The greatest piece of advice you should never buy into
Lick your lips…
From the very moment we are born, we are being influenced by our surroundings
And from the very first time we suckle down on your momma’s teat for a filling meal, we go from becoming one of nature’s unique beautiful creatures to nothing more than an empty statistic. We are now one of the 7 billion consumers on this planet.
The instant we are given the ability to contrast or compare and decide from two possibilities or outcomes of a situation, we begin to understand the nature of our greatest asset and our greatest hindrance, combined in one wonderful bow.
Value and Choice.
But the real key is the first time we are able to compare our own value against other people’s and then weigh what we have against others. This is that basis of how we begin to perceive ourselves against others and ultimately affects the way we react to the world around us. Not only that but the way we absorb information from others.
But this, my dear is Vesarce?
TO simply, I will just identify three states, a neutral state and one where you view the valuable of others and another where you don’t. These are
Envy, Satisfaction and Pity
- ENVY– You are more likely to listen to someone who has something that you desire (Referrent power)
- SATISFACTION – When you are satisfied with your life, you are less likely to take anything more than superficial information from them at all
- PITY -When you somewhat see someone as suffering or going through a hard time, you are less likely to take any information from them, especially in an area where they are going through significant difficulty in, instead you are likely to offer advice hoping they take it on board.
So just looking at an example on cooking, you are more likely to pick up and take on board tips given by a world class chef than from a student who’s just left home from the first time and if you are happy with your homemade chilli, your partner’s mom’s recipe (even though it’s just they way they like it) will stay the FUCK outta your culinary repertoire (cause she boils rice like a chav). The worst thing is that this pattern is still likely to stay consistent even if the information you’re going to retrieve from all three sets are EXACTLY the same. See what i mean here?
The thin veil of deceit dangling over your eyes
So back to being a consumer, the world suggests that the only way to grow is through peer and celebrity based envy based on their subconscious referent power over you and your natural need to compete. The only way to manage this is to create, produce, utilise and ultimately consume, with the latter of the four being the easiest means of superseding all around you.
So you produce and create more so that you will have the ability to utilise and consume more, reducing your envious side, increasing satisfaction and becoming more pitying of those without. More importantly increasing your referent power over others.
There lies the basic foundations of any capitalist society with meritocracy as its driving force
and it’s greatest weapon in deploying this is via the manipulation of your perception of value, through any means necessary.
But by far the most potent weapon of this is through a means known as Advertising
And with that, we become fodder for the consumer companies to try and make a profit out of our naivete.
Because of this, they spend nearly half a billion squid worldwide to try and get us to buy their products to get you to increase your referent power, and lower your subconscious social envy, while secretly actually not doing any of these things and making them serious amount of money.
To simplify, if daylight robbery was an artform, the utilization of advertising would be found amongst Da Vinci’s pricess lost work.
And if it was the food (damn, I must be hungry, I bet you’re hungry too) It is the tasty jam bit of the doughnut of social control. To be fair, it’s a bit of the icing as well. It’s literally THAT important.
The real significant part is that most people don’t realise when they are being advertised to or just how much it affects them. Heck, even right now, as you read this, I am trying to slying get you to buy into this piece of writing, buy into me as a writing concept while there are loads of beautiful colours and imagery on my page getting you to ‘consume’ more of me as possible.
The only difference is that I am not doing it for a profit, not a financial one anyway. More as an investment in my future as well as yours, in the current guise of entertainment. I am indeed advertising (and experimenting) my ability to communicate and entertain with you right there, right now. Unless you are a paranoid conspiracy theorists, you were probably unaware until now.
Well I wouldn’t be too worried about me right now, rather the many other forms and shapes it takes. Take the influence of my next example fairly seriously
What’s on the box?
I’m not going to use this example to highlight the impact of advertising on us, rather than bring to the attention of some of you exactly how much we are being advertised to.
And the easiest way to quantify this is via the use of Television (you know, that flatscreen thing your sofa points to when you eat takeaway and ignore your partner and kids). We all know that most shows have telly breaks in them. This isn’t politely giving your aunt edna time to empty her piss pot. It’s strategically placed there to make sure she blows half of your inheritance on stamps and collector coins.
So let’s just look at some rough figures
Each ad break is roughly 3 1/2 minutes
There are four in a hour.
