The Responsibility of Consumption
May 21, 2020
The consumer often forgets the inherent power of their transaction as well as the repercussions of those transactions. We live in a world with an abundance of consumer options that aren't necessarily representative of patterns in consumer choice. Organizations are investing massive resources into psychological marketing strategies aimed at providing the most convenient services for the lowest price. What exactly are the reactive benefits and tradeoffs of the aggregate consumer behavior when transacting within the parameters of cost and convenience? There may be insufficient data analyzing consumptive effects within ecosystems, but we see, feel, and live the effects, personally. Larger businesses with greater resources trend towards monopolization within their field of competition. When consumers devote their resources solely to these organizations, control centralizes, power strengthens, the marketplace shrinks, and the economy becomes unstable.
It's easy to forget your power, as an individual consumer, in economies of scale. It is paramount to recognize that the transactions you partake are an investment in behavioral economics; every dollar you spend is conditioning the operations of those who you do business with. The positive reinforcement of ethical and moral business is progressive, but the negative reinforcement of unethical, immoral business is catastrophic for all parties involved, beyond just the transactional.
I urge you to audit your consumptive behavior. Research the organizations you are doing business with, and consider those you may be transacting with in the future. Some like to say 'you are voting with your dollar', but I prefer to say, realize that the currency of consumer transactions is behavioral conditioning. If you agree with the practices of a business, support their behavior by engaging with their goods and services. If a business' ethics conflicts with your values, do not buy their products or services; do not reinforce their behavior. You may feel like a powerless consumer who cannot influence change as an individual; please believe that you have all the power to shift the dynamic if your stance is viral and infectious. The power of the collective consumer is greater than any single organization. Remember your principles and values, and realize the gravity of every transaction you make. We have the power to positively influence economics, for the greater good of the business, and the consumer.