Consumption Frenzy and Our Mental Health

Undoubtedly, this medium, which we are going to start pointing at now, seems to be the giant financial network and “must have” of the 21st century world… My personal opinion; I wish we were still trading! Then we would communicate more with each other, not be afraid of each other, and not work 350 days for 15 days off a year. This issue is so deep and intricate that I am not exaggerating, if we can prevent this “consumption frenzy”, most of the other problems will disappear by themselves…

In fact, everything started with the idea that “every supply creates its own demand”, then advertisements and shopping malls chased each other. These gigantic structures and the advertising industry, which at first glance seem innocent and even useful, show how it undermines us when we examine it a little. The irrational thoughts listed by the rational approach, which is one of the psychology movements that have become popular in the recent period, that is, two of the cognitive structures that lead us to a psychological problem are excessive convenience and excessive demand and profit! If it is excessive demand profit, do we see it more in children, whom we always call “the adults of tomorrow”? And you?! Why do you always have to buy a better (!) phone? Why does fashion change every year? Especially men’s fashion? Those who know me well know, I can’t understand, why should I buy a suit with the only difference being lines and spots on it? After being convinced of all these through advertisements, it is time to reach easily, and the reason for this is the shopping malls that grow like mushrooms… Only when we reach this point, we enter such a vicious circle; mind blowing! We work harder to have all these, but such a boring job will not save us; Our work must be cool too, right? I have witnessed many times; those who change jobs just to work in a “glass building” or a shopping mall, even though they are paid half the salary. Conclusion; we work more for people who try to sell you more goods and we only consume ourselves… Yes, I realized I went off topic, excuse me… We said excessive demand is profit; Well, why do we demand all these, why do we need them? Here we come across Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs table. We can roughly list it as follows;

1. Physiological needs (breath, food, water, sexuality, sleep, balance, excretion)

2. Safety need (body, work, resource, ethics, family, health, property safety)

3. The need for belonging, love, affection (friendship, family, sexual intimacy)

4. The need for esteem (self-respect, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect for others)

5. The need for self-actualization

Maslow; he states that this ordering indicates the needs of people gradually, although there are exceptions, it is not possible to reach the other without passing one level. There is also some justification; A friend group or a regular social life demand of a person who cannot find food or has respiratory problems naturally falls into the background…

When we consider the list; You can find parts from this table in almost all of the published advertisements. These basic needs, which are used as a theme in advertisements, give us; It gives the message that “if you do not have these, you cannot meet these needs” or “if you buy this, you will be preferred”. The fact that the woman who uses perfume or the man who is dressed in fashion is liked by the opposite sex, and sometimes even the fact that these messages are placed in ice cream and food advertisements, which have a place in the lives of even our children, increases the gravity of the situation. Again, there are many examples of advertisements showing that those who use a certain product are in close human (!) relations… Based on the Freudian school, there are advertisements that feed the rebellious nature hidden under the cover of aggression and “freedom”, especially in children and adolescents. The fact that the young person consuming the product plays a more ready-made response or a role that achieves more popular or heroic deeds and especially wins parental love affects our youth and children.

Alright; We talked about them, there is some truth to it, how does it affect our mental health negatively? The most fundamental consequence of these situations is the destruction they cause in our life satisfaction and self-confidence. While the way to be part of a group or to be popular in the school has started to be the brand we wear, the electronic devices we use and the places we “hang out” rather than our personal merits, while people make themselves up for the items they consume; the uniqueness of the individual disappears! The activities and the products that are consumed because everyone has it and everyone is going, make us “everyone” instead of us. While those who have the financial situation that can be “everyone” experience the lack of being able to live their own uniqueness; People who have stayed in this substance-centered society accept their inability to consume as a deficiency and fall into a lack of self-confidence / spiritual collapse. That’s not all; “Everyone”s; “everyone” is concerned about working harder in order to stay, that is, to consume, to earn more, so what happens? As they cannot live their own uniqueness, they cannot live today either, and this takes them a little further to the top of the pyramid of needs, namely to self-realization, to self-living, to their uniqueness. These people, who do not have life satisfaction anyway, turn around and look behind them. half of the field of life has been walked and not even a handful of crops have been planted, this causes death anxiety and psychological problems begin to pour out… There is burnout and nothing; JOYFUL!

What about those who can’t be “everyone”? When this question is asked, the famous tavern scene of İbrahim Tatlıses comes to mind:

“- they all have flutes… they all have flutes! Why doesn’t my son have a flute? Why!! Tell me, how much is a flute? How much money! + Son, wake up, does it suit a man like you? -Is it a man? Faik father, who can’t buy a flute for his son?

Now, the scene is different, the material is different, but the setting is the same “they all have tablets dad/brother/mother”, “they all wear such and such a brand” what about the result? If you can’t afford it, don’t get it. Or to take the family by force, so why? Because we forgot our own worth and uniqueness! If it is not accepted, the child cannot be included in the group, has a self-confidence problem, and the situation of the parent is a state of complete burnout and helplessness.

On the other hand, the children of those who can be “everyone”, and sometimes themselves, become victims of “excessive convenience”. Over time, this irrational belief spreads to the whole of life, especially in emotional and human relations when they encounter real life; If the person who sees the other person as matter, not as an individual, cannot reach him as easily as he expects, they will collapse and they may turn to question their existence and success.

This is what appears at first glance, and there is also our human condition… Since people are now dealing with what they consume instead of dealing with each other, they know each other less and become more afraid. On the other hand, not speaking and not communicating brings violence. Bullying among children and young people, domestic violence and mobbing in the workplace are natural consequences of the situation we live in. Of course, because people do not communicate, they can be “everyone” more easily. If it is spoken, if a dialogue is established, individuals will notice the differences between each other, that is, they will be able to see that they are unique and special! Today, even the dialogue is based on consumption; “So-and-so phone’s camera is super” “they built a car with 7 forward gears” etc., the children are not talking about cervantes’ don quixote; or young people are not talking about Namık Kemal’s sergüzeşt-i ali bey. Not talking about these things blunts our productivity as a society and suffocates them with more consumption, while the individual’s sense of pleasure, confidence and success as a result of producing and succeeding is replaced by the artificial pleasure obtained as a result of consumption, causing new generations to sleep with these synthetic feelings.

If I knew that you wouldn’t get bored, I could write pages and talk about this purulent subject for hours, but the last thing I will say is; Forget the mall corridors, fancy shop windows and billboards, YOU; you are somewhere inside!

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