Shopping once used to be a two or three time event in a year. The feeling of ecstacy when daddy says 'we'll go diwali shopping on saturday' is all a thing of the past. Shopping seems to be a part of regular activities now.
To make the matters worse, the media keeps tossing products after products through the idiot box. The media seems to dictate what one must possess for a "comfortable" living. Advertising agency are real smart these days, they market saying what you already have is worthless but the sad part is that consumers never wake up to realise this. It was alright when it was only advertisements, but i was taken aback by two recent shows on TV.
One was Neeya-Naana 'compulsive shopping' was the topic for the day. I couldn't believe that people of chennai were shopping for 'dress for seasons'. As far as I know chennai only has three weather conditions - Hot, Hotter, Hottest. I can't imagine when one'd wear winter clothes there!! This atleast was a discussion with personal views. The other show infact left me a bit annoyed - that was 'kondattam' show in Sun TV. Thats a show for comedy clips, where the host would talk on a totally unrelated topic for the whole 30 mins. This day, she was talking about how to decorate your house. Thankfully, I just watched the last 10 mins, and she was talking about curtains. Curtains, carpets and stuff like that once used to be in bungalows. It is good that they have reached all walks of life now - no complaints there. But she went on saying how boring it can be to keep seeing the same curtain all through the year and went on to counsel how one should have atleast(!?) 4 sets of curtains.
It is indeed disheartening that China keeps chucking its produce and we are becoming the no.1 consumers in the world. Prudent shopping and frugality have no meaning to the younger India now. If you can spare 20 mins of your time, try watching the video at http://www.storyofstuff.com - it is done with brilliant animation and very meaningful presentation.
The shopping mania has grown to an extent that it is now classified as a disease - CSD (Compulsive Shopping Disorder). So the next time when you see an ad that says "Shop till you Drop" remember to run as fast in the opposite direction :) - These guys want you to be "Shopaholics" - Yes if there is a name for the disease, it is bound that the patient would also get a fancy name Right? So the next time you go on a shopping spree,
- Have a list of things you want to buy,
- Think twice if you indeed want that stuff and
- PAY IN CASH - then you will know the pain in spending.
The rise of credit cards is the major causing agent for this disease! One keeps spending imaginary money building on debts.
Even though I can come very close to be a CSD patient, I wanted to write this. I have resolved to exercise control over the disease atleast at a personal level if not extend it to my spouse - and so far it has been good. (our last two shopping excursions at walmart was less than $5 - definitely there is a scope for improvement)