Consumers versus, well, what?

I was rooting through Zenhabits to wake myself up this morning and I found and article called "we are not consumers" that really interested me.

What about the question of whether we should be buying or not? That gets thrown out the window, because it’s already assumed in the term: we’re consumers. Of course we buy. It’s just a matter of how, how much, where, from whom, how often.

But if we stop thinking of ourselves as consumers, and start calling ourselves “people”, then we open up the question. Should we even buy in the first place? Is it possible to live a life without buying?

I struggle with this. I don't like buying things, and yet, I'm bombarded with media claiming I do. A society built around my buying power is hard to ignore.

The consumer mindset hat that I'm wearing would make me focus on the weaknesses that the Cowon MP3 player I've been considering does not have but the iPod does.

It's all about the upgrade push. Why keep using and repairing old hardware in perpetuity when you can have a computer the size of your portable hard drive? It's so easy and just requires one easy payment! One little debit card number and your problems will be solved!

These tapes start playing in our head and we get so backwards thinking that, to be happy, or better, or whatever, we need to be buying things and being consumers. So lets replace those tapes.

My problems will not be solved by buying things. In fact, buying things can often make my problems bigger and more challenging.

I am not a consumer.

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