It’s 2020! Where did 2019 go? Did anyone actually get to celebrate Christmas? I seemed to have a ‘bam and the New Year is here’ moment. Let’s start the year off with a bang! By that, I mean a blog post. Yes, I am indeed still alive! Just suffering a rather serious case of writer’s doubt (is that a thing? I’m calling it a thing!). I will have a 2020 goals post coming in the next few weeks for all of you goal setters! In the meantime, I thought I’d start the 2020 Blog Posts with an observation that came about rather early in my move to Brisbane.
Preface: I never would have thought that I could fall victim to consumerism. I never believed I would be seriously drawn into fast paced disposable ways of the modern world (I say seriously, because I am still early 20’s making poor regular spending decisions).
However when I moved to a capital city, I found out that I am apparently very easily persuaded into consumerism. More to my surprise, this was not for the sake of actually wanting the said product, but for the sake of image. The fear of being in a new place where I only knew limited people quickly lead to the want to fit in. Suddenly, the concept of being current, in a materialistically way, became very appealing.
Within a few weeks. I’d thought I needed to get an iPhone (and can’t forget the Airpods), reinvent my wardrobe, own at least one designer item, rent a white apartment (complete with city views) and commence a new beauty regime entirely to fit in and be ‘on point’.
If you’re a family member, you might be trying to argue this due to my
interest addiction to spontaneously purchasing or wanting new technology (phone’s, activity trackers, etc). However, it’s only new to me. I am often versions or even models behind with most of my technology purchases.
I’m not shitting on people who have, or want, any or all of these things. It was a need (or even just a justified want) for these people. The issue was that I simply wanted these things because other people had them.
I can confirm I resisted all of the above temptations, unless deemed necessary. My wardrobe did shift, the work clothing I was previously wearing was different to the uniform standards that I now needed to uphold. Regardless of this new need, I shopped to my style and more importantly, my budget.
I did quickly realise that the more people that surround you, the less you’re actually noticed. It seems when located in a more densely populated area, your attempts and worries to fit in, only actually matter to you. I’m unsure if this is specific for Australia, or more so only when someone moves from a smaller home town to a larger city. In my case it was noticed when moving from a population of 125k to 2.28m.
Back home I’d smile at almost everyone, regardless of if I knew them, they’d return the smile 9 times out of 10. When I moved here and smiled at strangers, it was rarely reciprocated. I also noticed with small talk with strangers that most people didn’t really know how to respond (or seem to want to). I instantly became self-conscious (oh the joys of being an anxious individual), and began to question why. I asked a friend about it, we came to the conclusion, that if you smile at everyone you see here or try to start small talk with those around you (on a bus, during a purchase, etc), you’d only end up exhausted. Therefore, it made more sense to not bother at all rather. Admittedly, I still attempt to talk to people and smile at people who give direct eye contact. However, if not well received, I simply move on with my day.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Capital City Influence. I don’t know if this is a real term, it’s simply something I kept referring to the more I made note of this observation. Are you one to fall victim to this type of peer pressure (or social pressure)?
Baby Sloth xx