Modern Consumerism : Is It Hurting Individuality?

Can a product that you own convey a silhouette to broadcast yourself to other people?

We spend to market ourselves; we spend to demarcate; we spend to consolidate a public perception onto our identity. We pile expensive investments just so people could perceive us to the way that we want to be perceived.

Consumerism have extended to the degree of being able to quantify and qualify human personalities and traits into facts and figures for the benefit of corporations to release products to suit the people and to achieve a mass target group. This intangible study has in turn help surface companies such as Apple©, who are undisputedly, very capable in striving for design excellence, but is this phenomenon of branding hurting individuality?

We are now at an age where everybody are beginning to pick up an iPhone©, buy coffee at Starbucks©, and shop at H&M©. On one hand, kudos to human race for being able to come up with better design solutions to please a wider audience, but on the other, I feel contrived as to thinking that we have become so converged in terms of choice. Think about it, ever since the dominance of the iPhone© in the mobile phone market, makers such as Blackberry© and Sony Ericsson© face the prospect of being wiped out simply because the market has been flourishing in Apple’s favor, while the “sole survivors” have to resort to Apple-like touch screen technologies to sustain.

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How has the iPhone contribute to making feel people special especially when everyone is using it?

Therefore, with the increasing domination of products and brands as mentioned, there is a lack of the need to push people to be different anymore; people choose to drink coffee at Starbucks© because everyone else drinks coffee at Starbucks©. Personality, which makes us unique, is starting to dissipate and reduced to a state that we might wind up becoming the same person because of the huge commonality between ourselves, especially at a time where people are becoming so reliant to technologies such as smart-phones and tablets; it does not matter whether you are open-minded, conscientious, agreeable, an extravert or emotionally stable, if the trend of brands continue the way they do, the way I see it is that people have to choose a particular brand by default because its supremacy have phased out competitors.

Now, I am not trying to degrade the credentials of Geoffrey Miller and his work, I am sure his theories like The Central Six are still very much applicable and relatable to other fields other than consumerism, however, due to the result of absolute designs such as the iPhone©, I am merely suggesting that we could be challenged with the likelihood of having everyone being indifferent.

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With more and more absolute products being released to harpoon the entire world to use the same things, are psychological studies becoming increasingly irrelevant to try and understand people?

So, can a product help define you? Well, what is the point of trying to be special anymore when we are all coincided into using the same things. Identity crisis? No wonder.

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