Malls and Lifestyle

Philippines
January 6, 2009 5:50am CST
We now often hear "I will go malling" instead of "I will go shopping" or "I will go window-shopping." Malls have replaced some centerpieces of our lives. We now go to malls to relax instead of to the beach. To eat good food, we either had a cook-out or we went to a good restaurant; now we go to malls. Some malls provide worship services, so many people now go to malls to worship, not to the church. Is this development good or bad? Is there a dislocation, a disconnect here somewhere, somehow? In terms of products for example, can malls be viewed as the quintessence of disconnection from the surrounding villages since the products in malls are mostly over-packaged, over-processed, and have been transported over hundreds of miles that started abroad, not in the surrounding villages? If malls are the wave of the future, how can they accommodate the message and the practice of frugality, simplicity, thrift, self-sacrifice, self-denial, and sublimation in the combination of gloss and hype and consumerism and sometimes hedonism that malls project to the consumers? Or am I just oversensitive and alarmist about the role of malls in our lives and lifestyle, in their relation to the local economy, and in the shaping of our values and culture?
6 people like this
26 responses
@suspenseful (40313)
• Canada
8 Jan 09
Most of the time, people go to the Mall because of the convenience. Sure we could go to the shopping center a mile away from our house, and go to the stores there, but the weather is quite cold, and we will be looking from one speciality shop to the other. In a country where the climate is mild, then a Mall seems rather unnecessary, but when the temperature gets down to minus 40 then it is good to have everything under one roof and there are stores where they sell local products. Often these are not in the store, but in the mall walk area. Of course you can refuse to buy and so stop this consumerism. But I would say shop wisely, and make sure you need the product and that it is not a waste of time. Oh about the over packaging or blister packs, instead of opening them at home, have the sales clerk open it for you. After a while, they will not put all that clear plastic over tiny objects.
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
6 Jan 09
Fortunately, or unfortunately, malls are here to stay. The same way that the internet has replaced media areas in our lives (news, music, meeting friends, games, etc.), malls have replaced or changed how we use our spare time. They provide excercise, a safe place to meet friends, and many types of stores, dining and services under one roof. Some malls even have amusement parks, theaters and yes, places to worship. Small towns or villages can fight back. While they may not have the selection of products that a mall does, store and business owners offer something that a mall can't. Knowledge of product, outstanding individual service to their customers, and if they work and plan together they can promote pride in locally produced merchandise. The winner is the consumer, but the loser doesn't have to be the individual shop owners.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Jan 09
I only go tto a mall if I need glasses and I use lenscraftersers! Now itf I go to another place it is in a stand alone place and better for in and out. Malls tire me out no relaxation that i cna see. Would rather go to a nice restrunt for food. also This town is so big we can do alot with out going to the mall!
1 person likes this
@Arkie69 (2156)
• United States
6 Jan 09
Very interesting subject indeed. I don't believe the malls are working in the best interest of the public. For one thing if you go through any given store you choose in any mall you will find very little that is made in the US. Almost everything is imported. This is hurting our economy badly and should not be allowed to continue. People will argue they only buy name brands that are made in the US. They need to start reading the labels and see exactly where it's really made. People tend to forget the true value of any item is not determined by the price. It is determined by how well and how long it will serve our needs. The malls are filled with cheap junk that does not fill our needs as well as it should. Wal Mart is the biggest rip off of all the retailers. Real bargains in Wal Mart are few and far between. Since they came up with the super centers it is ever worse than it was. A lot of the food they sell is a very poor quality. The super centers are basically a mall in one huge room. People need to start demanding fair value for their money like it used to be. Art
@alindahaw (1219)
• Philippines
9 Jan 09
The malling culture had just taken over the human race! LOL Just kidding. Yes, the malls are now playing great parts in our lives. A lot of people could not live without going to the mall in a week. Wait, some people do not think that their day is complete if they do not go to the mall after school or office hours. Malls are good places for socializing these days.
