As we wrote in the post “Many want more”, our shopping behavior is largely about social affirmation and that we often compare ourselves with others. We’ll go into social media a little deeper to try to understand the connection between our feelings and our behavior.
We build our identity on what we own
The consumer society that prevails has gone so far that our entire identity and social status is based on the brands we own and the gadgets we have. Most of all, we should show our lives on social media to get confirmation as well, we really do well. The trip abroad, the luxurious drinks, the brand name and the new car.
Social media is simply increasing the need for constant self-affirmation, which is one of the biggest concerns of our time – especially for children and young people who are highly valued by social status. It has even gone so far that many people believe that high consumption exceeds work success in terms of social status. If it seems from the outside that we have a lot of money and can afford to buy a lot of things – then we simply get more confirmation.
The back of social media
Social media makes consumption visible and strengthens the social comparison. We are constantly fed with both pictures and advertisements on gadgets and experiences that everyone else has and does. We unconsciously begin to compare ourselves to others and are affected significantly more than we think. We see how the neighbors have done about their rebate and start to immediately think about what we can do for our own, even though we have never even cared much about our rebate. Moreover, marketers are experts in understanding our needs and our emotions.
By staying on social media, we give the companies the opportunity to share our personal information and behavior, and thus direct the advertising directly in our direction – personally adapted to just get stuck and to create a relationship with us. In addition, marketers often use influencers who write about the products and give a completely different credibility than the brand itself writes about their product.
What the consumer needs to understand is that the influencer himself has not paid for the product and that it is about pure marketing. Nevertheless, we follow this person for a reason and have confidence in them, and the habegear is not far away. Best of all? The product is only a couple of button presses away – and in addition, it can be purchased on invoice.
Hard for many – but gadgets do not make us happy
Many people live with limited finances and have difficulty coping with the prevailing consumer pressure. Instead, a dissatisfaction and a feeling of envy is created, it is inevitable. For those living with limited finances, try to focus and prioritize instead.
You will not feel better because you have more gadgets. Gadgets don’t make us happy, experiences do. And an experience may as well be about lovely evenings on the balcony with those we love as a trip abroad to Thailand. However, it is worth investing in and borrowing for things that last, like dishwashers for example.
Does social media make us consume more? Yes, probably. But above all, it creates a social divide between those who have the opportunity to buy a lot, and those who cannot.