Can you remember how many times you tweet something in your Twitter? Or the hashtags you share in Instagram? Do you still remember what were those tweet or hashtags about?
I think some people who are very active in social media may have tweet or share a lot in a day, which makes it difficult for them to remember exactly what are they about. I am not that active, so for me it is not that difficult. I am not so much of a person who say a lot, anyway. At least, not in the social media.
But, the behavior of using social media has been very interesting to me in the last few years. Not because of it is important media that have changed the role of conventional media as a channel for information. It is the people’s behavior on using it that gives me insight on people’s motive. Or to be precise, people’s consumption.
Our economy, like it or not, has been evolved in to a very sophisticated consumption system. Consumption has been the foundation of all economy. While there are many ideological perspectives on it, all of them is focused on consumption pattern.
For centuries, the conventional economy focuses on consumption on resources, from food to energy sources, from lands to sky. However, since the digital era steps in, the influence of non-physical needs are palpably apparent. This change the picture of consumption in many societies, and therefore driven the evolution of daily businesses.
Today, people not only consume foods or fuels. If you think the consumption on drug and paid sex are problematic, I can tell you that those two are some kind of obsolete topics now.
We have been significantly progressing to a new extent of consumptions, on more types of instinctive and probably more addictive needs. People now actively consume other people’s problematic lives. That’s why reality shows and gossip tabloids sell. People consume political drama. News channel and political pundits get their income from this consumption.
People also heavily consume the illusion of existence, through so many ways to express their existence in social media or talent shows. They fight each other based on religious affiliation, political ideology, or just standpoint in any current issues. These days, people are willing to pay for things we thought money can’t buy, such as happiness, existence, and curiosity. Whether you can buy them or not, it is another story; but the consumption is there, and so the business that serves it. All of these you can see on social media. All of them are consumption well exploited by some businesses.
I think, it is time to see the whole picture, go beyond the conventional view on consumption. Like it or not, this more non-physical consumption behavior is indeed a vast new economy, that may grow even bigger and addictive than drug and energy market.
Now, what do you think?