The Ever-Changing Market: Harm to Minimalism

When I was a kid, PlayStation One was phenomenal. Nearly every family in my neighborhood had one, myself included. Everyday, I would sneak in at least an hour of game time (unless my parents said no, because I was so naïve and obedient) immediately after I reached home from school. That was until PS2 came. Soon enough, PS1 was disregarded, replaced by the then-brand-new PS2.

I believe we’ve all been there: we kept pursuing for the latest trends in the market. The world we live in today is an ultra-dynamic world, with new products arriving from everywhere and advertisements psychologically convincing us of any product’s pros. Because of this, we develop the fear of missing out on the latest technologies, the latest fashion trends, the latest songs. Everyone became so fixated on having the best that they became increasingly impulsive and materialistic. Everyone starts to forget what is really important in life, more important than any possessions on earth.

Excessive consumerism is the reason. The reason why “having is rewarding”. The reason why people became possession-centered. The reason why minimalists are fighting an uphill battle. And because of it, a never-ending cycle of skyrocketing demands, expeditiously expanding markets and excessive consumerism emerged.

Material objects constantly promise a sense of well-being, which is true to some extent. They do offer something, but that something rarely has any significance for a greater purpose in life, which is why we should let them go.

As minimalists, our surroundings do not exactly promote the act of minimalism. It is up to us to go forth and be different. We have to stop chasing after the wind, right now, stand by our roots and search for the true meaning.

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3 thoughts on “The Ever-Changing Market: Harm to Minimalism

  1. Pingback: Year in Review: 2014 | Needs Over Wants

  2. Good points. I would make two comparisons here. Materialism:Minimalism::Promiscuity:Monogamy and Materialism:Minimalism::Binge Eating:Gourmet Eating. It’s not that possessions are bad per se. It’s mindless acquisition of possessions that is bad. Being deliberate and selective means that any possession, whether it’s a family heirloom or a PS1, can be cherished and can improve the quality of life. But when acquisition becomes externally driven, either by advertising or by lousy habits (compulsive shopping) or even misperception of wealth (I have a credit card so if I buy 20 CD’s it’s not “real” money) then we begin to acquire things that we will cherish for 15 minutes before moving onto the next thing.

    • Thanks for the valuable input, Bruce. What you said is very true. In the world that knows no rest, everything starts to run automatically, even our minds. Lots of people kept falling into “the spending trap” because the external stimuli (advertisements and such) put our minds on auto-pilot when it comes to our purchases (that thing is good, I want one). The only way to get out of this devious trap is to be mindful and carefully consider what benefits an object can provide us, and that’s what minimalist spending is all about.

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