The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Consumerism: A love-hate relationship

Consumerism is a double-edged sword as we are constantly searching for items to elicit happiness, yet most items only result in short-term satisfaction. 


According to a “Happiness and Consumption” study done by Ruut Veenhoven, research found that smaller scale recreational spending brings more enjoyment compared to other expenditures, such as bills or larger investments. It is no surprise that our generation finds joy in purchasing tangible items and experiences after using most of their paycheck on basic needs. 


Enjoying the purchasing process is not the true root of the problem, but rather how our heavy dependence on it affects product quality. Our reliance on affordability and convenience results in lower quality goods with synthetic materials, especially in mass production. 


Mass production in the form of fast fashion has been a recent uproar due to the ethical concerns resulting from sweatshops but is also an issue due to cheap manufactured items with little longevity. A return on investment has little existence as synthetic materials create an issue regarding durability.  


Affordability simply cannot ensure durability or versatility, but some people feel as though they have little choice due to financial circumstances. 


Large corporations are so focused on producing the “newest” products consistently in their market that they forget to focus on durability. Many brands know people will purchase their item solely because it is the newest in line and do not care if there is little differentiation to their last product. 


The lack of versatility or practicality in products bugs me most around Halloween, as many people will purchase a costume to wear once without considering its long-term practicality. I find it more creative to see people use existing items or purchase practical pieces similar to their everyday style that can be reused. 


I am also victim to making impulsive purchases, so considering the long-term investment I am making before purchasing allows me to evaluate how much enjoyment I will actually receive. I believe it is important to note my concerns might not be everyone’s perception, as we each have different priorities. 


Although I love conscious consumerism, I hope our generation will become open to upcycling, creating or reusing personal items instead of relying on mass production companies for short-term satisfaction with poorly made products. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Chanticleer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *