A backlash to the excesses of consumerism is starting to brew as people increasingly look at ways to ‘make-do’, re-use, and re-cycle as a way to deal with the credit crunch and it’s called Tinkering.
Tinkering is partly an answer to the traditional assumption that people who buy things are “consumers”– passive, thoughtless, and reactive, people whose needs are not only served by companies, but are defined by them as well. When you tinker, you don’t just take control of your stuff; you begin to take control of yourself.
Tinkering is a way of investing new meanings in things, or creating objects that mean something: by putting yourself into a device, or customizing it to better suit your needs, you’re making that thing more meaningful.
Tinkering is our new leisure activity: Two hundred years ago, tinkering as a social activity– as something that you did as an expression of a desire to invest things with meaning – just didn’t exist: it’s what you did with stuff in order to survive the winter!