So that’s nearly 16 minutes of ads an hour.
and the average working person watches 4 1/2 hours of TV a day on a weekday
So that is 63 minutes of adverts a night for roughly 233 working days.
Which is roughly 14680 minutes of adverts during the all the working days in a year.
On the weekends, and days off we probably watch a lil bit more tv, about 8 hours of tv a day on average.
Which means 112 minutes of ads and approximately 14790 minutes of advertising in a year.
Now if you combine those beautiful numbers that gives us a total of approximately 29500 minutes of adverts watched in a year.
Now considering that the average life expectancy is about 85 years old and not taking into account that you probably watch more tv when you are not working (under 18) and when you retire (post 65), you get a number of around
2,504,355 minutes of Television advertising (per lifetime for you Kharmaic cats)
That’s over 2 1/2 million minutes watching adverts.
Now this doesn’t sound like much but let me break it down for you
But here is the real scary thing
In the average day we sleep for eight hours, so roughly no one gives a shit about a third of the time we are alive. I mean there’s no point us watching adverts while sleeping right. So if we take all the time when these ads are rolling and watch them purely when awake, the true figure would look more like.
7.14 Awake YEARS
THAT’s OVER SEVEN YEARS OF YOUR LIFE USED UP WATCHING ADVERTS ON THE TELLY.
You could do 2 PhDs in that period of time (or nearly one if you are myself…ahem…)
The whole picture
Now this is the real scary part. When you look at the total influence of advertising, this only touches the iceberg on your ability to be influenced to consume.
- This doesn’t take into account when you are sick, or if you are disabled
- If you are addicted and watch far more tv than you do
- Product placement in tv programs
- Going shopping
- Adverts on the radio
- Peer and celebrity envy (and review/recommendations)
- If you live in a suburban area where you spend more time indoors on telly.
- Logos on people’s clothing and personal items
- Social networking sites
- Time at winter when it get dark earlier and you watch more tv
- Cross promotions
- DVDs, movies and games
- Spam mail
- Students who hand out stuff
- Word of mouth.
- Door to Door salesmen
- Drop Callers
- Phantom texters
- Special promotions
- THE ENTIRITY OF THE WHOLE FUCKING INTERNET (you’d be hard pushed to visit a website these days without any form of advertising/brand identity on it)
Heck, you would be hard pushed to look around you at your work space for more than five seconds without even seeing a single brand label. there is probably one at the bottom/top of the very device you are reading this on.
When you take all these things into account, I believe you spend closer to over half your active life being sold items to.
That’s Nearly FIFTY YEARS BEING ADVERTISED TO
IN a time and place when you believe in things like free will and freedom of choice, how free are you to make real choices when you have all that clutter constantly telling you what to buy and how to function, all of them being biased to fuck suggesting their product/night/lifestyle is going to be the one that changes ‘your life’ for the better?
Does that sound like freedom or choice to you? Do you really have any say over your consumer habbits? Is the choice to be a slave to one master over another entitle you to the belief you are actually free?
What real choices have you made without the outside influence of others?
When you look at advertising from this light, it can be very daunting and you find your goals and needs are not truly your own anymore. Your sense of individualism is nothing more than a decoy afterthought to encourage you to spend even more. Take these two ‘individuals’ who happen to find themselves on chatroulette.
So what the fuck do you want me to do about it?
To be honest, there isn’t much you can do about being a consumer, or your free will for that matter, it will always be tainted by the opinions and suggestions of others, because we don’t apparently have the time or patience to find things out for ourselves and rely heavily on sources like the news and adverts to form opinions for us. Such is life.
However, outside of being creative minded, you can to some degree seize some control back back by doing the most unnatural thing. Not making a choice at all. Or at least not a conscience one
Over the years, I have taken my own tiny stand against advertising and I think this is one that many people can appreciate as it is relatively simple. I was introduced to this by a good friend of mine when I was still at university and I still practice it to this day.
Next time you want to go to the cinema,
The easiest way for this to happen is to arrange to watch films with another person and each week, you take turns to pick, so every other week, you can turn up to the cinema and be completely oblivious to what you are about to watch.
After some weeks of this, you both end up picking a film to watch simply the by time it’;s showing and no other information, turn up, watch and enjoy/hate but discuss afterwards.
