And just like that, I was reminded of the words about how a fool and his money can never remain sweethearts forever. While I’m tempted to agree with it, I’m also a bit apprehensive about the statement.
We lead a consumerist life these days. A million things on sale, a billion discounts to choose from, a zillion portals and avenues to buy things. Buying is just a part of the equation. Then comes the social integration. A picture of the things bought, a few likes from people whom we’ve never met and might probably never meet ever, a few jibes from close friends, a few folks left feeling jealous and a few eyes that pass condescending judgement on how pointless the buy was. That’s what passes as the normal average day these days.
GAS. It’s not what you think it is. And yes, the suffering remains to be the same. GAS was a term that a photographer friend of mine introduced me to. GAS stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome. GAS is a process of rapid acceleration in buying things in order to fuel a nascent hobby. Example, I have a smart phone. I have a bundle that lets me go online. I have an instagram account. I shoot a few photos, I gather a few likes and instantly I decide to buy a camera, a few lenses, a few filters, a tripod stand, an image monitor, an image processing software, a better laptop that has the juice to process images, a better camera because the one I bought was a rather basic one. A few more lenses , one for macro, one for wide angle, one telephoto for those nature trails that I’ve never really been on.
Take a deep breath. That’s GAS. Gear acquisition syndrome. We are used to it.
The wide audience that the world is through the internet, we feel compelled to put on the best show that we ever can. Most hobbies are easy to pick. The learning curve is short, the gratification is immediate and we often tend to not invest time into understanding the clockwork of how our passion ticks.
For a long time, I’ve always had a few guitars, an expensive floor processor, a few amps. I’m addicted to music instruments. I’ve been a rocker since 2000. The first month, I was armed with a notebook to pen down lyrics. Two months down the line, I had bought a drum kit. Six months down the line, I was a guitarist. In the process, I had managed to survive as a drummer and a guitarist. A lot many years later, my room is now void of instruments. I had the drums thrown away. I lost my guitar to a burglar who opted to steal my guitar rather than the laptops that were lying around. Well almost empty. I have two keyboards and I use both of them almost everyday.
There is a fine line that separates passion and compulsive shopping. There are times when I struggle to classify myself. Am I a compulsive buyer. Well, Yes. Am I passionate about music. Absolutely. I don’t regret the buys. I enjoy them whenever I can. I invest a lot of time into studying the theory of music production. I still don’t know to play the bloody instrument. I don’t know how to play them chords. I follow my heart when it comes to music and that’s good enough for me. It will take me a while to make a bit of money from my music but that day is coming.
Coming back to fool and his money. I was in a bit of a discussion about kindle and books. I do have two kindles. I don’t use them. I buy books and I read plenty. I am quite pleased at this bookworm phase of my life. The thing about being a fool is, if you enjoy your status as fool, why would it matter? It’s one of those things that I can’t quite comprehend. I save my money for as long as I can. I find something worth buying, I blow it off. The iteration kicks in.
Have you experienced GAS? Do you enjoy the happiness and peace that consumerism offers? Do you feel guilty about the shopping spree? pssst, are you a fool and do you find yourself parting away your money a lot 😉
Last but not the least, does your toothpaste have SALT ??????