Sunday, October 11, 2009

From the Consumer Society to a Society of Hyperconsumption

Technology improves everyday life, producing useful, many would say indispensable, consumer items. Think of how easy it is to wash dishes or clothing. Machines, at the heart of which are microprocessors programmable at the touch of a few buttons, carry out tasks our grandmothers took hours to perform. Like it or not, material comfort is neither a flaw nor a shame, it is one of the small pleasures of life. The phenomenon is universal: when a country becomes economically richer, we immediately see its people turn to consumption of all kinds of products and services that make their existence more enjoyable. What is wrong is not consumption per se, but excesses which lead to a society of hyperconsumption. These excesses can be found amongst consumers as well as producers.

In the book «Consommation et technologie» (Consumer and technology – in French only for now) that will be published shortly, you will discover what these excesses are and how technology has contributed to the emergence of a society of hyperconsumption.