The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Rise of consumerism

Overconsumption and deinfluencing

Almost everywhere, it seems you cannot escape seeing a multitude of colorful metal cups. Along with their matching handles and straws, Stanley cups have found their way into many young people’s hands and minds.

When scrolling through TikTok, you might find yourself on a video of a little girl excited to get the latest fad. This is not a new thing by any means, with every generation having their own item they want. However, the human desire to overconsume, coupled with the rush you feel after buying something new, drives humans to continue the chain of consumerism based on new trends and fads.

Items such as souvenirs, books, fast fashion and more, all grow the issue of consumerism. Consumerism is a genuine problem furthering harm onto people and creating a dependency on any items pushed their way. Consumerism is stylized and credited as a part of a consumer capitalism economic theory.

Capitalism is the economic system, where private owners can make and keep their businesses and profits without government intervention in a free market. This theory depends on the basis of capitalism using consumerism to manipulate the market and push products.

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Stanley cups have been at the forefront of this trend, advertised as reusable alternatives to regular plastic water bottles. Being a large size and made of metal with a large handle and straw attached. This item is similar to an older trendy item from years past, Hydro Flasks. Both items were promoted as a one-time buy, helping the environment and giving the consumers a quality product. However, soon videos would be seen online of people climbing over each other to get the latest cup. People also posted to social media to show off their collections of colorful cups, and these collections contain far too many cups for a single person to own, which also defeats their underlying  sustainability purpose.

Fast fashion also suffers from this problem, with clothes being assembled and distributed quickly rather than sustainably. These clothes often suffer from poor quality materials that will break down quickly, and people rely on them solely for their  usual low cost and to follow the latest trends of fashion. These products are usually found in hauls by “influencers” who have spent money on clothes that often find themselves in the trash or in donation bags.

Influencing is a type of marketing that depends on the charismatic personality and platform of the people it uses in its advertising. The promise of a more meaningful and efficient life drives sales for these products due to the increase used on influencer marketing. De-influencing has gained popularity against this group of people. It is a way of showing the reality of influencers and is an attempt to ground audiences in whether they truly need the items constantly being pushed to them by businesses and influencers. \

No matter how conscious one can be in these days of hyper-marketing, no one is truly safe from the want of the latest trends. Trends often dictate what is sold and can lead to not understanding what exactly one is buying. Another industry that deals with this issue is books, also exclusively within the “BookTok” community. The written word is important in bringing knowledge to the world and creating stories that will entertain and widen the perspective of any and all readers. However, the latest trend, similar to fast fashion, has captured this community. Books are very quickly written and pushed out to the audience. More often than not these books prioritize quantity over quality containing a checklist of tropes they follow over anything with actual sustenance.

Consumerism is a problem that has persisted for a long time in America, however, any true solution for it has yet to be discovered. As new trends and fads come in every day that prey on consumers’ need to be entertained and satisfied to distract from reality, attempting to find sustainability in your own life is necessary.For more information, please visit,, and

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Jennifer Fernandez
Jennifer Fernandez, Staff Writer

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