Saturday, December 24, 2011

Less Is Less and That's Okay

A number of weeks back, I saw a commercial for a computer program that backs up your information, your "stuff". Important personal information, music, documents, photos-protected. You know the drill. I wasn't that interested in the commercial(to me, computer talk = boring) but my attention was caught near the end when these two phrases were uttered "What are you without your stuff? Better yet, without your stuff, who are you?" Honestly, I sat there for a second wondering, "Did I just hear that? Is this what it's come to?" Now, you may tell me, identity theft is not a joke. I completely agree, it's not. You need to take the necessary steps to protect against identity theft(I hear Norton's good). However, since I saw that commercial, I've been seeing that message everywhere-without your stuff, who are you? Commercials, magazines, TV shows, radio ads, everywhere. I know it's been there for years, but I had never heard it so clearly put before and it's got me to thinking. More and more, I'm seeing products, whether that be technology, vehicles, music, whatever, being promoted as identity and it's frightening. Think about that for a second. I certainly hope that my identity is not resting on my dented, rusted, run down Sunfire, or I'm in trouble.

When did we start thinking that we are owed a comfortable life? Not even that, that we're owed a convenient life. The new feature on the newest iPhone4S, Siri, is almost obscene to me. According to the Apple website, 'It’s like you’re having a conversation with your iPhone'. And that doesn't scare anyone else? Can we not function on a basic human level without our technology?

We, first world-ers, are very quick to "blame" our excessive living conditions on circumstance. For example, "Can I help it if this is where I was born? It's not my fault! I'm just trying to keep up/stay current/be relevant in my society/culture!" Did you follow all that? :)

It's true, save extreme measures, we can't help where we live. But we can help how we consume and how much we consume. Sometimes, the better choice is just not to buy that new whozit or whatzit. Sometimes the upgrade isn't necessary. Sometimes you should go without because you don't have to live with more. Sometimes, less is less and that's okay.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jenn, thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. This is something I definitely struggle with. Here in London it seems like so much is determined by how you dress and the things you own and sometimes it feels like people are more celebrated for the things they like, which are usually the things that they own, or the things they can afford to do, than for who they are. I think I'm slowly learning to separate the two. Your thought about being defined by your car really resonates with me and I'll cling to that thought every time I step out onto the street, wearing clothes that no longer reflect my personal style and wishing I could go out and get something like that nice dress that girl walking towards me is wearing, and remember that I am not defined by my stuff! Let the rally cry begin...less is less and that's okay!