How many times have you bought something, and later you regretted it? Sometimes I see clothes that look nice in the store, thought it looked good on me, try it on, good price, but when I get home, I just wear once or twice and start complaining the fabric does not absorb the heat etc..etc... when the truth is some of my purchases are triggered by impulsive buying.
In today society shopping has become a a very common way to pass time for millions of people all over the world. There’s a lot of evidence that people really do see shopping as a form of entertainment. Walking the shiny marble floors, trendy stores and cool air-conditioning building is indeed the recreation of choice outside the home and workplace. It makes people happy and it provides a form of escape from the everyday worries that a person must normally confront. People "malling" because they have nowhere else to go. In Jakarta especially where the parks, libraries and museums are limited, the malls do provide us with several options and also a safe place to hang out. Consumers are exposed to ever exciting burst of distinct experience and excitement in malls, with everything from groceries and vegetables to clothes, footwear, cosmetics, electronic gadgets and household items all available under one roof. The malls also surrounded by coffee shops, cinemas, a variety of restaurants and food courts, even playground for children.
Gone are the days where people had to make a choice among shopping, movies or hanging out with friends. All these jobs can be performed at the same time, under the same roof. People come to the mall to stroll, linger, window shopping or meet their friends which has evolved into a lifestyle activity. People are spending more money than ever in an attempt to find fulfillment in their lives. Isn't it a fact of life that people do get judged by their physical appearance? For example, my Singaporean boss who is a very modest man never liked to travel with SQ despite their best reputation because the air stewardess used to look down on him --he likes to wear his old faded color shirt, he looks like the small shop owner in any China town...hehehe--, hence he has not been on any SQ flights for years. Are people treated differently depending on the types of clothing they wear? Unfortunately the answer is yes. Many people have found out from first hand experience that they are treated better and even receive better service in stores when they are dressed up rather than in everyday clothes. It's disheartening, isn't it?
Perhaps what we ought to worry about is not the mall per se, but the lack of alternatives and consumerism. They say we're living in the Age of Information but it feels as if we're living in the Age of Shopping instead. Consumerism is not a force of nature and is shaping our attitudes without us realizing it. I miss the days when my life was less of stuff, my closet may have been emptier, the days in the dorm school in which a meal is shared is far more important than the kind of food that is eaten. Is there a time when we will have enough? I am just guilty as anyone else of this. Why do I need a certain item? Could I live without it and still have the same quality of life? *Want* will always be a battle, it will not go away.
I will have to learn to ask myself if I Need this or only Want it. We'll see if I get around to that someday...coz I realize its easier said than done.