Our son Ben (12) is now officially being home schooled, and he loves it. We have been studying consumerism this week, and I set Ben a task of watching the documentary “What Would Jesus Buy?” which I wrote about in this post many moons ago.
After he finished watching it, I set him an essay to write with the question, “What is the main reason for the rapid growth of the consumer culture?“
Ben wrote one of the best essays I have ever read for a lad his age, and I am not being biased at all 😉 He said that I could share it all with you. So here goes:
“On the 25th December Jesus was born and this day became known as Christmas. Christmas was all about love and family time, but with the invention of advertising everything changed massively, which means people are no longer happy just being together.
The effect of advertising has overcome most of us and we are consuming too much and shops are being taken over by industries like Wal-Mart or Disney and hardly anything is being made local, it now comes from places like India and China.
People are starting to think that Christmas is all about buying lots of expensive gifts for each other and confusing this with love, but this is not the point and people don’t understand. Advertising is getting out of control; you can see advertisement basically anywhere like magazines or television or even bill boards, this is making people shopaholics! People are wasting a lot of money and they should really try to spend their money wisely and get the most out of their money. Another bad thing that people are doing is using credit cards to buy lots of things on them, but they are getting into debt and this causes other problems like having no money to pay for their normal household bills.
I honestly think there are five points that make ads draw you in:
- Detailed words
- A picture showing a product
- Good value (because it’s imported)
- Adjectives: such as “You must have” “The new craze” “get it and it will change your life”
- And most of all, its purpose!
Let’s talk about cheap labour now and to explain this lets begin with China for example poor people are working in sweat shop making toys or clothes. If people knew how much abuse and work it takes to make these things people might finally switch to buying local things!
Another thing about cheap labour is that they put so much work into something they then send it off to America or somewhere else and the shop charges more money for it, like $10 while the person in China only gets paid like 30 cents which is very sad. Another sad thing is that people are getting killed by shopping because people are rushing into stores and pushing just so they can get limited edition or things that are nearly out of stock or on sale!
My summary of this story is to return Christmas the way it use to be, people need to stop spending money and maybe they should start making local things instead of buying Chinese toys/TVs/Clothing which breaks very easily and are often thrown away which then causes more pollution.
And last thing DON’T FALL FOR ADVERTISING!”