What Happens After Buy Nothing Day?
Buy Nothing Day and culture jamming in general rely on the idea that people need to be jolted out of their stupors and see the "truth" about overconsumption and media manipulation. But what happens after the sublime Reverend Billy has helped someone "see the light"?
There's definitely room for shock value, but there are lots of people with whom that technique won't fly. It's also important to understand what consumption means to individuals if we want to communicate about in ways that will be meaningful to them. The idea that media messages are transmitted to the masses in an uncomplicated, uniform way is outdated. People have very individual relationships with the media they consume and the products they buy. It's hard to reach consumers when constantly identifying against them and judging them as duped, piggy drones. When doing so, holding on to one's own precious, anti-capitalist/mainstream media and environmental identity becomes more important than finding ways to effectively spread the word. And it's not supposed to be all about us and our green or anti-capitalist selves, right?Seeing yourself either as "getting it," or failing by remaining manipulated and mindless, doesn't leave many openings for getting by in daily life. There's not so much info out there about how to deal after you've come to an epiphany about why you developed overconsuming habits but ALSO want to remain a part of the mediated/overconsuming world you know. Treehugger plays a role in the "After," giving us some of the tools we need to navigate this sort of uncharted area positively, every day.
How do you talk about consumption with your family and friends who don't think about the environmental or social impacts of their purchases? What factors do you think contribute to whether or not they think about how they consume? ::