The consumerist culture has been in existence for decades worldwide, though it is popular in the United States and other Western Nations. The perception of consumerism has become part of the part of society’s lifestyle which people can embrace to acquire goods which they do not need. According to Firat, Kemal and Arikan (179), consumerist culture is the belief that the well being of people and happiness depends on the level of personal consumption. The notion is built based on the thinking that all consumers understand what they want. It creates the idea that consumer needs fashion the market, and can be defined as consumer sovereignty (Firat, Kemal and Arikan 181). However, consumerist culture affects people’s healthy life and can damage a good future. It is useful to the economy since it encourages people to spend. On the same note, it can increase personal debt since it encourages overspending.
Research has established that consumerist culture negatively affects consumers and therefore, it can lead to overspending which can result in an accumulation of debt. Therefore, because of debts and overspending, it slows personal growth (Singh 16). Most marketers believe that consumers do not know what they want, and consequently, they must be told or persuaded by an advertisement which increases the spending rate of most people. As per one of the most successful entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, “people usually do not know what they want until they are shown to them.” With this argument consumers are usually in a state of limbo, wanting to buy any goods being advertised. Therefore, it facilitates overspending by consumer hence people utilize their incomes buying things they do not need instead of saving their incomes for personal growth and living within their means (Goodwin, Julie and Frank 25). Eventually, it creates an imbalance in the economy where people work buying goods or properties they do not even have any plan but simply because it was advertised on the media.
Several studies have also shown that Americans are at the center of consumerism and advertisement which influences the consumption of several products. According to Rumbo (132), consumerism culture can result to an unhealthy eating habit which can cause obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic diseases. This makes consumerism culture dangerous to consumers and should be avoided. However, defenders of consumers argue that it informs consumers so that they can make an informed decision regarding products in the market to avoid being exploited. For instance, research has indicated that some fast food can easily cause heart disease as a result of a lot of fats. It is evidence that several fast foods which are usually being advertised on social media can easily cause diabetes and obesity which are a health condition which can be fatal. Therefore, consumerist culture has never been good and can disastrous and fatal if not addressed a properly as required. It, thus, it reduces the quality of human being and increases chances of getting some disease which is related to consumption of a lot of fat or sugar.
Most importantly, consumerism culture can increase the rate of crime in the society. Research has indicated that consumerism creates an urge to possess devices, such as mobile phone, cars, and other electronics. Since an individual cannot afford, one can decide to steal due to pressure to have expensive gadgets. This makes consumerism culture a bad thing in the society which should not be encouraged. However, defenders of consumerist culture argue that society is already rotten with or without consumerism culture and therefore, arguing that it increases crime can means that consumerism has been there from the 1860s which is not possible. However, research has proofed that consumerism can increase crime and therefore, any argument should be supported with studies which defenders of consumers have failed to avail.
However, some people argue that consumerist culture drives the economy of a country since it encourages people to spend more money. As stated by Rumbo (135) through spending the country could easily get out of recession through a collection of taxes which are used to build a nation. Therefore, consumerist culture is essential for economic growth, and it should be encouraged. The proponent of consumerist culture regards the perception that it leads to overspending as tactics applied by people to avoid purchasing products and living below his or her mean. Therefore, consumer culture is a noble concept which is used to build a country’s economy. For instance, if the purchasing power of a nation is low, the GDP will be stagnant, and the possibility of a country tumbling to recession is high. It is argued that through advertisement and marketing, consumers get to have a lot of urge to purchase specific products which result in consumerism culture and therefore, consumerism is built by marketing and advertisement which result to a better an economic growth of nature.
Consumer culture also encourages people to view purchasing products as a bonding experience, where people can take their time off to discuss and know each other better. According to Smart (15), shopping with friend or relatives makes people get together to understand a thing and therefore, consumer culture plays an essential role in the social phenomenon, not just an economic part alone. For instance, when friends go out for shopping, they listen to each other more often and consult which can help in creating inseparable link and understanding in the society (Smart 30). It is argued that consumerist culture, assist consumers to understand the market and make the right choices on the kind of products to purchase. Furthermore, consumerist culture is just informing the consumers on the available choices while the decision remains with a consumer on whether to purchase a product or not. Therefore, consumerist culture is a good insight on goods or product available in the market which should be promoted. Smart (32) further argues that consumerism indicates the link between marketing practice and dangers of consumerism which might be greater than believed to be just marketing academics.
Defenders of advertisement also argue that advertising usually promote vital information to the people regarding products in the market and therefore, it an essential part of consumerism. As stated by Karam (24), advertisement help customers in making the right decision when purchasing a product. It creates an informed society rather than destroy or misleading the consumers as portrayed by other actors. It is argued that without advertising and marketing products would not move and a consumer would not be able to know products or goods available in the market and therefore, it helps in avoiding being exploited by one company since monopoly would not be able to exist in the market for a longer time. For instance, Coca-Cola spends USD twelve billion every financial for a market to create dominance and because of a free society, Pepsi and the rest still get their share in the market. It is the essence of having marketing and advertising in the society (Karam 20).
In conclusion, people have raised concerns about consumerism, and several of them believe that consumerism is linked related to the rate reduced well being of consumers. Research has shown that consumerism influence consumers to involve in unhealthy diet such as consumption of a lot of fast food which can affect people’s life leading to several diseases. It is also argued that consumerism culture is bad for the economic growth because it leads to overspending without thinking of saving some income for future growth. However, defenders of consumerist culture argue that it help in strengthening the economy since it urges people to spend hence a lot of money in circulation which can result to increase economic growth. Nevertheless, it is essential to the point that consumerism culture has existed in the western nation and has been part of their culture. Therefore, it is good to practice consumerism with a lot of constraints since its effect can be a long term which can have a more significant impact to the society if not appropriately managed. It is, therefore, evidence consumerism culture has bad effect to the society and should be avoided by all cost.
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