This is the most wonderful time of the year as we approach the Christmas Holiday and New Year! It is the time of the year to get great deals on the newest toys, electronic gadgets, clothing styles for children and adults of all ages.
We are encouraged in our culture to buy, buy, buy and consume more, more, more. The latest styles and fashions will make you happy and bring you and your loved one’s joy.
This policy of producing consumer goods that rapidly become obsolete require replacing, achieved by frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of spare parts, and the use of non-durable materials.
Planned obsolesce is the deliberate intention of limiting the life of a product in order to get the consumer to purchase more of that item to replace the old one. It may not work as well. It may become worn out. It does not work as fast or may not work at all.
Light bulbs are one of the very first products that became limited to work only one thousand hours or less. The original light bulbs in the 1880s could work up to ten to twenty thousand hours. The Centennial Light Bulb in Livermore, CA fire station has worked for over 110 years! But if all light bulbs were still this way, light bulb making companies would not make very much money.
Since planned obsolescence was implemented in the light bulb, most any business today operates the same, such as radios, TVs video games, appliances, printers, computers, cell phones, and cars. Panty hose used to be indestructible. Clothing, shoes, and furniture all have obsolescence planned in them as well as expiration dates on food. Do not get me started on ink cartridges for printers.
Many products now do not allow repairs to be made due to the need for special tools, difficulty in locating part or simply making items not repairable. Typically, it will cost more to fix the item than to replace it, but that was not enough to get us to keep buying things that keep breaking and wearing out.
Norwegian-American economist and socialist, Thorstein Veblen, introduced the term Conspicuous Consumption in 1899. This is the idea to get consumers to purchase goods and services for the specific purpose of displaying one’s wealth. It is about displaying social status for other members in their social class that cannot afford to purchase the item. This can include cars, homes, clothing, vacations, and second homes, etc. The sky is the limit, as anything can now be customized and personalized for more money. Bathroom and kitchen upgrades or new styles are always available. Even the fastest cars can be made to go even faster with “chipping” technology… of course for a price.
This sounds like an addiction.
This has led to perceived obsolescence when the consumer believes the product is out of style or fashion and desires the newer version. Systematic obsolescence usually refers to software in that it slows down or becomes difficult or impossible to use without the paid upgrade or maintenance. Programmed obsolescence is often seen in printers and cartridges in how many pages a printer will print until it “needs to be replaced” as well as ink cartridges being “empty” and needs to be replaced when they may not truly be empty.
What does all of this have to do with recovery?
First of all, if you are a Westerner from the United States, Canada, or Europe, you most likely are an addict.
Many are addicted to shopping, eating, gaming, their emotions/feelings and even the next spiritual or religious experience/high. Now, your vice may be more “socially acceptable” than your friends or family who struggle with drugs, alcohol or sex; but you most likely are an addict none the less – thanks to planned obsolesce and conspicuous consumption.
This also keeps most of us spending more than we make. Then, we become consumed and enslaved to debt, the beast, Maritime Law, and the Corporation system.
Secondly, this mentality has significantly impacted families and marriages in a negative way. Not to mention the stress of paying off debt with long hours at work, a second or third job which can break apart relationships, marriages, and the family system. The anxiety, fear, and depression it creates from the stress of debt can break a person down mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
We have been so conditioned and indoctrinated to think in terms of obsolesces and consumption. When it comes to products, our thoughts might sound like this:
“This gaming system is not as fast, fun or as interesting as it used to be.”
“It is going to cost me more to fix this phone than to replace it.”
“It was our first home….”
“My neighbor just got a new Tesla.”
When It comes to marriage or relationships our thoughts might sound like this:
“This relationship is not as fun or as interesting as it used to be.”
“It’s easier to just to get a divorce than to try and fix my marriage.”
“It was my first marriage. We were young and immature.”
“A few or my friends are divorce and remarried…They seem so much happier.
I deserve to be happy too.”
We have been trained and programmed to justify and rationalize that the old is no longer fun, cool, interesting, or exciting anymore. This same thinking and behavior of planned obsolesce and conspicuous consumption impacts relationships and marriages daily.
So before you throw away the old relationship and the investment you have made for a new one, because you don’t like the color, speed, entertainment, value, size, or inconvenience, consider the follow blogs:
Posted Monday, February 25, 2019
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.