From Consuming Things to Consuming Experiences

I’ve noticed a trend. In my response against consumerism and hating collecting items or my opposition about buying unnecessary goods, I have caught myself falling for another kind of consumption that isn’t healthy. It’s the insistent need for me to continually want and have new experiences. Whether it be extreme sports, traveling to wild places or putting myself in compromising situations, I seem to be treating these experiences as someone would treat a new shirt at a mall. I browse through them on the internet, I brag about them to all my friends, and sometimes I take pictures of them and put them on my wall at home and experiences become what we use to prove our worth and validity as being educated and wise to the world.

I’m wondering that if in the rebellion against consumerism, there is a large majority of us who found an outlet through experience. We still get all the same feelings as those who are addicted to things, but in our world it’s a bit more socially acceptable to be addicted to experiences than it is material goods. The problem with this, even more so than things, experiences come as options to those who are privileged. I can jump on a plane and have the experience of seeing a handmade drum be played and carved by the same person and then handed to me and that gives me the same sort of fulfillment as someone who just purchases the drum for no other reason besides the fact that they needed to buy something here back at home. Then there is the guy who made the drum. He sleeps on cement behind his store. He may never have the option to be addicted to buying things or to flying all over the world.

I’m left with the question, do I really want to use my privilege as an opportunity just to fulfill my desire to consume more experiences? Probably not. So there you have it. There is no way that my life in being anti-consumerism has actually turned up to be more holy or righteous. The selfishness just found another room to inhabit.

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