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Shopping therapy is a well-known stress buster, and can also be utilized in small doses to ward off immediate anxiety and experience a small dose of serenity.
This includes ordering a new set of headphones just like that or shopping a few dollars extra at the supermarket buying stuff you didn’t know you needed. Behind this innocent purchasing drive lies a bigger monster of mindless consumerism.
The 1920s witnessed a trend of marketing products like deodorizers and soap by targeting people with desirability anxiety.
People were sold sex-appeal, confidence and magnetism packed as self-care products and positioned as a solution to a problem they were informed they had. This has only increased in the past decade.
Buying stuff, big or small, seems like an end goal, a fulfilment of our desires. In reality, any purchase transforms into a never-ending list of problems, as stuff needs to be fixed, returned, consumed, or bought again.
A product bought for leisure and comfort demands more of our time, energy and resources just for maintenance.
For the past century, our lives are increasingly hostage to companies with big advertising budgets.
We are told what to do, what to buy and what to eat, kept busy in the never-ending activities and pursuits like working, cooking, partying, backpacking and the stuff on our to-do list, inviting more investment both in terms of time and money.
The whole process is taking advantage of our insecurities and vanity, providing us with their own version of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’.
For decades we have been living a lifestyle of buying stuff: goods and services to take care of our real or imagined needs. We cannot get out of this behaviour as it takes years to unlearn these robust habits.
We need to identify the root cause, the source of emptiness, deprivation or sadness that makes us take refuge in mindless consumerism.
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