What is that we do, when we acquire objects and products?
It seems our buying decisions reflect our priorities of the time, be it “I don’t care”, “I just needed this that or the other quickly”, “I was skint” or at the other end of the spectre “I always dreamt of..” or “I’ve really saved up for..” it expresses a prioritisation or relation to objects and desires at the given time. Regardless of which of the above may be the deciding factor for a purchase, once bought, we own it and thus have the power over its further destiny.
Though we might dispose of it and it, at best, is a “Lebensabschnittspartner”, we have invited it to take part in our life for that time and it is likely to shape our activities, perception or means of expression.
Shortly, the things we surround ourselves with frame our lives.
– If this is a house or flat we intend to live in, that is the object, it will shape our notion of home, refuge from the world, sense of belonging,..
– Should it be a transportation device, it will influence our perceived mobility, convenience and likely our definition of home turf. Already the choice vehicle category, whether bicycle, car, motorcycle or truck will prescribe the routes and distances readily available. Not seldomly the choice of moving vehicle is related directly to the idea of freedom (public transportation representing the freedom of ownership and maintenance; a car being the freedom to go wherever one wishes, whenever one wishes; a bicycle implicates the freedom of the fresh air etc);
– Something as simple as duvet-covers are touching one’s skin –one self- for a third of the day on average, and is likely to be strongly connected to one’s feeling of relaxation, safety and recovery;
– The choice of tools and home office equipment determines which activities, repairs and maintenance one can perform single-handedly and for which service providers, builders and other specialists will be required;
– Clothes serve purposes of social acceptability, temperature, covering and taboo, and are reflection of how one wishes to be perceived by society. Some cocoon, others exhibit themselves through their choices of clothes, most of us probably do a bit of both, differently weighed at different times of lives.
Our relationship with things is not a simple system of cause and effect, but rather a circle of cause becoming the effect becoming the cause and the effect. Thus, the above reasoning also goes the other way around. And I would argue that these calculations intuitively take place when we make up our mind about an object.
Summarising, things also have to do with sense of belonging, freedom, mobility, safety, recovery, resilience and social expectancies and thus, many buying decisions are made up of decisions about lifestyle, quality of life and LIFE itself.
What we buy,
what we consume,
is what we invite into our lives