Consumer Culture essay
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Effects of consumer culture to my daily life, my expenditure and the life of my children.
Consumer culture should never be confused with any of the two elements; materialism and consumerism. Materialism is the desire to acquire more and more property and money with satisfaction in short as Russell Belk (1985) puts it and I quote "the importance a consumer attaches worldly possessions." More and more is never enough. The person's life is eventually tithed around a desire to acquire more and new things in essence. It should be note that consumer culture is a strong association between people and material goods and services. Therefore buying of good and selling of goods and services cease to just being a principal activity but a strong crucial judge of social stratification, worth and connotation.
I have observed that consumer culture is slow changing our society organization where they ultimate victims of its effect are our kids. We tend to rob them off our time with them, our attention are totally focused to ways and means of perfecting our art of consumerism. On the other hand it is becoming clear over the years that children in our midst are the major casualties owing to the images they see in the media and the resultant expectations they portray leading to us adults being positioned for some consumer habits that would never have featured in our plans (Barbra 321). With my children being enticed by the visual images of unhealthy foods being advertised on a daily basis in the various media channels I am forced to make a purchase of the same and subsequently put up measures to monitor their restricted movements due to television watching. With children being less active they become vulnerable to health complications just like unhealthy foods do. In all this I have also noticed an aspect of positivity being laid down to the children other than the predominant negative aspects that influence the consumption culture of my children. This results from a host of educative and useful material being encouraged by the media and the part of it that invites a critical approach in encountering issues as observed by me.
We tend to do more impulse buying, ignite by newer fashion; radical change of taste, the culture is cemented through well developed supper highways, and all the other mode of transport and communication plus friendly market places.
I have found that most of us tend to purchase new goods and get the immediate satisfaction that come with it. For example, you purchase a new car and feel an immediate achievement or happiness that marks a level of class upgrade. However, grieve strikes when the freshness of wear and tear sets in. I find myself saddened and start the budgeting all over again for the new in fashion car that will quench my current thirst. The effect is massive to my household economy, and the circle of people who depend on me. My friend once told me to dispose "my beetle/tortoise" which happened to be my first car; the song "buy a new car that suits your status" was stressful. My family did not like it either. I can now comprehend the statements made by Allen Kanner and Mary Gomes, "the standard consumer solution is to focus on the next promising purchase."
In my spending spree though, it has come to my immediate attention that there is an irresistible driving force emanating from a combination of various factors. These factors will be credited with both irritating and fulfilling outcomes that characterize my spending. Advertising for instance, can be placed high up the ladder in aspects that often stimulate what I have come to aptly classify as impulse buying. It is really annoying to remember a situation whereby media objectives perpetuated through advertisements have been able to bring a prolonged chronic attraction to a certain commodity and the eventual acceptance to buying things I never intended in the first place. After staring at an ad carrying the portrait of a child's bicycle, it is only now that I can become conscious of the magnetic impulse that pulled the strings and led me into purchasing even though my child was way too young to ride a bicycle and I had limited money on me.
On the other hand it is important to note that impulse buying has at times led to purchasing relevant equipments. I sometimes revisit my spending habits at the time of buying and way after buying and sometimes get satisfied for making the most essential purchase thanks to media advertisements.
The effects of consumer culture are devastating. I mostly tend to purchase goods chase after peripheral riches other than spiritual richness. I have found myself at the verge of dispatching myself from my former valuable long term social class to associate with another class on the higher stratus. It is with no doubts that it's just a status symbol. Come to think of it, I have been spending almost twice or thrice of my target budget.
This eventually has a negative effect to our children especially when we think of their insurance cover, education, etc. I have found television to be totally unfair in presenting high-grade jobs. The featured occupations have high earnings and expenditure power that they wield. Nancy Signorielli (1993) research on the featured occupation in the televisions deduced that more professionals were overrated by about sixty percent on television. I can clear testify to the fact that doctors, judges, lawyers, engenderers are more featured than teachers, nurses, farmers because they are considered to be low earners.
The amount of time we spend with media devices of any sort everyday cannot be underestimated. Just think of any one occasion without your phone in hand or not walking into your house to find your lcd or television, radio, computer laptop to watch a movie with or work with your life would almost seem unlivable. The reason for this is that we depend on media more than we can even notice and its influence is so big to be underscored.
Basically media would describe all this gadgets we use to pass information to masses in electronic or print form. Owing to advances in technology the variety of media has grown from what it was decades ago. They include; Radio tvs, computers, ipads, ipods, mobile phones, newspapers and magazines etc this is precisely why I choose to discuss the media in our lives. The role of media is well known to us from the many applications we use everyday. The media is so effective in influencing behavior, lifestyle and even perceptions in the fastest way. Media has its brought with it a much better life but also its consequences feature prominently.
Majority of us strive to make contact with a newspaper and television every day firms use media to place the variety, perceptions and the information of their products which then goes on to influence our habits the choice of lifestyle one leads. For instance we are in the valentine season and therefore firms selling chocolate will rush to advertise and market their products in to the public who otherwise would be too busy to notice the shopping malls are decorated in red.
An advertisement placed on television a couple of times will definitely be an impetus to purchase a product. Naturally I have to log on to a social site to chat with my friends and it keeps me busy when am lost for something to do. if you are seated in a group of individuals chances are that at least one is on facebook or twitter. Once in the site how often do you miss an advert on some oncoming concert to be held and thus you go on to get tickets for yourself. Media influenced you into doing so.
The various forms of media that I encounter in my daily endeavors therefore hold great significance and do not only qualify as lethargic or negative in nature. In other words this implies their tendency to be reliable in terms of relaying important information when it matters most. Over the years I have been able to get several deals with accurate prices tags and the ideal locations to get them (Gupta 346). These have included cars and other machines but above all the media helps me in pinpointing the best discounts in town at the intended time. They also materialize my day to day searches by hinting at the most possible avenue to follow for certain gains.
These gains include my long stint at job hunting and the crucial leads that the media brought to the table regardless of whether I managed to secure the employments or not. I have also developed a sense of absolute dependence on the media advertisements for detailed information on certain products and their effects. This includes the best remedial measures to take for say some kind of disease and the kind of impact related to its application. As the media channels continue to widen their scope and flexibility with aspects like the internet I am now entitled to posting a question on the internet and wait for the answers instantly.
As my consumer habits continue to engage in a diversification battle it is becoming apparent that I am bound to possibly incline towards the emerging trends the media has on offer. In my point of view the pictures displayed in the media have a greater role to play in influencing my decisions in terms of consuming and the repercussions that accompany the issue. Having to listen to the verbal and written messages alongside a detailed account of pictorial images is certainly bound to influence my decisions on what I purchase. Pictures obviously invite a participatory sense of view from the prospective consumers. For instance I am picturing a situation whereby all the cameras being installed in modern times for the purpose of motion picture were fully put to use. It would instigate situations like breaking news that depict an immediate situation of weather change and the subsequent purchase of weather jackets, for instance, for which I doubt whether my consumer tactics would withstand (Steve 229).
In conclusion I can comfortably state that my personal relationship with factors in the media that influence my consumer culture is one that requires a great deal of scrutiny to fully achieve the intended choice. This is due to the nature of interwoven reactions poised to generally affect my choices that of my kid and the tendency to conform to media delicacies that continuously knock on my door either directly or indirectly through the influence of my friends. A great deal of critical thinking and analysis is unavoidable in fulfilling my desires in the most appropriate way.
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