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De-Influencing Yourself

Don’t be easily influenced; empty your shopping carts! 

By Meron Nephtalem 

Photo By Oscar Fang

“What shoes are we wearing this summer?” These questions are circulating on social media, and while many overlook this phenomenon as merely social media users’ attempts to stay in the loop about the hottest trends or draw inspiration from each other, in reality, these simple questions perpetuate consumerism and unhealthy spending habits. 

A prime example of this is the Stanley Cup — this is not to shame anyone who owns one, but it’s a notable example of overconsumption. The Stanley Cup is like any other insulated cup, but its popularity on the internet and branding as a “must-have” have led to its incredible success. 

Social media has increased consumerism all around. Consumerism is the idea that increased consumption and spending is beneficial for economic growth. While consumerism benefits the economy, it creates huge amounts of waste and increases materialism. People need to remember that influencers are paid thousands to promote items, and these items might be completely mediocre or unnecessary for all we know. 

FOMO is real. When we see people on the internet or our friends own something popular, we want it too — it’s human nature. And it’s easy to indulge in material goods nowadays with Amazon and TikTok Shop. I would be lying if I said I am not also easily influenced. I have unfortunately fallen victim to purchasing several products I have seen advertised on the internet. However, once we stop associating a product’s popularity with its necessity or practicality, we can break free of a consumerist society. 

Perhaps the real issue is the collective increase in social media use, as one of its main detrimental effects is overconsumption. While I’m not suggesting you should not buy things you like, I advise you to be smart about your spending choices. Ask yourself, “Would I even have thought about buying this item if I didn’t see it being promoted?”

Flip the script this year and think before you buy!


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