I used to buy magazines and I loved sifting through the pages, dipping in and out of it as the month passed. But as the print market began to feel the heave ho, I found myself replacing this with Instagram. I started by following lots of fitness accounts for ‘fitspo’, followed by food, beauty, interior design and just general lifestyle accounts. Initially I felt that it was such a great replacement for magazines but more recently, I feel that an element of the immediacy of Instagram, means that you are constantly being exposed to newness. I find myself having FOMO far more and parting with money for things that I just don’t need.
The difference with magazines is that they are curated, the content is stable and doesn’t move. The page stays the same and the items being advertised remain the same for the whole month. There isn’t a constant bombardment of new stuff, well not until another issue is released.
There are things about instagram which I think are brilliant, like the fact that I’ve been able to discover some smaller brands which make some lovely items.
I’ve been finding myself slightly grossed out about how much stuff I accumulate and why I do it. I often think about things that I have bought because of FOMO and the subsequent value it adds to my life. Did it live up to the hype? Did it add value to my life? The answer to this is always vague which in essence is a no but I’m not ready to admit it! Yet I habitually allow these patterns of behaviour to continue.
I was watching some of the London Climate Change protesters (May 2019) discuss the way in which the government has pushed a capitalist consumerist agenda, encouraging our society to want more than they need. It struck a chord with me. Am I part of this problem? I know that as I have aged I have become much better at limiting my spending and mulling over purchases a little more than instantly buying. But I still buy more than I need and this is definitely fueled by the likes of Instagram and other social media platforms.
I sometimes even justify a purchase which I know if superfluous to need by telling myself that by buying it, I am helping to keep someone in a job and an industry alive. But maybe it’s time that the consumer market did change. Growth of the market just means more people are buying stuff… but what happens to all the stuff that’s already in existence? Yes I can give it to the charity shop, but really is that just a justification for fast consumption and consumerism.
The thing is, cosmetics can’t even be passed on, unless you are giving it to family members. I do this regularly, but it acts as an enabler for me to purchase additional items. I need to stop. I need to go back to having something, using it up entirely and then purchasing something new. I don’t think this needs to be the case for everything, I think there is definitely room for a few foundations depending on coverage and season, but I can definitely scale down and use up stuff that is already stacked up. Since January when I got Kondoed, I felt such a sense of release when everything was more edited and tidy, I want to try and transfer that into my thinking about all purchases.
I’m not suggesting that I will be diligent or even mildly good at this, but I do feel a sense that I am currently part of a bigger problem of capitalist consumption and I probably need to do something about it. Also, I could save so much money! Cha-ching!
Let’s see if I can change my habits a little more, buy even less and ensure that I am getting full use out of the things that I do have. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy and I don’t think I can do a pinky finger swear on this, but I am going to try.
Have any of you had similar thoughts? Have you managed to save a small fortune by not spending money on a tonne of stuff you don’t need?