Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Advertisements: The Bane of Our Society

Today I want to give us all some food for thought about ads. I have seen just too many of them nowadays, and knew I had to share my opinion with you guys! :)

So imagine this: You’re eyes are glued to the TV screen. You cannot look away from it. The fake, electronic light is blinding. You have lost all concern for what surrounds you. You don’t need food, water, or sleep. You cannot live.

Because you see the latest teddy bear, Ted234Lightning.

Go ahead, laugh. It’s funny. Yes, it is simply hilarious how every single day of our lives, we are so easily distracted, so easily wanting the unnecessary, so easily brainwashed. Who is this evil force that turns human beings into senseless creatures of desire?

Yes, the advertisement. In Latin, ad vertere means "to turn toward", meaning to call attention to a business. Just someone out there hoping to get some money by spreading the word about their work.  Sounds pretty harmless, right? Now, ads have morphed into a dangerous weapon. Day by day, month by month, year by year, people suffer even more because of these wastes of time.

So if it’s gotten this bad, the solution is simple. We need to get rid of all the advertisements altogether.

According to informative television show, Brain Games, giving people less options actually makes them happier. They gave some people lots of options for ice cream flavors, and others only three options. The participants faced with several options felt conflicted, dissatisfied, and wishing they had chosen something else. When just faced with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, the choice was usually obvious, and there were no regrets afterwards.

It works the same way with ads. Being convinced daily that you never have enough is a huge money waster, and can make people get more than they need. You never wanted the Teddy234Lightning until that ad introduced you to it. Think. You can’t miss what you don’t see!

A young child’s entire perception of the world can be destroyed because of these omnipresent ads. Food advertising and child obesity, for example, have been found to have a disturbingly close connection. The rates of obesity in America’s children and youth have almost tripled in the last quarter century. “Approximately 20% of our youth are now overweight with obesity rates in preschool age children increasing at alarming speed” (apa.com). Apa.com states that kids spend about “44.5 hours per week in front of computer, television, and game screens - more than any other activity in their lives except sleeping.” Ads are abundant online, and kids are being targeted even when their parents are unware.

Additionally, in 2010, spending on advertising was estimated at $143 billion in the United States and $467 billion worldwide. With that kind of money, we could build a nature reserve to protect endangered animals, save hundreds of thousands of young starving children, and get me a ton of iPads. Even after all of that spending, we would still have a colossal amount of money left.

Clearly, these ubiquitous, sly, and plainly evil ads need to be eliminated completely. Advertising is tantamount to turning the entire human race into mindless robots. Things are getting worse. Companies are coming up with even more seductive strategies to make us do what they want. New technology, new ideas, new ads. Why wait? Let us act now. Let us take control our futures, instead of letting the future control us.