Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thinking Beyond The Crowd

Last time, I wrote about the importance for us to think for ourselves so that we could make increasingly educated decisions about what we buy and what we will and will not tolerate when it comes to our consumeristic culture.
Today, I will reflect on what this really means for individuals in their daily living. How can individuals make sure that they are not manipulated by the media and by advertisers? Is it difficult to make our own decisions? Are we, as consumers, even encouraged or given the opportunity to make our own choices?
Well, I think that advertisers would really wish that we weren't overly reflective. This is mostly because if we are reflective, we may not buy some of the products that they are trying to sell. But is this necessarily a bad thing? Perhaps it is a bad thing for advertisers, but is it bad for the reflective consumer?
I would argue that it is not only a good thing for individuals to become much more reflective about what they are purchasing but it is necessary for financial livelihood. It is difficult, if not impossible, to save money or to afford to live comfortably if we are constantly buying the next best technological gadget on the market.
As reflective individuals, it is important for us to take our time and think about whether we need a particular product. To reflect, is to suspend decision about whether or not to purchase something until we have thought about whether we:
1. Need the product.
2. Can afford the product.
3. Can manage without the product.
4. Don't need right now anyway because it is a luxury item.
Once we have decided which category the particular product fits into, we should
suspend making a decision about whether or not to purchase the product for at least twenty four to forty eight hours so that we could make a more informed decision. This time frame should will give each of us a sufficient amount of time to make an informed and autonomous decision.
Wouldn't it feel better if you bought a product that you know that you really need as opposed to being manipulated by the media to buy things that you can't afford anyway?
Let's all start thinking beyond the crowd. You'll be glad that you did.

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