Defeating Consumerism

This is meant to be a project blog… but usually when I talk about projects too much I end up not even doing them. I’m trying to push through this time, working a little bit every day and trying to keep progress going. So I won’t talk about my project… until I have something to show!

But I also have lots of thoughts I want to put down, just for my own sake. I used to love tweeting random thoughts I had, knowing that no one would read them. But now I have a small audience that likes my “brand” of art – that is, wholesome and romantic furry stuff. It becomes harder to tweet negative stuff knowing I might negatively impact someone who’s just there for some lighthearted art.

So I guess this is my void I’m shouting to… for now. Be warned this is extremely boring and just for my own satisfaction. Turn away now. This is the story of why I’m looking forward to quit my fancypants software developer career.

I’ve been working as a software dev for almost 10 years, which used to be my literal dream. I was so excited to get into engineering school, then ecstatic to get my first job as a real software developer. I never thought I would be here, 30 years old, wanting nothing but to get out of this industry.

My previous job wore me down so much. I would pour love and attention to detail for every software project I did, only to later have my code unused because the owner of the company was just thinking of random ideas and didn’t really give a damn how hard we worked on it. It’s akin to building a house for someone, and having it torn down before your very eyes because “you know what? What if instead of a house… it’s a boat?!”

That lasted for almost 8 years. Whenever I complained, people would tell me to get a new job. And here I am, in my new job. And I’ve found it just as terrible.

The issue comes from the unending nature of corporate work. It’s never “enough.” You can work really really hard… and you’ll get a pat on the back. Or you can do literally nothing, and still get paid for months before anyone feels like putting in the effort of firing you. There is no reward for being good.

And I know a lot of people want to strangle me because I earn a good salary sitting at a desk typing stuff. And you know what? You should strangle me (giggity).

But what I have really discovered is the evil of consumerism, and how we create invisible prisons for ourselves.

Think about vehicles. If someone tells you “I just bought a giant truck for $50k” that doesn’t seem like such a crazy thing. This person just indebted themselves for FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS and it’s no big deal apparently.

That’s because it’s been normalized. Slowly, over time, the idea that a car should be bought new and it’s perfectly ok to spend this ridiculous amount of money has been normalized. But it’s not normal. Most people have to work 1-2 full years (after taxes and living expenses) to have enough cash to pay that. It’s been taught to us that having a nice car is a goal worth having… but why? What’s so great about your shiny transport vehicle vs mine?

What if I told you, you can buy a used toyota/honda from a private seller for 3-6k that would also transport you everywhere, in luxurious plush seats, with frosty cold air blowing in your face (or toasty warm if you live up north). You just saved 1-2 years worth of work. No, really. 1-2 years of working just so you could ride around in your fancy automobile (which will be out of style in a few years and depreciate like crazy).

Don’t even get me started on so-called luxury-cars. Brands like BMW and Mercedes are simultaneously known for being “luxurious” and yet they’re some of the crappiest built automobiles you can purchase. They’re literally known for falling apart before 100k miles and having expensive fixes. This is why most BMW drivers lease by the way.

And something similar could be said about almost everything. Do you *really* need that massive house, or could you live in a small condo outside the city? Do you really need the latest iPhone? How about an iPhone SE? Do you really need a game console? How about getting a PC so your game collection will stay with you, and you can get games on sale for cheap?

I’m not even proposing a true anti-consumerism stance. I’m merely keeping 90% of the comforts while sacrificing the cost.

And all this… so I can escape my dependence on a salary for sitting in a chair for 40 hours.

And then…do whatever I wanna do!

It’s a work in progress. I haven’t figured it all out yet. But I know I’m selling my townhouse and moving with my mom temporarily while I find a cheap place to live in. I’m selling my things I don’t need, learning to cook cheap meals, and spending less.

Then maybe I can live on an artist’s salary.

Anyways, that’s enough self-indulgence from me. If you’ve read this far… you must be really bored. So I hope you find something more interesting.

Take care~