Consumerism: Living a False Life that’s Not Just Killing Us But the World Around Us

Posted on March 1, 2023 by


People are surrounded by news media and propaganda while walking and driving through Times Square. Picture from

Copious amounts of research have been done on consumerism and the evolution of human consumption in the last two decades. 

Consumerism is the constant need for demand and dependency. Niel D. Emerald wrote, “Consumerism affects the psychological health of the individual through erosion of the true self and replacing it with a false self, and the spiritual health of the individual by eroding our spiritual connections with nature and replacing it with consumption of goods and services.”

Journalist J.B. MacKinnon sat down for an interview with Mary Lousie Kelly to talk about consumerism. J.B. Mackinnon, like Niel D. Emerald, had opinions on consumer culture.

“Consumption is the leading driver of our environmental problems around the world today, surpassing even the growth of the human population on the planet. So you name it, it drives it – deforestation, toxic pollution, climate change, mining, even fisheries, even the extinction of species is tied in tightly to our consumption,” Makinnon said in the interview.

Mackinnon gave the example of whales. Humans are in constant need of natural resources and go into the sea to get fossil fuels, killing whales by either hitting them with ships or cutting off their communication with each other by noise pollution.

Humans live such complicated lives surrounded by the consumption of constant news and information so that our minds are reading and reacting to the world by the minute. With new-age revolutions and advances, the common ideology is that we are more advanced psychologically compared to 50 or 60 years ago. However, psychologists have shown that it may be quite the opposite.

“Compared with their grandparents, today’s young adults have grown up with much more affluence, slightly less happiness and much greater risk of depression and assorted social pathology,” College psychologist David G. Myers, PhD, said.

How is this related to unconscious consumerism?

“These findings emerge at a time when the consumer culture has reached a fever pitch,” Myers said.

So the more we buy our new shoes or tune into the local news stations bashing each other’s political views, the more we are susceptible to depression, anxiety, laziness, dependencies, and addictions. Many researchers argued that consumerism divides the beneficial connection between nature and the human spirit. Self-control may be a factor.

According to, “When we have little experience with self-control or if we are under too much stress to think about whether we actually need something or not, we can find ourselves with less control over our impulses.”

Humans may end up consuming beyond our needed limits, causing mental health-related problems and/or problems to our environment.

Also being reported by, an example of moments when humans can lack self control is the use of credit cards.: “Credit cards allow people to buy things on credit and pay it off later which makes it easier for people to give into impulse purchases, and buy stuff in the moment.”

Posted in: Owen Williams