Every day we consume anything and everything we can. Whether you consume more or less than your counterparts is up for debate. Regardless, our consumption levels have never been higher, but every day we want more.
From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we’re consuming products, information, content, you name it. The worst part is, we will never be satisfied. We always want more.
When it comes to consumer goods, certain products can’t be eliminated- shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, the like. If you want to go the holistic approach so you no longer pay for these products because you’ll be making them on your own, you’re still a consumer. You’re making a tradeoff of simplicity and efficiency for time and effort. A tradeoff millions of people aren’t willing to make, unfortunately. Nevertheless, our consumption of products has never been higher and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
It’s hard when social media plays such a large role in our society. “Influencers“, people who are paid spokespeople but people are too blind to see, drive online sales. Makeup, clothing, events, products. We see people we like and adore promoting products and because of affiliation and affection towards them, we trust their decision and become interested in what they promote. Next thing you know, your closet is filled with clothes you’ll never wear and your bank account has decreased significantly.
In terms of content, the limits are boundless. YouTube, TV, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, the list goes on. If we aren’t able to consume, we feel lost, empty, like we’re missing out. Oh year, 37% of the US population listens to podcasts on a monthly basis too. While we work, we listen to music or podcasts to help us stay on top of things. On average, we spend over 145 minutes per day checking social media, over 12 minutes per day on YouTube, and over 3.1 hours per day watching TV.
Doing some quick math, that’s over five and a half hours of content consumption per day. Add that to the average work schedule of eight hours, we’re looking at roughly 13.5 hours each day of time accounted for. If we add just seven and a half hours of sleep to our total, we’re sitting at a cool 21 hours per day. Thankfully we have three hours left over to spend with our friends and family!
Before you think that content consumption is strictly people sitting and staring at a device, albeit that happens a lot, our consumption habits often take place while we go about our day. Driving to work, working out, reading a book. In today’s digital society, multi-tasking is our mantra. If we can’t multi-task, we can’t be productive. We have to be able to actively listen while we perform tasks.
Consuming is in our nature. It’s who we are, unfortunately. While we can try to cut down on the time we spend on social media, watching TV, staring at our phone, we still find ourselves being sucked in. Even when we read books or magazines, we’re still consuming content. Our brains are constantly being flooded with new information and typically, the only break we give it is when we sleep.
It sounds weird, but just sitting in a calm and quiet room in silence or relaxing music is almost forgotten about in today’s world. We’re always moving and want to keep learning. We need to take a small step back, breathe, and allow ourselves to disconnect from the outside world. Just for a moment. We’re consumers at heart, but that doesn’t mean we need to gorge ourselves to the point of exhaustion.