The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments. ~Mad Magazine
Several months ago, in my declutter group, I shared a list of subject lines from one day’s worth of email.
I had made a list of them and shared them with my group; I had just finished reading a book on minimalism and decided to observe how consumerism is impacting my life.
I had looked at one day of email that had been sent to me and shared a few of the subject lines that stood out.
“Up to 90% off!”
“Here’s a code because we miss you!”
It was e-Commerce Marketing doing what it does best: trying to create a sense of urgency, putting out the bait to get me to open the email, click on the link and shop.
I opened each message, however, rather than clicking on the link to shop, I clicked on “Unsubscribe” for every one of them with the exception of Nordstrom, a bra company, and a San Francisco-based shoe company.
My email Inbox has been manageable until this morning when I received an email from the shoe company I didn’t opt out of. The shoe company whose goal is to make a stylish, sustainable shoe, whose shoes I adore and wear every day because they bring me joy, sent an email with the Subject: “These shoes help you make friends.”
Really? Shoes will help me make friends?
I didn’t even bother reading the email, instead, I chose to unsubscribe from the list, I didn’t like the messaging or the implication that I needed shoes in order to help me make friends.
As I scrolled through my InBox, there was an email from Amazon regarding Prime Day. I hit “Delete” without opening it. There was an email from Costco: “Member Appreciation Savings Event” as well as one from Williams Sonoma “One-Day Deals AND Friends & Family Event. Macy’s had sent an email “Last Chance for Black Friday in July!” and Nordstrom “Anniversary Sale!”.
Yesterday didn’t feel like Sunday, it felt like Black Friday as retailers struggled to compete against Prime Day. Once again, I opened each email and clicked on “Unsubscribe” and then deleted each email.
There is no need to be on any retailer’s email list, the subject lines screaming out their calls-to-action while trying to make me feel like I am missing out, that I am not good enough or that I need to keep up with the Joneses.
In this journey of minimalism, I’ve increased my awareness of the impact of consumerism; I no longer fall victim to sales nor do I feel a sense of urgency to buy something just because it’s on sale or because it will make me a better person. Instead, I am more patient and calm. I love who I am and who I am becoming – and I don’t need shoes or things on sale to help me in the process.