This post could be an adjunct to the one about taking a news media fast. I read today that someone determined that on average we are subjected--in other words have thrown in our face--3000 advertising messages a day. I don't want to do the math and find out how many that is in a year. This includes radio, television, on-line, posters and large screens in public places. Then there are print advertisements in newspapers, magazines and even on the back of bills and receipts, on the jerseys of athletes and the sideboards in hockey arenas. I don't want to mention the unfortunate people who have he job of waving signs at me from the side of the street or parading up and down wearing a sandwich board.
And what is all this in aid of? Getting people to purchase something they may or may not need or at least remember the name of the product when next at the shop or the politician when next in the voting booth. It's easy to feel vaguely dissatisfied after reading Cosmopolitan or House and Garden. We just aren't as sexy, good looking or well-endowed not to mention well-decorated and organized as we should be. But the magazine's advertisers have a cure for that.
I've read that one of the traits of some autistic children is an inability to screen out background input or differentiate between that which deserves their attention and that which should be ignored. How distressing this would be. I like to think that I manage to ignore advertising for the most part.
Here is an excerpt from The Simple Dollar on this topic:
Advertising is far more prevalent than most people think. Sure, you can sit at home and skip the television ads, but it’s pretty hard to do that in an airport or at a friend’s home. Sure, you can skip ads in magazines, but your eyes have to look at it enough to recognize it as an ad, and that’s often enough to get visual recognition of the logo.
There’s also internet ads, commercials stuck on the front of YouTube videos, billboards, radio ads… the list goes on and on.
The worst kind, in my eyes, is product placement right within the programs. Ads are often indistinguishable from the show you’re watching or the article you’re reading.
The only way to avoid ads is to go on a complete media fast. No television. No internet. No magazines. No driving. Curl up at home with a thick classic novel.
See if, for a couple of days, you can shut out most of the din. You might like it and, if not, well you probably didn't need all that stuff, anyway.