Friday, October 15, 2010

GFC put an end to the shopping culture

Uk based The Trend Bible talks about the increasing importance of experiences as a social trend. The team has noticed a shift in consumer mindset to a new social mood which relies less on consuming (but not for ‘green’ reasons) and more on what experience a product can bring.
“This new shift has had some fundamental implications, most of which have been exaggerated due to the recession, such as the activity of ‘shopping’ as a pastime is in decline, as we start to think about how else to spend our time.
The challenge for retailers as we start to emerge from the recession is going to be  encouraging people to go back to the shops, when they’ve been spending time learning new crafts, educating themselves, spending quality time with loved ones and even finding new hobbies.
The rise in visitors to art galleries, museums and at farmers markets in the UK is evidence of this shift towards a change in leisure activities.”
Perhaps this shift will mean the GFC was a blessing in disguise, actually putting us on the right track – towards happiness. A study by psychologists at Cornell University in New York, found that experiences, such as travelling to new places, going to dinner with friends, or taking the kids to a carnival, are more rewarding to us than material possessions.
The study discovered that experiences are so effective at making us happy because we truly ''own'' them because they become integrated into our lives and help shape our personalities. "Stuff", on the other hand, can only be possessed and does not become a part of us in a meaningful way. It degrades in time whereas experiences are transformed into memories and appreciated for a lifetime.
Read more about how to be happy in my upcoming book The Joy Gym.

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