The Future of Consumerism and Social Media

I have droned on about the issue of consumerism for several months now.  During those months I have covered an array of topics such as the pros and cons of consumerism and how the advertising and marketing industries play a pivotal role in encouraging the growth of it. This being my last blog post on the topic I am looking towards the future.  What exactly can we expect from the future of consumerism? I am predicting a stupendous increase waits in the land of Consumerism due to the rapid growth of social media networks.

So why does social media networks, such as Facebook and YouTube, receive so much of the advertising industry’s attention? The answer is quite simply because their ads are able to reach a wide scope of potential customers all around the globe (An advertiser’s guide to YouTube 2008). People young and old alike are all joining in on the hype, from young primary school children to my grandparents. It is truly a widespread phenomenon. Facebook alone now has over 500 million active users who approximately spend 700 billion minutes per month on the website (Facebook 2010).If social media networks such as Facebook isn’t any advertiser’s dream platform to reach its’ market, I don’t know what is.  With a virtually endless list of potential customers mindlessly spending their time on social media networks and unintentionally exposing themselves to advertisements, consumerism is bound excel. The graph below demonstrates the increasing percentage of time Americans spend on social networks, a clear indication that they are becomming more and more popular.   

A table depicting what Americans spend their time online doing

I for one am a prime example of having purchased many a product due to the advertisements that I have come across whilst browsing online. I am an avid YouTube viewer. It is my embarrassing admission that I admit here today that nothing satisfies me more on a lazy day off from uni and work than watching cosmetic reviews and hauls in my pjs. As a result, my make up collection has escalated over the years. I have spent approximately five thousand of my hard earned money feeding my cosmetic addiction. Why can I confidently say that YouTube has encouraged my spending? Because after every video I watch, I make a mental note to test a product that has caught my eye, which then (let’s be honest) leads to me purchasing it. I currently have five mascaras (only two of which I use regularly), six different foundations (one of which I currently use) and many many more duplicate items that hold the same purpose.  The future rising of consumerism can be epitomised in my own spending.  Although review and haul videos may not be a direct form of advertising, it in some shape or form is promoting a product that has either been sent to the user for review, or purchased by them with their own money.

Alas, we have come to the end of the consumerism journey. I believe that it is safe to say that we all succumb to advertising (even if unintentionally) and purchase all the knick knacks that we believe to be worth it at the time. From my own predictions, the future for consumerism appears to be dismal if we choose to believe that it is a negative aspect of society. If I am correct, it will only continue to rise and be a dominating aspect to society as technology and new ways of advertising advances, if we choose to accept it. So will you?

References

Press Room, Facebook, viewed 7th October 2010,

<http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics>

Martin, D., 2nd August 2010, What do Americans Do Online:Social Media and Games Dominate Activity, NielsenWire, viewed 7th October 2010, 

<http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/what-americans-do-online-social-media-and-games-dominate-activity/>

Advertise, 5th February 2008, An Advertiser’s Guide to YouTube, YouTube, viewed 7th October 2010, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-q5zZ1p2eM&feature=player_embedded>