I Want YOU To Do What I Want

April 16, 2012
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Think of the last thing that you bought. Did you buy it because you needed it, or because you wanted it? If you wanted it, why? was it because it was “cool” and “everybody has it,” or was it because you genuinely wanted it regardless of whether or not it was “cool?” Many of us say that we “have to have” something, but I pose a question: Why? Why do we “have to have” it? We, the American teenager, are heavily influenced by the power of propaganda and the loud voice of the media that dominates the aspects of popular culture.

Although we may not be privy to the impact of the media or refuse to see the tremendous influence it has on our lives, the effect is evident, and is growing even more so as time passes and our generation continues to react to the media stimulus. First, it has been reported that the average time kids spend watching TV per day is four hours. That would be about 1460 hours of TV per year, which is equivalent to the amount of hours for a part-time job. Also, there are approximately 109.6 million homes that have at least one TV. If you multiply that number by the amount of hours watched per year by kids, you get about 160 billion hours. Just imagine how much media infiltration is entering our minds every year, and that’s not even including billboards, print ads, internet, magazines, radio, and phone apps. Count how many times you see an advertisement targeted at teens, or see how many commercial jingles you have memorized or that you can recognize. The media influence is everywhere and the only thing we can do is ignore the influence the best we can. Unfortunately for many of us, though, we have failed to do so and the result is the ever-growing population of followers.
The media monster rears its’ ugly head and spews out propaganda in the form of attractive ads and smart words and gobbles up billions of dollars in revenue from teen spending. Yes, billions. This is the reason why media marketers target us; it’s because we are the spenders, spending about 140 billion dollars a year in clothing, music, electronics, and other products the marketers sell to us. These media marketers study us like specimen in a laboratory, and the reason why they study us so closely is because they want to find out the best way and the quickest way to suck money out of us. One of the media marketers even says that we only look at the things we want, not the things we need. We have no concept of money, therefore, we spend freely and buy all the latest products because we want, want, want, and the reason why we want, want, want, is because the media tells us we do, and we listen!. The avarice never ends! Then, we are told that all we need to experience in life is at the touch of our fingertips, and we need not move out of our chairs to learn about our world. This inactivity defeats the whole purpose of living. How can we experience life without getting out of our chair, off the couch, out of the house, away from the TV, away from the phone, away from the computer, and out there into the real world? The truth is we can’t! When was the last time you took time to look up at the sky at night, or watched the sunset or sunrise, or sat outside and just did nothing but enjoy the world around you? There are endless worlds, opportunities, and beauties out there, but some of us never truly experience them because we have allowed the media to trap us in a small fantasy world that only exists in our TVs, computers, iPods, iPhones, cellphones, and any other propaganda mediums available.

On the opposing side of my argument, many teens would argue that they are their authentic self. They are what they want to be and they do what they want to do. They might even say that the media poses no threat, or that they understand them. The media “gets” them. They sell them the stuff that’s cool, the stuff that’s in. Media marketers understand what kind of music they like, the kind of clothes they like, the styles, the technology, the shows, everything. Some teens might even say that the media marketers understand them better even than their own parents. Honestly, is this what it’s come down to? Media marketers are replacing parents? That mere idea is absolutely disgusting. The media marketers care nothing about us teenagers as people. If they did, do you think that our culture would behave, look, and think the way they do? Take a look at the products the media sells to us. Are most of those products morally beneficial and reflecting care about our well-being? Only if you think sex, violence, and drugs are beneficial to our well-being. Media marketers see us as their biggest asset in terms of money-making, so they will sell whatever sells fastest, which, unfortunately, happens to be the morally degrading products and ideas. Are we as mindless as the media makes us out to be? Of course not, so it is our job to make sure we do not succumb to the often alluring image of the media, and be the intelligent young adults who are the future of America.

The media is everywhere, constantly flashing itself in various ways in our faces, trying to get us to buy, buy, and buy some more. Although we cannot stop this media invasion, we can stop ourselves from falling into their elaborate trap. We do have a choice to stand up against the media influence and actually live life without the constant bombardment of the media’s fantasy world trying to consume us. Who are you, really? Are you really the “authentic” you, or are you just another image painted by the media?

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