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The vicious circle of consumer culture

Consumer culture is an integral part of modern society and has a significant impact on lifestyles, values and social norms. A way of thinking that goes beyond the satisfaction of basic needs and is a defining aspect of an individual’s identity and social evaluation. The way individuals interact with the world around them is based on material values.

Consumer culture is driven by advertising, which inundates people with messages aimed at creating desires to buy goods or services. Advertising is strategically planned and designed to associate products with certain lifestyles and societal ideals, promoting a culture in which the pursuit of material things is associated with perceptions of happiness and success. This constant flow of information encourages consumers to buy certain goods that they believe will change their social position and self-esteem.

In consumer culture, a brand is a status symbol. The choice of brands in purchases made by individuals serves as a sign of personal identity and belonging. The possession of certain goods (brands) symbolizes membership of certain social groups.

The digital age has further reinforced consumer culture by providing platforms for individuals to share their experiences and insights, for example on what to eat or wear. In the social media space, individuals, consciously or unconsciously, develop a consumer culture, for example by sharing their lifestyles or providing reviews of goods and services.

Consumer culture can lead to environmental problems linked to the over-consumption of goods, i.e. the depletion of resources. In addition, the constant pursuit of material things as a source of identity and happiness can create a cycle of dissatisfaction, i.e. individuals are constantly looking for the next purchase in pursuit of short-term gratification.

Starbucks coffee: Starbucks is synonymous with a consumer culture where a simple cup of coffee is more than just a drink. It symbolizes lifestyle choice, social status and the desire for the highest quality coffee.
Nike shoes: Nike shoes symbolize consumer culture because they are more than just sports shoes. They are more than fashion, a link to sports culture and the pursuit of an active and stylish lifestyle.
Tesla electric cars: Tesla’s electric cars symbolize a commitment to sustainability, innovation and luxury. Owning one shows environmental awareness and a desire to be at the forefront of technological advances.
Instagram influencer merchandise: From clothing to beauty products, the products promoted by Instagram influencers showcase consumer culture in the digital age. Consumers often tend to emulate the lifestyle of influencers, i.e. choosing products that are endorsed and promoted by them.
The iPhone smartphone: The iPhone smartphone is a great example of consumer culture in the world of technology. It is more than just a smartphone, it incorporates the latest technology, elegant design and a commitment to a good user experience that demonstrates the modern consumer’s quest for functionality and aesthetic appeal.

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