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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

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Pitt baseball players stand in the dugout during a game against Virginia Tech on March 24 at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Pitt baseball shows promise in weekend series in Texas
By Dylan Grace, Staff Writer • 12:32 am

Opinion | Mass buying is not normal

Opinion+%7C+Mass+buying+is+not+normal
Thalia Sifnakis | Staff Illustrator

Unless you’re going to Costco or grocery shopping, you do not need to buy dozens of a certain item in one go. This especially pertains to trending items on social media. Many of us have seen at least one TikTok of someone showing off their water bottle collection — usually full of Stanley cups. Many avid Stanley lovers are going out to stores such as Target and buying up all of their new releases, grabbing multiple cups at a time. This is not normal behavior and it’s not something we should collectively normalize. We should not make a habit of bulk buying or hoarding items that aren’t meant to be bought in such a manner. 

Stanleys are insanely popular right now, and I understand wanting to have one to participate in the trend. However, you do not need a dozen of them to join in on the trend and fit in. All you need is one. The point of these reusable water bottles is that you only need one, maybe two. The Stanleys, Hydro Flasks, Owalas and other water bottles are all meant to last years. There is no reason to have a whole cabinet of differently colored reusable water bottles. That defeats the whole purpose. What will happen to all these water bottles when Stanley is no longer popular and not considered the water bottle to have anymore? 

I admit, I used to be that person. I used to have around six of those reusable Starbucks water cups. And yes, after that whole Starbucks cup hype died down, I got bored of them and moved on to something else. In my defense though, those plastic cups were not meant to hold hot drinks such as tea, so half the time I just used a glass bottle instead. But whenever I wasn’t making tea or using boiling hot water, I’d use them as a regular water bottle. To this day, I still use the cups at home, just without the lid and straw. Do I regret buying so many though? Yeah, just a little. It was definitely super unnecessary and it’s now taking up way too much space in my cabinet. I just wanted to have the same things that I see the girlies on social media have. 

Wanting what you see others have online is not inherently a bad thing. It’s normal to want to have some sort of similarity with your favorite influencers and celebrities. However, there’s a limit to that. When it comes to reusable items such as water bottles, bags or articles of clothing, there is no need to buy multiple of them at once. It can be tempting to want more colors of the same thing because you think, “Oh, if I get it in this color, it’ll go with these outfits,” but realistically speaking, how often will you actually use them all? 

The whole “so they’ll match any outfit you wear” argument is very much based on capitalistic overconsumption — whether that be the cabinet full of Stanleys or the closet full of Lululemon belt bags and scubas in every color imaginable. We are always pushed or influenced in one way or another to keep buying things. Even if we don’t need it, it’s marketed to us as a necessity that we “can’t live without” or that it’ll “change our lives forever.” These are all things that are made to last a long time, so there is no reason why anyone needs so many of them. 

Sure, maybe you want to start a collection. Many people have collections as a hobby. But if the root desire for that collection is just because it’s popular right now and not because you actually enjoy it, then maybe you don’t need it. There are plenty of people who spend hundreds, if not thousands, on their collections of trains, stamps, maybe even limited edition figurines, but that hobby of collecting was not fueled by current popularity. It’s because of genuine interest and passion, and those items are collected over time, not all at once. 

Now that I know better than to buy into every trend out there, it’s saved me a lot of money and cabinet space. The water bottle I use now is the Hydrojug shaker bottle. It’s not as fancy or popular as the Stanley or Owala, but I’d say the quality is just about the same. It’s well insulated and straw-free. There is nothing more I could ask for in a water bottle. The only bottle I have multiples of is my Blender Bottle. I have two that I rotate out for my protein shakes. That is really all I need. I can’t even imagine having five or more of those — what would I even do with all of them? 

Sure, it is tempting to give in to whatever social media or influencers are trying to sell you. We live in a capitalist society where spending and the promotion of spending are at every corner. Social media is just one avenue for it. One thing to keep in mind is that most of us are normal, average people. We don’t get PR packages or sponsorships or anything from these companies. Influencers have the opportunity to get many things for free, hence why they have so much of everything. The average person doesn’t have that privilege. So to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on something that you probably only need two or three of is not realistic — especially if you’re someone who’s not a content creator. 

Bulk buying and the hoarding of popular and trending items is a recent phenomenon pushed by social media. It is not something that anyone needs to do. Trends come and go, but all the things you’ve bought in the name of those trends still stay in your cabinets. Many of those things will likely go to waste once the trend is over and it’s no longer cool or popular to have them. We should all be more mindful when participating in these trends. Do you really like and want it, or do you only want it because you see other people online have it and you want to be part of the “in” group? 

Kelly Xiong writes about all things fashion, beauty, personal health and sometimes pop culture. You can write to her at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Kelly Xiong, Senior Staff Columnist