I’m sure I’m not alone feeling that modern marketing is frustrating and annoying. The content usually suggests my life is lacking in love or happiness. It seems these problems could be solved if I took the latest pill, lost a few pounds, and bought a new car. The psychology of advertising seems bent on convincing me that I am inadequate, inferior, and unhappy but one more gadget will solve the problem.
Reducing my exposure to advertising is not always easy. I don’t have a TV – that helps. I stream nearly all shows or movies that I watch and manage to avoid a good deal of advertising that way. I tend to listen to CBC or satellite radio avoiding another big chuck of brainwashing.
On the internet avoiding advertising is a bit more tricky. Google is pretty crafty by using your search terms to promote relevent ads. Maybe this is actually useful? Other webpages blast me with a litany of needs I didn’t even know I had. E-mail spam is my favourite. Here I am frequently offered the opportunity to earn millions helping the banker for a dead Nigerian prince or address my need to acquire a 14 inch penis that will remain erect for more than 4 hours. Spam filters are getting pretty good at catching that stuff.
Facebook tries to inundate me with all sorts of products and services too. That, I am pleased to report, I have substantially avoided by setting my birth year to 1928 and my gender as female. As a result, I get “targeted” with advertisements for wrinkle cream and assisted living.