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Products you buy *can* make you better….

The Products You Buy

I’m sorry, I really try to not be a contrary person with the things that are shared with me, and I understand the general message the blog post is trying to make.

However, I just want to say that they are virtually wrong on every point….

  • “The products you buy will not make you smarter.”  Uh, there are books that I have to buy versus get from the library because they don’t have them.  There are also applications and such I can buy that are designed to help me learn new things, like another language or how to code better.  And of course there are the games that I buy to help my daughter learn new things.
  • “They will not make you successful.”  Um, unless they are about helping me become successful (see the first bullet point about books and such), or, and I hate to say it, but I buy or do something as a gift for someone higher than me who then promotes me.  It may not be the best thing to do, but it can work.
  • “They will not make you more attractive.”  OK, that’s a flat out lie.  Practicing good hygiene involves buying products.  And OK, perhaps they won’t make you thinner, and I do believe natural beauty is better than “fake”, but there are plenty of products out there that are designed to make you more attractive and a lot of them do.  I totally agree that you shouldn’t put all your trust in products and exercise is good, but if I want to buy some nice clothes because they look good on me I don’t want to feel bad because I just bought a “product” designed to make me look more attractive.
  • “They will not make you popular.”  …..unless you now have proper hygiene because, or the right clothes, or a book you purchased helped you realize you have the potential to meet new people, or you made a gift of something to somebody and now they know who you are.  I think they are mixing up ethics and morality with things….
  • “They will not make you a better person.”  ::sigh::  I bought a baking stone a while back.  That’s a “product” from the evil Amazon.com.  OK, it didn’t make me a better person, but I think I’m at least a slightly better person from learning how to bake bread, and sometimes that affects my popularity when I share the bread with others.  Or of course see previous points about books, applications, learning tools, etc., etc.
  • “They will not fill your hours with joy.”  ::snort::  One of the things I love to do to relax is play video games.  That is something that “really makes me happy” (most of the time), and you can’t do that without buying the system and the games.  OK, I guess it’s not helping out at the local shelter or something, but I still had fun.  And of course some of the most expensive things I’ve done have given me some of best experiences I’ve had, like traveling to various places with family and friends.

Look, I get it.  I know “you can’t buy the person you want to be”.  But this person’s blog post isn’t the way to help.  It sounds conceited, and gives the impression that you buying things is wrong.  That’s just not true.  “Keep your money in your pocket”, they say.  You know where that’s led?  The current economic downturn.

I’m serious.  Oh, I’m not talking about the initial bubble that burst.  No, I’m talking about why it’s continuing so long.  There have been various studies showing that people are saving more money and not spending as much, which technically is a good thing.  However, businesses need income to survive.  Businesses provide jobs.  Jobs give people income, which they can then go spend as businesses.  It’s a constant loop.  If people stop spending money because they are afraid of losing said jobs, they are actually endangering those jobs.  If people stop spending money at businesses, businesses have to lay off people or close their doors, and then those people who have been laid off or fired are more likely to hold on to what money they can……

It requires balance.  If you want the economy to thrive, you need to spend money.  If you want to thrive, you can’t always go around spending money and racking up your debt.  You can still live within your means and buy nice things.  It’s taken me years to really learn what that’s all about, and I’ll be digging myself out of the debt I caused from years past for years to come.

But that doesn’t mean I will stop spending.  Because if I stop spending, if I stop supporting local/national economy by keeping all of my money close, then there won’t be a local economy anymore.  They can only be there if they have money to be there.  However, I can be smart about it.

So I’m sorry that I couldn’t just read that article and leave it alone, but I dislike it when people start waggling the blame finger, regardless of the target, or when people try to apply gross over-generalizations to make a ethical or moral point.  Buying products is not a bad thing.  Thinking they are the key to happiness is (which I think is the primary point of the article), but I think the author went about it the completely wrong way.