I stumbled across Pursuitist today, which caught my eye with an architecture top story. Beautiful post, beautiful subject (a historic-modern hybrid home in Melbourne, Australia). The blog itself is clean and white, minimal. The tagline is ‘luxury redefined…all things luxe.’ Huh, sounds familiar.
Selectism, Acquire, Not Couture, Bless This Stuff, Gear Patrol, and Luxuo all tout similar themes, as do many other blogs. Real estate blogs, car blogs, and just about anything that covers a consumption genre, tend to lean toward, or entirely dedicate to, the fabulous and the dreamy. And I get it. I’m a Pisces, I like to dream. I enjoy reading a review of a high-performance $200,000 Mercedes, or the new Range Rover.
What I ask myself when I read these blogs is: who can afford this stuff? And are those people really the ones reading them? Even my friends who make six figures several times over don’t shop for cars, or clothes, or electronics that much.
I have always smirked quietly in the belief that many wealthy people have no taste, and many young, creative, cutting-edge folks have endless taste, but lack funding. Maybe I subscribe to that because I believe I fall into that predicament, and someday, will be able to flip the coin on its head.
Still, I’m distressed by constantly feeling the pressure and inadequacy of what I can’t afford and isn’t within my reach, no matter how cool and edgy I can seem to be in the digital sphere (here, in this space), or on Pinterest, or on Twitter. Of course, I’d love to win the lottery and shop all day long, but what would that do for my life, really? Am I experiencing heartache over things that wouldn’t make a difference anyway?
Or, maybe I am just reading this situation all wrong. These information (marketing) flows are just a means of inspiration, a place to develop ideas for imitation or splurge, not everyday living.
I read a piece a while back about how well television and media marketing has groomed us into robotic consumers. We are never <___> enough, never possess enough, and must always look outside ourselves to find a solution or satiation, which will be remedied with another dependence-inducing product, or service. Thus, an infinite, circular cycle of spending and wealth transfer.
Social media sites, not expressly built around consumption, are quickly becoming marketing tools that rival the influence of glossy magazine ads and flashy commercials, especially when absorbed as a message coming from a friend or peer, not a corporation.
When I think about some of these ‘cool product’ blogs, paired with the insane number of shopping e-mails I get each day, or the parade of new designers (or designer collaborations), I can’t help but feel they too are part of the machine.
Everyone wants to be fabulous (i.e. rich), and the only way to do it is convince others to give you their wealth in exchange for something you’ve promised will make them happier, or improve their quality of life, or give them street cred (or make them money, for which you get a portion). In other words, dog eat dog, and sucks for the sucker not swift enough to sell to you before you can sell to him.
Bottom line: I have to cut myself off from browsing a lot my former daydream haunts, because the reality is, they aren’t benefitting me, other than pointing out my paltry checking account. Or, alternatively, they’re building on the lengthy list of things I’m ‘saving for,’ in order to be fabulous (and indirectly telling me I’m not, until I have these things).
One positive I see out in the sphere are things like the Samovar Tea Lounge weekly e-mail I get from its founder. It is always thoughtful, rarely a sales pitch, and quite coincidental sometimes. This week’s recommends a purposeful disconnect from technology, as a way to reset, and rediscover inner balance. Blogs like Put This On, An Affordable Wardrobe, and Thrifty Gent are good examples of approachable, down-to-earth reads about style and products.
I, like anyone, enjoy the nicer things in life. I like quality, and I like individuality. This blog (hopefully) shows that. I’m just looking for a way to maintain my sanity, not feel inadequate, and sift through the messaging to find what is actually important to happiness (inner fabulousness).
What are your impressions? Has anyone else felt the same sort of cognitive dissonance? Am I sounding a bit strange?