Consumerist culture is dangerous for the true meaning of Christmas | Opinion






(Gabriela Mendoza / Daily Titan)


With the holiday season fast approaching and Christmas decorations decorating stores, we are in peace ahead of the consumer storm.

Businesses are already taking advantage of this time of year by pushing ads for unnecessary products down consumers’ throats, touting Black Friday deals that feature heavily priced items like cell phones and smart TVs.

However, since consumers easily slip into the vacation schedule of capitalism, they completely ignore time spent with family members and instead feed on the materialistic culture.

The Black Friday spending spree began with stores opening on Thanksgiving night, which always produced countless videos of crazy shoppers flocking to stores and sometimes arguing over items. Since then it has evolved into obsessive online shopping that starts much earlier, which in the guise of convenience is actually easier to lose sight of the spending.

According to Adobe Analytics, there is an expected record of online shopping this year. Online shopping has improved by 10% compared to last year. Online spending is likely to exceed $ 200 billion between November and December.

Spiraling through the hole of materialism, televisions, smartphones and smartwatches are the three most popular Black Friday tech giveaways in 2020.

There was a time when phones and televisions were big buys that were worth it because of their durability. Before the invention of smartphones, most of these early technologies were supposed to last a long time.

Now, this period is driven by consumerism and the desire to always have the latest and greatest in technology. Every year Apple or Samsung find new ways to convince people that they need to upgrade their phones, forcing them to shell out over $ 1,000 more.

TV manufacturers are coming up with new features like built-in Wi-Fi or larger screens to create an unnecessary need that becomes endless.

As consumers attempt to create home theater experiences with larger screens, the number of homes with 70- to 79-inch TVs has jumped to 22%, from 9% in 2018 and 16% in 2019, according to Adobe Analytics. The number of televisions over 80 inches also increased, from 1% last year to 3%.

The constant cycle of updated electronics fuels the desire for the next new thing. The emphasis on replacing old but functional products with new ones prioritizes consumerism over connection or efficiency.

With the increasing popularity of new technologies, things will continually get worse. Not only is the need to upgrade technology every year detrimental to our society; But so does the stress that comes with Christmas shopping. Even broke students who barely manage to pay their rent can get sucked into the mass culture of consumerism.

It’s far too easy to give in after being crushed by so many advertisements that turn into temptations. The temptation becomes so strong that it becomes easy to buy items now and pay for them later.

National credit card debt currently stood at $ 804 billion as of Nov. 9, according to Lending Tree, and will likely increase during the holiday season. Along with the obvious credit card options, popular platforms like PayPal now offer credit installment plans that allow consumers to delay interest-free payments on their items.

According to Adobe Analytics, buy-now and late-checkout revenue is 45% higher than 2019 and 10% higher than last year as the payment method continues to grow.

Nothing better than making a loved one happy with an awesome gift, but sometimes the value of the gift exceeds the value of just being there for each other.

After last year, with all the families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, we should be more grateful for each other’s company and less willing to give in to the corporate mascot of Christmas.

There’s no denying the value of Christmas to those who are religious, but materialistic culture has given gifts and entertaining an expensive turn.

Instead of buying gifts for each other, we should focus on making memories with each other – an intangible gift that will last much longer than this year’s Apple Watch.

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