Read this blog post and get the next one for free!

In my university’s cafeteria the dish of the day always comes with three side dishes. I do not know many people who actually finish their side dishes or even the main dish. Yet, I do not know anybody who chooses to take only one or two side dishes in consideration of the fact that they will not finish them anyway. People do not think that way. If they pay for something they want to have it, whether they need it or not. We live in a pay-less-get-more society, where we are constantly searching for better offers to accumulate more stuff that we do not actually need. Three kilos of popcorn for five euros − but double the amount for just seven euros! All-you-can-eat buffet for just ten euros! This kind of mentality leads to two things: first, we throw away more. Like I wrote last year in my post „Taste the waste“ it is downright horrifying to look at the amounts of food that are being thrown away every single day – just because we have learned to want more and have got used to getting it as well. Things become worth less (or worthless) because we can have so much more of them. Secondly, we consume more, when, actually, we were absolutely satisfied while consuming less – before we knew that there was more.

A friend recently told me that when her phone and internet provider called her to inform her about the newest products and benefits… she turned him down immediately, saying that she was not interested. „But you don’t even know yet, what we would like to offer you.“ – „Yes, but I’m not missing anything.“ And that is it. That is the whole point. If you are not missing anything, then you do not need to buy anything. Even if it is super cheap. Even if the offer is only for this month. Even if the second one is for free. Some might argue that this is a very closedminded way of thinking and I agree that it cannot be a philosophy for life. Just because you are content, that does not mean you should stop there and not learn more, achieve more, become a better person, set new goals and so on. But when it comes to consumption, it has become more and more important for me to really ask myself the question: Do I actually need this?

The reason why I asked myself this question today was because I was thinking of switching from my prepaid card to a mobile phone contract. By the way, I am one of those rare old-fashioned idiots who belive that phones are made for calling people. So I went to the mobile shop and it turned out that getting a phone-, message- and internet-flatrate is cheaper than getting the same thing without internet. Now, what does this mean for me? Obviously I can get the whole thing including internet and not use the internet. But no, deep inside of me there is an average modern consumer, who will definitely not pay for something if I am not going to use it. If I have internet on my phone I will want to use it, and in order to use it I will want to buy a phone that is capable of using it. And then I will be walking through cities following the path that my smartphone shows me instead of looking around or asking people for the way; I will chat with friends on Whats App while actually sitting with a group of other friends; I will check the weather report on my iPhone instead of looking up at the sky.

Okay, this might sound exaggerated but as a child of this society I do not trust myself to refrain from consuming the product once I have acquired it. And it makes me angry that companies are appealing to my rational mind – that obviously I will not pay more for less if I can pay less for more. They know that I, like most of us, will then start needing what I bought, instead of buying what I needed. Well, I guess I am actually angry at myself for taking part in all of this. I do not need a new phone. I can get the contract, stick with my old phone and not really use the internet. But the thing is: I am starting to want it and that worries me. I have always been against smartphones. What is going to happen next? Am I going to start reading „books“ on an electronic device? God forbid!!!

I guess, the best thing would be to just extract oneself completely from this system. Like me for example, I do not eat at the cafeteria at all – except for the side dishes that my friends cannot finish. But in order to extract myself completely from all similar situations I still have a long way to go and a lot of self-control to learn. Some ways of doing that: When you order food at a restaurant, remember that you are hungry but that this will change shortly. So be honest with yourself: will you really finish a soup and a salad and a main course? When you go to the supermarket, take a shopping list and do not buy stuff just because it is a special offer or happens to be at eye level. In general always ask yourself: „Do I really need this or am I just getting it, because I can?“

Anyway, right now I feel that I need that contract and I will get it. But I do have hope that I will not knowingly let myself be manipulated by that (and similar things) in a way that I always criticize about others.


2 thoughts on “Read this blog post and get the next one for free!

  1. hannah, das ding ist genial. ich wnschte nur, du wrdest mich das gegenlesen lassen, wegen dem englisch und dann wrden wir das mal an eine richtige zeitung schicken. schreib das nochmal in deutsch und ich vermarkte das fr dich. doris


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