@suzzy3 (8351)
8 Jan 09
It does seem a shame that the simple life style you enjoy is being disrupted by consumerism.We have had the enourmous shopping centres in England for years now at first everyone used to rush to them,including myself with my daughter but after a while the gloss wears off it is something new and different,all these exciting new shops and things in them are a novelty.It is a shame your local crafts are being neglected but beleave me they will return to popularity once the shine has gone off these malls,it happened here and people go to farmers markets and second hand shops now.It is big business entering your serene oountry as the population gets richer they have more spare money to treat themselves with,I can see from your profile you are a bit older than me at fifty and I can remember the simple days of shopping for what you needed.Youngsters seem to think they need so much more than we mangaged with and there will always be some greedy business to take their money off them,it will settle down because there is one thing you can be sure off, times change but people on the whole don't.We will live out lives the same what ever happens the others will realise when the shine goes off,what life is really all about.Thank you for a good discussion I ehjoyed answering it.
@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
8 Jan 09
i for one can not stand malls. i never have liked to shop. i just shop when i have to & thank heavens that is not too ofter. they opened a new wal-mart super center here & i hate going to it to. if people didn't shop anymore than i do the malls ewould be in big trouble.
@onlydia (2808)
• United States
7 Jan 09
Well, mall's have been around for over 20+ years and I like the fact when I go to JCPenny I can also go to Sears. As you use less gas. If you stick to your list. The church one is when no one else can pay there rent so they rent it out to a church. You have a good day.
• India
7 Jan 09
you are true, Malls has changed the life style of the society. It has changed the way city were looking some time back. Earlier in my city people used to just visit the place with blinking eyes and they didn't buy anything from there as it was costly. Now even malls has come with many discounts and gifts for the buys and more over in my city malls are coming up with more than 15 theaters in it.
@lingli_78 (12836)
• Australia
7 Jan 09
interesting discussion... yes, i believe that mall had become our lifestyles now... you are not being over-sensitive at all... i feel it as well... every time i go into a mall, no matter what day it is, it is always packed with people until it closed and people are shopping... so i don't understand about the recession that people are talking about... if we are facing recession time, why people are still spending their money like there is no tomorrow in the malls and shopping centres??? take care and have a nice day...
@winterose (39897)
• Canada
7 Jan 09
I have never heard we go malling, this is a new one for me. we go shopping yes but I have never heard malling, a mall is just a convenient way of having all the stores you need in one spot instead of running all around the city. I don't think that people will buy more because there is a mall I think they can shop wiser, because the have different stores to choose from at different price ranges for their goods.
@dmoleman (18)
• Philippines
7 Jan 09
Malls have direct impact on people's lives, more so that it is the "in" of the moment. Mall can be viewed as "manna" from heaven because of many things it has contributed to our lifestyles. Just imagine, during the 1980's, going to the market stalls is very inconvenient, especially during rainy days, or hot, sunny days, but now, one can enjoy buying necessities at wet markets inside malls, where everything, from vegetables to fish and meat products, are available, without worrying about rains. Malls also offer entertainment plazas where some family members can frolic and enjoy, while others are buying household necessities, and afterward, when hunger "strikes", everyone can choose from different food outlets to dine. Some prefers bonding with family members on beaches and nature parks, but most prefer malls because of health concerns. Overexposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer and other related health risks. Inside malls, can can enjoy without worrying being exposed on the heat of the sun. Although, there are also some disadvantages in going to malls, but I consider it very nil compared to its advantages.
