In the North American way of thinking, nothing is sacred, especially if there’s money to be made.
We Canadians have become SO Americanized, that in many ways I would say we’ve lost ourselves.
I remember when gambling was an “absolute taboo” in Canada, and when we didn’t even allow lotteries!
Church Bingo was about as risqué as we Canadians could see ourselves stretching, while our neighbours down south of us were the quintessential “flip of the coin”.
We scoffed at their billboard laden highways.
I’ve seen the introduction of television that aired for only a few hours a day with interspersed ads.
And then there was the introduction of “cable television” which was sold to the public as “advertising free“.
The obvious logic was a clear “bait and switch” . . . . get consumers “hooked on a service” as advertising free and then switch it out to the mess that we are forced to endure today!
I dislike advertising immensely, more for it’s “social conditioning” than for the content.
Society has “socially conditioned” itself to believe that “leisure time is the most valuable time“, building an environment in which we have subconsciously accepted the intrusion that advertising really is in the big picture of our lives.
Everyone is “vegging out in front of the tube” or whatever lingo works today!
My point is that it is ingrained in us from childhood that our views and perspectives come from that “talking head box that we can’t do without“.
So, they sold us a line into our homes that throughout the future would link us to the world and with the advent of 24 hour news, society’s intellect could be shaped by having the television simply become “background noise“.
I know, I was a “news junkie for years“. I probably would still be today if I could get my hands on it, unabridged and without being buried beneath an out-of-control concept of what has to be tolerated to be gratified.
CNN for example, in my opinion IS Advertising, as I dubbed it a decade ago “Commercials Not News“. Just look at the layers of CNN logos on the screen with every new story broadcast.
It is obvious that they studied “selling” more than “journalism” at CNN.
I do not have commercial radio in my home or car, having given it up a half century ago because of “advertising” (I don’t like or have, commercial music either as I find most of it negative and offensive).
I was then forced to give up television because I find the message and the messenger so offensive yet I see people who’s total intellectual perspective is shaped by it.
Donald Trump admitted to getting his military perspective on world affairs from “the Sunday morning shows” and he sees himself becoming President of the United States!
So up comes the latest generation of advertising’s, “three card monty shuffle” with the introduction of the Internet which was sold to us as the Information Superhighway.
And today, I can’t even access written news or world affairs without first dodging ad after ad after ad, many of which are hiding their “click here to skip the ad” button.
Sneaky, underhanded, callous?
Yes to all the above!
Accepted North American (Canada included) business practices?
I find that sad.
The thing I find most offensive about it all, is the exploitive manner by which this shake down is perpetuated.
I don’t want television in my house but I need high speed broadband service.
That in Condo Land is a monopoly of two giants, Rodgers and BCE.
Now, I’m all for capitalism, don’t get me wrong, but Rogers is observably (just search them on the Net) rated by consumers as “the worst” corporation in Canada!
I’ve written in the past about our experiences dealing with their “customer service” (almost a contradiction in terms).
Here’s my point.
We pay for the service that we need, and we get bombarded with advertising that can get to us ONLY through that connection (seems like we should be getting paid for supplying “the outlet”).
And prices are not cheap, running at somewhere around a Thousand ($1,000) Dollars a year per household.
Today, even that, as insulting as it was, has changed in that they now give you a limited amount of bytes. I’m simplifying here.
And, you guessed it! When you go over those bytes (thanks to all that high definition video that you don’t want but can’t get rid of) your bill goes up!
And recently, U-Tube (you know all those videos that you are watching all day long) has just shifted to “High Definition” which eats up your bytes.
This game isn’t limited to the cable/phone supplier (in Toronto it’s either Rogers of BCE as they buy up all small competitors) but it appears that they all work together to insure that Joe/Jane little person (to be politically correct) ends up paying more while they get to use him/her as their “product” (advertising is based on distribution).
Notice those little windows running video clips that you cannot get rid of on many sites.
Are you seeing the game here?
So, basically we are required to pay hundreds of dollars a month for our technology (DSL, Television, home phone, cell phone) for services that we deem necessary, for which we are required to fend off a never ending continuum of ads that we do not want (some of us find them all offensive)!
We are paying for the delivery of “a cable” for which the supplier of that cable can sell billions of dollars in advertising, that the majority of us do not want to know about, and like lemmings going over a cliff, we simply follow.
I’m not a cliff jumper!
I got rid of the radio because of its commercial blathering!
Then I had to get rid of the television for its commercial blathering!
Now I’m looking for alternatives to getting rid of the Internet for its commercial blathering!
Are we, as a society, so dysfunctional that all we can pursue is leisure time activities like watching the television?
There are socially acceptable approaches to advertising but advertising in North America is all about “maximum outreach/viewership” thus the development of these ads that you cannot get rid of, that eat up your bytes.
They are ruining the Internet, in the exact same way that they ruined Condo Land (minimal regulation maximum exploitation)!
And just like in Condo Land, in IT Land, the consumer gets the shaft!