A prerequisite of making a haul video is being a commodity fetishist, someone who the corporations “got to.” For the most part, individuals in this state aren’t consciously aware of the fact that they’ve been “gotten to” because they possess the high suggestibility/ lack of awareness that necessitated their manipulation in the first place. In that light, I found this haul video interesting because the subject made it clear she was aware of the ostentation and pretention of a haul video and grappled with the fact that she was going through with it anyways because she couldn’t resist the potential social capital gain.

This grappling displays that the subject buys into, participates in and accepts the public’s appropriation of commodities to construct and make meaning of concepts such as ‘truth’, ‘beauty’ and ‘utility’ (Arvidsson, pg. 236) while, simultaneously, recognizing another set of more humanistic values. She is debating which value set will bring her more utility. It’s a question of how she wants to live her life, and she’s having an identity crisis.

Arvidsson states that being “actively engaged in the social construction of consumer goods… produces a common in the form of community, a shared identity” (pg. 242). This girl is having an inner battle between being a part of that community and making social capital gains within it but not compromising her meta-values (her more fundamental, instinctual values). What’s driving her into this conflict is the fear of being alone. She just wants to be accepted.

This girl’s fear of not being accepted driving her to make a haul video is indicative of the psychological stimuli behind these public ploys at social capital gain. It shows that underlying consumerism may be, simply, fear. This video is evidence that the point of consumption is just to get other people to think you’re worth being liked. It’s a complex psychological dynamic but one that is so fundamental to being human.

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