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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Role as Consumers

I've spent a lot of time considering our role as consumers.  And by "consumer" I mean anyone who purchases books, movies, music, or any particular item from any store.  I would guess everyone fits into the category of "consumer."  What really got me thinking was the whole Chick-fil-A mess.  (There.  I said it.  I won't say it again because that's not the focus of this post, and there's no point beating a dead horse with a stick.)

I don't have an answer, but I can't help wondering how far we as consumers are willing to go to support one company or author or musician or actor/actress, etc. versus not supporting another.  For instance, if I decide to boycott every person or company that believes something contrary to what I believe, I'd probably have to carry a mile long list as a reminder of who/what I cannot see/read/listen to, etc.  And that would probably be the same for many other consumers regardless of what side of an issue they are on.

So that bring me to the next question.  Does appreciating a person's talent/ability or a store's service/items equal supporting the person's/store's beliefs? That's where the water gets really muddy for me personally.  I can recall a time when someone I know stopped watching a particular show because of something that came out about the main actress.  At the time, I thought that was rather silly.  I thought about the person I know, just because you don't support "that" doesn't mean you can't support her acting ability.  I also recall when an author came out with a particular novel and a set of people threw a fit because of the author's stance on an issue.  And again, I thought that was silly.  It was just a book.  Pure fiction.  It didn't mean anything.  Reading the book didn't mean a particular consumer agreed with the author's belief.  Yet there is an author I will not read.  There are singers I will not listen to.  There is an actor I will not watch.  And that leaves me questioning why I'm diligent about not supporting those, but I don't mind supporting others.  I'll use my religion as an example.  If I were to boycott one atheist, what would be the point if I don't boycott them all? It seems rather ridiculous to make a big stink about one and not the others.  That's just an example.

So back to the original question.  As consumers, should we pay more attention and be more diligent about those we choose to support and who we choose not to support? Or do we just enjoy what we enjoy while recognizing we won't always agree with certain people's/companies beliefs? Perhaps it depends on your definition of "support." 

I'd love to know what others think, so leave your thoughts below!


  1. Very insightful post. This one left me thinking. For me, I feel there is a line somewhere that separates a "supporter" from a "fanatic." I don't know exactly where to draw that line, but I do know that fanaticism can lead to some pretty extreme behavior. Can we support someone/thing/etc. too much? My answer is that when it leads to violence/intolerance then, yes. We can support too much.

    I also think that people get a bit too involved in that which they support sometimes. I told a co-worker that I didn't like Lady Antibellum (sp?) and she got so offended that she barely talks to me now... which I think is pretty ridiculous. But, hey, if she's that type of person it's not a big loss anyway.

    Great post!

  2. That seems like an extreme response from your co-worker. Not talking to you because you don't like something he/she likes? To each his own I guess. As for fanaticism, you are correct. Some people just go too far with things.

    Thanks for commenting!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!