The other day I gave my students an assignment to watch tv, read a magazine, listen to the radio, walk around campus, or commute to school and count the number of advertisements that they see in a 30 minute period. The students came up with very interesting numbers. We are literally bombarded with ads on a daily basis. Ads are so prevalent that they are even inside public restrooms!
I likened this to some of the brainwashing experiements of the 1950s. The experiments had to do with repeating sounds and or images and attempting to make people change. Well, isn't that what ads are doing to us?
So, do we have a choice? Well, it depends. We can ignore the ads - if we are aware of what is happening to us. However, so many of us grew up watching tv. Ads have become to prevalent that we hardly notice them. We hardly notice how we suddenly "need" items.
The other night we saw an ad on TV for somehting like a swiffer. You know - one of those use and toss items. Madison (age 12) turned to me and asked if we couldn't do the same thing with a mop or cloth. She is lucky to be able to see through ads. She is lucky that she is raised in a home where we dicuss the issues of advertising. Where we question our own purchases and look at the issues of wants and needs. How many of us do this?
- So, I challenge you - count the ads that you see in a 1/2 hour period. What are they telling you that you need?
- Try to take a week without purchasing unnecessary items. How do you feel?