Tuesday, April 26, 2011

nobody without my stuff

25/4.2011 - exhausted by all the sunshine

i heard about a study today about consumerism and identity and how so much of who we are today is defined by what we buy. even if you decide you're not going to buy stuff, you're just building another identity and it's still about you as a (non)consumer. how can we get away from consuming and just be?

it's dizzying when you start to think about it. when i put organic milk in my basket or sew with organic fabric or drink fair trade coffee, i'm signaling my identity. our car, my bike, my camera, my computer (definitely), my phone - all send signals of who i am. it frightens me a little bit to think that i might not even know who i was without my stuff.

13 comments:

poet said...

Me too. My books, my refashioned clothes, and the pictures in my room and on my hard drive are all extensions of my soul, and it would feel very painful to let go of them...

Bill said...

I'm getting ready to sell everything I own. Does that mean I'll cease to exist?

Abigail said...

What do you think that implies about those who can't afford choices?

julochka said...

poet - i'm with you. i wouldn't have the first idea of how to let go of all these things, tho' i'd like to stop buying new ones.

bill - are you really selling all your stuff?

abigail - that was an aspect of the radio program i heard about the study...they actually said that everyone makes choices that reflect their identity within their means...think of groups that don't have much money (students come to mind) and how they build their identities within their means. of course this was a study in denmark and didn't reflect anyone who REALLY doesn't have a choice..like in a governmentless country like somalia. but i find the whole thing scary!

Bill said...

Yes, I think so, we've reached some sort of tipping point. For awhile we held on to certain things because they were investments. Now that the economy is ruined many things no longer have significant dollar value.

In part it's about downsizing and the need to change. Also, an uncluttered (unfilled) house might be a fun change of pace.

eBay no longer is a seller's site ... If I had a non-blog website I might use that as a store front.

foto-sh said...

yes sometimes I feel like you ..it frightens me .. when I put some fotos on facebook bout denmark .. suddenly advertisement from denark came .. bye

Karen said...

Well, if this is who I am WITH all my "things"... that's ok then, cause I don't want to part with them, organic and not.

Karen Turner said...

How interesting. To me, it seems that what you buy (or don't buy) is more about what you stand for, what you believe in, what your values are, rather than who you are - although I can see that to some people those might all turn out to equate to the same thing. Maybe it's an introvert/extravert thing, where an introvert's inner world is more 'real' than the outer one and vice versa. Thus, to an introvert, what you have and what you are are always quite separate. Hope I haven't been too outspoken here!

Sammi said...

Indeed. Like the whole BlackBerry v. iPhone debate!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Ah, great minds think alike -- my post today is about . . . stuff.

Abigail said...

Students are the least of my concern! I'm thinking those who are simply trying to support themselves and their children, period. I honestly can't conceive of the problem of too much stuff, but I guess I could relate to disliking clutter.

M said...

sorry... here is a depressing article - brands matter when people are judging you....

http://www.economist.com/node/18483423?story_id=18483423

Char said...

i love those curly petals