There are some great aspects to this
- In the right cinema, you to to experience films that you never would normally go and view. This expands your mind and your ability to interpret art tenfold. Soon you may grow an affinity for something you never gave the light of day or realise your previous loves were fads. If you have an arthouse cinema near you, i would try viewing some pieces there as well. They really do broaden the mind
- You get to develop your own ideas of what is presented to you rather than what you should expect. You are untainted by the perception of this film by a magazine or a group of advertisers who have tried to sway you to watch it.
- You do not have any preconceptions about what you are about to watch and are able to view it from a neutral pallete. You can literally get as close to the director’s purest vision as possible without any mediators diluting it.
- Your frame of mind is not influenced by peers or reviewers who either may not get the film or have emotional investment in the production so you
- You can view the film purely from your own perspective and come up with your own conclusions on plot, progression and ultimate message, that is if you believe it has one. The relationship between the work and you is now at a more personal level.
- There is the added buzz of not knowing what you are going to be seeing, which brings a little tingle of child like excitement to your eyes, one that is hard to replicate (think Christmas morning for adults).
We all know time is money and we are all very scared of the notion of investing in something we don’t like. There may be some fear that you end up watching something that you don’t like. TO be honest, I don’t think we should shy away from this. Most of all we shouldn’t shy away from the ability to try things. We live in a world that has us far too sheltered and in the palm of many other people. If we have to experience the odd feeling of discomfort in order to break out of the shackles of this then so be it.
And sooner rather than later, you start to re-evaluate the system you are part of and the choices you make in it.
ONce you start with films you can do the same with other things
- Restaurant choices
- Booking holidays
- Purchasing wine/drinks
- Trying online menus
- Reading books (avoid covers and back pages if you can).
- Trying out clothing (blind dressing room)
- Night out venues
- DVD rentals
You can literally do this with any recreational activity once you put your mind to it and open yourself up to a whole world of possibilities
Having choice itself limits your ability to choose. Having no conscious choice opens you up to a whole world of possibilities, completely outside your control, allowing fate to guide you to the You, you’ve always wanted to be, rather than the you they keep consuming.
Doesn’t that sound more appetizing
Don’t turn into an asshole
Once you’ve started down this path, you’ll start to enjoy things and it may actually take over your life.
The one trick you must make sure you don’t fall into is while trying to stay true to this way of life, you shouldn’t spoil it for others. Reviewers in general are just as bad as anyone mainstream advertisers.
It’s natural that once you have had a fantastic time in a place, you want to share those experiences with other people. You have to be wary though that you do not spoil that experience if they were to randomly have it themselves.
Everyone knows that the opinion of one really doesn’t mean didly squat, nor do stats or box office numbers and that is because an individuals relationship with a product is a unique one, formed at just the right moment in history from the big bang start that makes it unique. It would be a completely different relationship if forged milliseconds after. Therefore to try and relate this emotion to other people is normally almost impossible to do. You end up mostly tarnishing their experience of it and also getting slightly upset they don’t feel the same way about it as you do. The fucks…
SO my advice is, if you believe that something had a great impact on you, simply take said people blindly to experience it without your jabber mouth hyping the living shit outta it. If anyone asks you for your opinion on it, simply ask for them to try it out for themselves and if you feel strongly, guide them to have that experience without the fan parade first.
BUT as a consolation, be happy to review with people who have sampled said product, this is where these conversations with friends and families and respective people online come into play. This is where you can enhance the appeal of your time by finding out more of the product or perhaps noticing something you hadn’t realised before. This is where all the magic happens and you can both know you were captivated by the experience and not the advert and you consume out of your own free will, rather than anyone else’s.
This way the decision to consume should forever always be in your hands and not in the hands of the marketeers, where it should be.
So where do I pay?
So with that I will say that the game can change and change for the better I might add.
If you have already made some new year’s resolutions, I would suggest incoporating this experience into the mix, throw it around and see what you think.
If you have any good experiences doing it, or even bad ones, let me know in the comments section
Advertisers as far as I am concerned are the root to all evil and are probably the greatest artists on this planet. They make the snake from the bible story seem like Rodney and Del boy from only fools and horses.
You owe it to yourself to take control.
Do not allow yourself and your mind to be led
I assure you, you can’t buy the type of satisfaction or the control over yourself this provides.
Not even in a winter sale.
Hurry, while stocks last