Consumerism is the belief that personal well-being and happiness depend on the level of personal consumption, particularly the purchase of material possessions, to a very large extent. The idea is not simply that well-being depends on a living standard above a certain threshold, but that consumption and material possessions are at the center of happiness.
A consumerist society is one in which people spend a lot of time, energy, resources, and thinking about “consuming.” Consumption is good, and more consumption is even better, the general view of life in a consumerist society.
The USA is an example of a society which is hyper-consumeristic. People are constantly attacked with publicity that urges them to purchase stuff. The average child between 2 and 11 years old can see over 25,000 television ads per year, with 52,500 on average among adults. Kids spend over a week of their lives watching television ads each year (10,700 minutes) and the children do the same work over two weeks of a year. Such publicity does not only promote specific products but also a’ good life’ vision and what it takes to be glad.
Many people experience shopping as an exciting pleasure. People go into deep debt to buy more than necessities: a large house, a gigantic TV, a fancy car. All these are characteristics of a society where consumption is central to life.