I found an opinion piece in the New York Times Sunday Review that talks about consumerism and the marketplace in a way that one is not used to seeing in the journal of record.
It’s title is the Outsourced Life and it examines how much control of our lives we’ve willingly & unwillingly ceded to the global marketplace leviathan.
The very ease with which we reach for market services may help prevent us from noticing the remarkable degree to which the market has come to dominate our very ideas about what can or should be for sale or rent, and who should be included in the dramatic cast — buyers, branders, sellers — that we imagine as part of our personal life. It may even prevent us from noticing how we devalue what we don’t or can’t buy.
What got to me is that there actually exits such a thing as a “rent-a-friend,” or actually meeting people in person is termed “dating in the wild.”
As we outsource more of our private lives, we find it increasingly possible to outsource emotional attachment. A busy executive, for example, focuses on efficiency; his assistant tells me, “My boss outsources patience to me.” The wealthy employer of a household manager detaches herself from the act of writing personal Christmas-present labels. A love coach encourages clients to think of dating as “work,” and to be mindful of their R.O.I. — return on investment, of emotional energy, time and money. The grieving family member hires a Tombstone Butler to beautify a loved one’s burial site.
If you don’t find something wrong with some of this then you might be part of the problem. We all are consumers but there comes a point in time when you have to realize that you are being consumed yourself.