Monday, January 09, 2012

spoiled brats and a throwaway culture

That's how a friend described her children today.  she didn't mean it literally (well I don't think so...), but referred to the way our children's generation has access to everything their heart desires, and never seem to have to wait for it.

I am incredibly lucky that my kids are largely not ''stuff'' driven.  But they too love a trip to spend their precious $2!  And have no qualms about discarding something if it is out of date, or fashion, or just not exciting any more  (that bit isn't all together too bad, as at least they don't accumulate the clutter!!!)

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I agreed that things just weren't the same as when we were kids.  We got books on birthdays and at Christmas.  I remember waiting an entire year for a packet of felt tip pens (the new thing then), and only getting them because a relative had been abroad and could bring them back.  All my clothes were homemade, or purchased at Farmers, once a year.  No way would my mother have considered entering an op shop to buy anything.

That was the days before the Warehouse, the $2 shop and Trade me.  Nothing was really disposable. In fact I still have many of my toys, even some of my clothes from my childhood....

So now, when we notice the trousers are getting a little short, or it's a rainy Sunday with not much on, it's all too easy to make a trip to town.  And it's cheap - at the time.  Clothes cost the same in dollar terms as they did thirty years ago.  Many things are way cheaper.  There is no expectation that anything will last more than a season - and in fact not much need for it to do so - after all it will likely be too small, too out of date, or discarded through boredom by then anyway.

Technology is cheap.  Even the special food we used to get only at Christmas and birthdays are every day groceries now.

And so we risk a generation of need it-want it -get it mentality.  And when it's no longer wanted, or interesting, or current, it can be discarded without though.

I just hope that this obsession with the here and now, the growing culture of the takeaway, and our apparent disinterest in longevity will not end up applying to our relationships with real people


Broot said...

It's funny that it also goes hand in hand with the minimalist culture, too, isn't it? :)

susan said...

ironic I reckon...I wonder if anyone else sees that...or is it a different group that are in minimalist mode?