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Classroom Reflection from Long Ago

In class on March 1 we talked about advertising. More specifically, how there seems to be an intense need to shop. The idea was that since we are being advertised too so much more than before digital technology made distribution of advertisements so effortless, we are able to convince ourselves that we need the product being advertised. Not to mention that advertisers are getting increasingly more proficient at offering us individualized content, which makes it more likely that we will want to buy it. But in reality, we don’t need the new shampoo or the new boots. 

Of course, to these companies, this is advantageous because they can make a profit, however it is making me think about where that leaves the consumer.  Most importantly, it encourages unnecessary spending. People who are struggling with managing a budget can easily fall into these traps and possibly go so far as to go in debt because of it. It encourages wastefulness. Many people view themselves as a small and insignificant fraction of the whole, so why should they contribute to preserving the environment and caring for the needy? And thirdly, it encourages materialistic views. Some might ask what’s wrong with that? But I feel that being preoccupied with material goods can often create other unnecessary barriers  between  people and contribute to them losing focus of why they are doing the things they do. 

Even though we are adapting to the amount of advertising demanding our attention, I feel that these messages are getting into our heads and that even though we may say that it’s just an ad, it stays with us on some level, and especially if the product is popular enough, it may persuade us to buy it, even though we don’t need it. I think this is especially important for young kids, who haven’t yet learned about the deliberate attempts on their parent’s money through flashy new toys. If they are made aware of the deliberate ways that content is presented to them, they can learn to distinguish between what they want and what they need.

4 comments

  1. You make a great point. When you mention that this creates unnecessary spending you are 100% right. Too many people fall for these ads which make people feel like they NEED the product. I can tell you that many times I have bought unnecessary items just because I liked the ad or simply the sales person was being too pushy. Now however, I have learned my lesson.

  2. I think this is a very interesting point. When I went home over spring my mom and I actually went shopping and she was shocked by the amount of people at the mall, but she realized that the economy is pretty good right now so people are willing to spend money. I believe that is more of a reason why people are willing to spend money online.

  3. I think you make a great point! I know I fall for it. I see something advertised online and next thing I know I’m browsing for clothes I shouldn’t be looking at because I can’t afford them and I probably don’t need them. It’s a dangerous world out there. Advertisers are smart and know how to get us. If I see an add for a sale I’m likely to click it. It’s amazing how many adds are on the internet now compared to a couple of years ago.

  4. I think this intense need to shop can also come back to targeted ads. If someone looked at something on Amazon casually, with the possibility of buying it, there is a high chance that an ad of that item might appear on your next page. So even if one can resist temptation once, there is always a second chance to see the item and think ‘well maybe.’

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