From Where I Sit...
What's the Message?
(C) Marie Greene, 2004
As traditional values continue to deteriorate in our society, we are bombarded by messages that attempt to change our perceptions. We are told that we need more and that we want more (whether we like it or not!). Current television ads dissuade women from being homemakers and mothers, and instead insist that what women really want is to climb the corporate ladder. (A 2004 television ad for soymilk shows a woman daydreaming about becoming her company's youngest vice president, while her husband chooses to stay home and raise the children.)
Ads aimed at children send the message that their parents don't know what they want, and that they should 'express themselves' through poor behavior and disobedience. A recently released motion picture film stars children as main characters who rob a bank in order to save their father. Does it bother you that your children are being sold the subliminal message that it's ok to steal if it's for a good cause? Sure, it's just a movie. But anyone who doesn't realize the effect that media has on social behavior and values (especially in young people) is living with their head in the sand.
We have become a throw-away society that insists on having bigger, better and newer... no matter the cost. As incomes rise, debt levels exceed them. Not only have we become dissatisfied with possessions (and are constantly in search of the next material thrill), but we have become dissatisfied with relationships. Divorce rates are rising. Why? Because we are a culture that has been taught that if we don't like the current model, we can get a new one. The lack of values is spreading, and the target of attack is the family unit.
What's the message? Instead of accepting these messages at face value, really dissect what they are selling. More often than not, you'll find that what they are selling is more than a product. Are you buying it?
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