People just love freebies and discounts. They apparently get more with limited money, so why shouldn’t they like them? There are countless number of offers around us just waiting to be availed. There are different sites providing coupons to be used and get discounts for online shopping. People wait for sales to happen and then they buy things. This appears to be an example of perfect household management. Missing such an opportunity stings and the pain remains with the person until he or she gets a similar or even a better deal in some time.
The penchant for freebies and discounts is engraved so deep in the hearts and souls that the way people perceive different situations and facts have been altered noticeably. This change in behavior not only impacts people as individuals but the society as a whole as well. Freebies do not actually remain free once they become an addiction. This addiction is costly in various ways and is eating up the nation (India) from inside. People have been paying a heavy price for the so called freebies and discounts they have been receiving during the course of time.
The love for “free”, “discounts” and so on have both direct or conspicuous as well as indirect or obscure aftereffects. Lets see some of the scenarios where the affect of this addiction is seen.
If you are new at a place, as in started working, or got admission somewhere, you will find some extraordinary freebies. Your senior or an experience colleague is always ready to buy smoke or a hard drink for you with a touching line “bhai hai tu apna” (you are like a brother to me). First few drinks and first few cigarettes are free. Trust me, the people who took that free offer then, have now changed places and are offering drink and smoke to newbies.
Another example of indulging yourself in free things like Facebook, Youtube and Whatsapp. They are free, aren’t they? If they were paid services, how many people would have invested how much of their valuable time on these platforms. I guess the number of hours invested and the number of people investing would have drastically reduced. I am not at all implying that they are useless and waste of time, they do have their significance and need. But I am indeed questioning the number of hours invested in them.
The commercial organizations rely strongly on the addiction of these freebies and discounts and make them as their marketing strategies. The examples mentioned so far do not look that depressing, but lets see some more examples which originate from the love for discounts and freebies.
When there are huge discounts, people tend to look at the amount saved rather than the amount they are paying and if it is even required. A teenager break a traffic rule and gets caught and is sometime able to save himself from the actual fine for say 500INR by paying 100 INR to the cop. He is considered street smart and shows off his extraordinary skill. 80% discount on M.R.P is an awesome deal, he had a reason to be happy. The guilt of breaking a rule and paying a fine howsoever small it was, got suppressed by “skill set”.
How many times did we see people casting their votes on the basis of freebies offered? Political parties are not behind in the race of exploiting individuals in the names of freebies and discounts. There are free laptops or free e-rickshaw (U.P. Politics) awarded, or free water or reduced electricity price offered (Delhi Politics) or free WiFi, or free liquor and so on. If people were not addicted to “free” they might have elected a deserving candidate.
It might look like a far fetched theory, but one of the reasons for corruption is this one habit of not paying the actual amount due for a service, product, license etc. People become a part of corrupt practices because they gain something from it, that can be reduced time frame to receive a service, or get something without completing the process, or fulfilling the per-requisites comes out to be costlier than paying a bribe. A lot of things might change if people can say “no” to these freebies or at least think before utilizing these freebies, discounts, subsidies and so on. And at last, any thing that is free is destroyed. See what happened to free water, the same thing is gradually happening with free air. “Free” is an evil, anything and everything which is free is destined to be doomed.