Looking at America from the perspective of an adult consumer has me to see certain parts of American society in a way that I wasn’t used to seeing in the past. As a child I was always aware of how toys, snacks, and cartoon programs were marketed and advertised to me but as an adult I can not only see how these forces work on a daily basis; I can also see how they aim to get me to deplete my economic resources for their own end.
Corporations drive the advertisements that we see on television, the internet, and even cell phones. As a matter of fact everytime some new technology medium is created and large masses of people gather to use it (TWITTER), I can pretty much figure out it’s just a matter of time before corporations start inventing ways on how to dominate and take over the medium.
Cell phones are going to be the next biggest area for advertisers to dominate. I already see it coming because so much emphasis is being placed on accessing the internet from cellphones. One of the reasons why this is being done is because corporations want to ever expand their ability to take consumers money through every means possible.
With all of this marketing and advertising for material goods, many Americans are becoming material addicts and corporations are getting them hooked. The lattest hybrid car (it’s just a matter of time before they become the common vehicle on the street); the lattest computer, the best decorated house, and promoting the lattest clothing trend will cause many people to constantly strive for more and more material possessions.
People will not only strive for these possessions they will also strive to constantly update or replace the current goods they now own. Corporations are constantly promoting new and exciting products in order to stay ahead of the rest their competitors and to keep me, the consumer spending my money on their goods.
As a consumer, I don’t resent corporations but at the same time, I’m not so quick to fall in line and march to their drumbeat either. I realize the important role that corporations play in society. In a sense they are a primary reason why America is as wealthy as it is. They provide jobs and in many cases their material goods are a necessity in life.
The question that I constantly have to ask myself though, as an American consumer, how much stuff do I really need in order to live an adequet life within American society? I find that corporations are indirectly and steadily trying to define this aspect of life for me. Having the lattest gadgets, the new energy effecient home, and the newest slickest car on the market; do I really need to have all those things?
Even in time periods of recession or depression the corporations marketing and advertising efforts never cease. I see people (even poor and broke people) spend their last dime getting those lattest pair of shoes when they have 10 good pair already in their closet. I see people getting current year vehicles and trading in cars that were only a few years older just to get them. I’ve seen people move into houses they could not afford just so they could lay claim to the American Dream for material wealth which drives almost everyone in this society.
Corporations aren’t going anywhere simply because they’re living entities and the major corporations have become such an important part of our economy that if they did go bankrupt or dissapeared all together our economy would simply fall flat on its face. Even though I know that corporations are a “necessary evil” as a consumer I still have to fault them for addicting so many American people to material goods.
Well, I’m fighting everyday to ensure that the addiction doesn’t take me over and to be honest, though most people probably won’t agree with me, there are some advantages to being poor and not having a lot of money. After all if you really don’t have the money to spend on the corporations goods then this will more than likely keep you from being addicted to their products.
But the truth is, corporations are so greedy they’ll find a way to make their products affordable to the poor and disinfranchised and have them addicted to their product. Kind of like malt liquor, smokes, and Red Bull. Okay, I like Red Bull and though it’s not that cheap for an 8.5 ounce can. I have to admit, that I find myself going back for more of the energizing fluid.
Damn corporations, put something in the Red Bull and now I’m hooked on it. You see how corporations get the average guys addicted? They realize that if they can’t get you with one thing they’ll get you with another simply because “something” appeals to everyone; it’s just a matter of finding out what that “something” is for each individual. Trust me, corporations will figure it out.
Oh well, might as well stop complaining and go get another Red Bull.