Archive for the ‘change’ Tag

Consumer responsibility

The answer to Seth Godin’s query yesterday – “Are consumers responsible for the behavior of marketers?” – is obviously yes. Consumers are responsible for the behavior of marketers, big business, celebrities, and governments too. Godin claims that the internet facilitates the broadcasting of opinion, and thus allows the consumer to fight offensive marketing or, even more importantly, to support those companies and practices that serve well and admirably. But really, it has always been our right and capability as individual consumers to make choices and perform actions to support our decisions. We don’t have to answer the telephone, make the purchase, vote for the candidate. Obnoxious marketing, cheap goods and services, and ineffective governments directly result from our individual willingness to support them.

We forget that there is always an alternative, and that we are not slaves to anything. It’s laziness, certainly, and a leftover from the oppression of industrialism; it’s a feeling of helplessness that provides a handy way of avoiding responsibility.

But indeed, we consumers now possess a megaphone loud enough to make an impression. The internet gives each of us equally a podium for our opinions. The liberation isn’t happening only in cyberspace, though. I saw a summer camp school bus yesterday with the command spread across its broad side: Be the change you want to see in the world. A familiar phrase; indeed, our motto as we forge a global society.