Do you remember what we did? We stopped consuming. And we really rather loved it.
Really? I thought there'd been an immediate run on Amazon and eBay and Just Eat. Not to mention online entertainment, or does it not count if pixels are flowing into the house rather than parcels..?
In April discretionary spending dropped by 30% in Australia. In early May 52% of us told the researchers behind the BCG’s Global Consumer Sentiment survey that we planned to “reduce spending on luxury products even after the crisis is over”. We told others that, post-pandemic, we’d focus spending on meaningful, simple experiences with each other and buy less stuff.
Yeah, yeah. 'We' tell ourselves every year we'll give Veganuary a shot too, yet the ramainder shelf in supermarkets stays packed with unbought PlantChef and Wicked ready meals...
But it didn’t stick. And this truth has been hammered home as we start the new year. By early June we were spending like mad people, back to pre-pandemic levels. Consumer confidence reports released on 12 January showed spending on goods went up 13.3% year on year, and consumer confidence was at a 13-month high.
Whoever thought we wouldn't?
It’s 2021; can we call it as it is? Drop the C-bomb? We were hoping to be freed from capitalism.
Who's 'we'? Clearly, 'we' weren't!
To my mind, we become so trapped in the cult that we struggle to imagine how to release ourselves, or a better world beyond it. But we are going to have to.
It’s worth casting our mind back to early Covid and the hope, lightness and connection we felt as we go forward into the abject uncertainty of 2021. Because, and here’s the Great Revelation in it all, that was us. That was who we are.
It appears it was who circumstance forced us to be, temporarily. But now we're back, baby!