Enjoying More by Buying Less? Transitioning to Post-Consumerism

simplicity and post-consumerism

On this Memorial Day long weekend, we did the unusual: no shopping trip.

Why?

It’s simply because we don’t really feel like needing anything that justifies fighting with the crowd during the festive sale. And somehow, we also don’t have any fear of missing of missing out either.

This phenomenon might be related to the post-consumerism and/or minimalism lifestyle that has been catching my attention since a few years ago. If we compare the scorecard with the signs that we might be a minimalist, it awkwardly resembles a little bit of what my lifestyle currently is:

No TV, let alone cable.

I left home when I was 18, and since then, I never own a single TV. Nope, not interested. Why do you need someone to tell you what to watch, when with YouTube you can choose what you want to watch anyways, for free?  Paying for cable even more confusing to me. In this day and age of Netflix, what’s the point? If it is for news, all you need to do is to fire up your phone and do a quick search for whatever news channel you want to get informed with.

Grocery shopping is a huge time-sucker.

As I wrote in this Costco post, I try to minimize grocery trips. All the decisions to be made, the back-and-forth walks, the paying process… I can’t walk into any grocery store without a list. I usually put what needs to be bought in a Google Keep list and grab those as fast as possible.

Scheduling time for “nothing”

This came to my surprise that according to the article, scheduling time for nothing or just for yourself is a sign of a minimalist. My husband and my close friends know that I need at least 1 day of the week to stay at home in peace. No obligatory social events or (gasp!) grocery trips. This is the minimum to keep my sanity checked and give enough to reflect, read, or write. Give me more downtime and I shall use the time to work in my utmost ideal capacity.

Clutter makes me crazy.

Not in the extreme that everything needs to be absolutely neat and perfect, but I have a secret hobby: throwing away things. Brochures, wrappers, unused boxes – I freaking love putting them in the trashcan. As if one life problem is gone. I also despise things that provide no practical use.

Therefore, home decor is a struggle area –  just don’t see much utility of putting out vases or displaying fancy color plates. Sentimental items are fine, such as a mini teddy bear from one of our monthiversary back in the days. I put it to decorate my vanity, along with the preserved rose he gave me last birthday. But, that’s it. For the wedding, we specifically order unisex leather pouches for the guests that they can store phone, money and a little book and go out with style.

Is this the new normal?

If we consider the big picture, 16% of the global population consumes more than 80% of the resources. What’s even scarier, free time is a threat to the economy in the hedonistic society. It’s when one can be content not having to spend anything at a given time. In its essence, when we feel “enough”.

I have seen a big spiritual movement of embracing imperfections, feeling enough, and live more bravely. Best indicated by the rising popularity of Dr. Brene Brown, an advocate of the approach. On the consumer side, the fact that The Minimalist has gained over 20 million followers definitely tells something.

If this post-consumerism movement gains momentum, here’s what I predict: more people will care about quality over quantity. Since we are buying less, whatever we buy must serve its purpose. Or better yet – to be an investment piece (a.k.a buy once for life).

I am personally curious about how the mobile phone market matures. We have seen the insane growth and buzz during the early generations of iPhone and iPad, but it looks like the craze has slowed down. I’d like to know to what point will the general mass stop and say, “This is just a tool for me to communicate, mainly via internet! I don’t need to change this thing every goddamn year.”

The fact Apple they need to forcefully slow down old iPhones so people feel the need to buy the new mode, or how phone makers come to a consensus that phone battery needs to be permanent, also tells something.

Can’t wait to see what I will become at the end of the year. Will I still hold true to the post-consumerism? Or would I budge a little but a splurge a little? We’ll see.

Do you experience the same unconscious move to post-consumerism? let me know in the comments!

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