely related. Hyper consumerism generates negative values that severely affect our society. Fortunately, there are ways to restore balance. Read on to learn more.
The Link Between Consumerism and Materialism
Consumerism refers to the preoccupation of goods in a society. On the other hand, materialism is an individual’s preoccupation with physical comfort and tangible items. The two concepts are closely related. Materialism is a trait in a person. Those who seek material possessions for fulfilment and satisfaction may be seen as materialistic. The tendency to buy goods and services and have the best things available is a dire consequence of materialism. It leads to consumerism. The difference is that materialism is seen at the personal level. Consumerism on the other hand, describes society as a whole. It is often seen from the collective level.
Hyper Consumerism Promotes Negative Values
Negative values refer to traits that are not good for oneself and the society in general. Hyper consumerism promotes many negative values and traits in people, such as selfishness, lust, jealousy, hopelessness, etc. Those who forget their moral values often fail to differentiate between the right and wrong choices.For them, the false comforts and good quality life are the only things that matters. This creates unbalance in society.
Effects on Our Society and Culture
Hyper consumerism and its associated negative values severely impact our society and culture because it allows for the rise of businesses and industries that capitalize on people’s wants and needs. People become desensitized to their desires and tend to buy things in excess or impulsively. The unquenchable thirst for possessions negatively affects both individuals and society as a whole as it contributes to social unrest, deceptive and unbalanced outcomes, financial instability, and more.
To any given situation in a culture or society, there are always certain pitfalls. Hyper consumerism has its own severe negative effects on the people and our society at large. Some of these negative effects include (but not limited to) the following:
• Craving for goods is high. The desires and wants of people continue to increase. The better their income, the better their buying power. People who lack the purchasing power for something become victim of dissatisfaction.
• Psychological health can get affected if one’s wants and desires are not met, leading to problems like envy, jealousy, and depression.
• Hype consumerism changes people’s lifestyles in a sense that they become more lavish and tend to pursue material comforts instead of focusing on simplicity.
• Personal relationships also get affected as people are busy trying to earn more to keep up with the higher standard of living in the society.
• Spiritual values are underplayed and material wealth is the deciding factor about whether or not the society is highlydeveloped.
• One is in a rat race to earn more and is forced to cope with stress and other tensions related to work.
• Hyper consumerism also leads to ecological imbalances. The need to build more buildings and create more goods to cover the increasing consumer demands is destroying the natural habitat and affecting the climate.
How to Restore Balance
We can mend our ways and restore balance in our society and culture. For this, we must look for a purpose in our life. Everyone has to make some changes in their perspective. We should learn to look beyond the gains associated with physical comforts. Creating such a mindset is certainly not an easy task but it is not impossible either.
The rough phase of world economy provided us some invaluable lessons that all the tangible things that the world has to offer may go some day but still we have the strength within us to survive despite the challenging circumstances. There are many things that matter more than any other material profits in life. We need to prioritize hard work and forgo pursuing shortcuts to achieve success. There is a sense of honesty and truth associated with hard work which can give us immense gratification.
To avoid creating deceptive, unbalanced outcomes in our society and culture, we must focus on the non-physical aspects of our life. Lack of knowledge of such aspects can lead to the downfall of not only an individual but society as a whole. Spirituality helps us to realize our real identity. Philosophy and spiritualism have always emphasized simplicity. Gandhian values and principles favor a non-materialistic approach to life. Even well-known sages have also eulogized simplicity in one’s thinking and lifestyle.
The actual solution of the problems can be obtained via self-analysis. With introspection, we can recognize our real selves that lie within us in dormant condition and learn to look beyond material gains. In this way, we can prevent the influence of consumerism from hindering our inner growth.
Final Thoughts on Negative Values and Hyper Consumerism
Today, we live in a hyper consumerism society. The increasing demands for materialistic goods and status that comes with themcreate unbalanced outcomes in our culture. But there is a way to prevent the negative values generated. By identifying problems via introspection and remaining intact with ourselves, we can make progress. That is what social activism should be about. Making mental wellbeing a topic should be a top priority and it should be discussed in an encouraging and productive environment.
Establishing the realization that Negative Values and Hyper Consumerism severely affects mental wellbeing is the first step to living life more mindfully, no matter the state of the economy we live in. Till next time!–The Black Sheep