@kun2349 (23464)
• Singapore
7 Jan 09
Malling or shopping, are just part of relaxation ^_^ It's just the same like, exercising or even going to the beach.. It's part of perference too ^_^ IF one does not like the beach, it's very natural to them that's not a relaxation place for them ^_^ LIkewise for me, i dun really like shopping and eating out, thus malls are not the places for me to hang out ^_^
@Ithink (10614)
• United States
7 Jan 09
Im one of those persons that doesn't like the mall. The only time I have gone in 2 years is when my Best Friend needed to go and asked me to go. The only store I do go to and buy is AC Moore Crafts. I don't know of any other store that has the things they do other then Wal-Mart and I buy as little as I have to there too. At the mall I don't get the personal service I do at my normal stores. They are also over inflated. People seem to think they are getting a great deal when a hoody says 50% off and they only have to pay $25 bucks or so. Yeah malls aren't for me.
• United States
6 Jan 09
I sometimes liek malls because I can finish all my shopping at the same place in a day from end to end. However, they definitely lack uniqueness; products are over packaged-over processed and not to mention transported from all over the world. I still remember when there were no malls around, then we used to check out all the local shops for different things..these shops were so unique..in terms of the person there..business practices..stuff on display..deals etc. Usually people/families had a favorite store for a certain stuff for generations..seller and buyer knew each other on personal level and interactions were so rich..Malls definitely lack that personal touch..and are more detached and commercial in spirit. Moreover Malls are in part responsible for encouranging people to over spend, chase fashion , collect needless things, find security in stuff rather than innate personal strength-people- and relationships ..Malls have made all of enter the race of the LATEST unnecessarily..So although they do represent a nice entertainment point..they also represent over spending-insecurity-loneliness etc.. It ultimately depends on us , the consumers , what meaning , purpose and prioirty we impart to these destinations.
@bam001 (941)
• United States
6 Jan 09
I don't know if going "malling" is good or bad. I suppose it can be a little of both. As one who used to make herself feel better by going on a shopping spree, I can say that the "feel good" is short-lived. It feels good in the moment when I go shopping, but it rarely last much longer than the day. I do like to go to malls just to walk around and look...but I don't get the same relaxation out of going to the mall that is 5 minutes from my house as I do when I drive 2 hours to a nicer, bigger mall. The mall near my house is becoming quite rundown and populated with teens who really don't know what proper behavior is. Go figure! I really don't think that malls are bad...they do give us a different way to shop and they can be quite entertaining if you go sit on a bench and just "people watch."
@arijit2 (79)
• India
6 Jan 09
Well it's not only you but it's us also who are alarmed at this mall subject. It's natural for any person.Well according to me there is an advantage and a disadvantage of a mall. Advantage: It makes people connect to the standard of the world with the hi-fi things.We become as one in the filed of communication , knowledge and interaction Disadvantage: Our culture is lost.
@nilzerous1 (2435)
• India
6 Jan 09
The discussion you have started has multiple dimensions. And instead of expressing my views, I would like to share different views from different people in this regard. Recently, one of my senior colleagues remarked that visiting a local open air market has a different charm. He can talk with his old friends. Also he has good friendship lots of sellers. For him a traditional market gives him 'at home' comfort. Whereas one of my teenagers in our locality is obsessive about visiting big shopping malls. I have accompanied him a number of times. And he has been very much enthusiast to visit those stores. Obviously, at his age, he hardly goes there for shopping. But he finds it lot more interesting to visit a new-age shopping mall instead of a traditional market. So, that is what we call 'order of the day'!
@di1159 (1580)
• United States
6 Jan 09
This is so true! I have a local mall where you can shop, get a massage, eat, drink and watch a live band on the weekends. My kids get all dressed up on Friday afternoons and want to be dropped off at the mall until midnight so they can hang out. It's an outlet mall so most of the places are reasonable and it's always packed so I guess a lot of people take advantage of it. I suppose that soon boutiques and small retail stores will become a thing of the past.
@ElicBxn (61149)
• United States
6 Jan 09
Well, around here, some of the malls are failing. Our first mall has lost one of its main stores, and another store has taken over a couple of the hub store places after the orginal stores failed. I don't know if malls will replace all small stores, and none of our malls have groceries in them.