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The Degenerative Influence of Advertising on Society Essay examples

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Advertising is designed to foster a desire to purchase goods and services, yet it is much deeper than that—advertising is a system of effective manipulation that twists the mentalities of those subjected to it. It shapes people’s views of the world and warps their connections to each other. Therefore, advertising not only shapes their personal values but also distorts them until their principles no longer come from within them. Thus, in my opinion, advertising, unless deeply rooted in high ethical standards, destroys any concept of community, common morality or deep bonding.
Advertisements thrust products and services at consumers that they deem necessary in order to be loved, beautiful, happy, and fulfilled. Without these “necessities,” we feel judged, out casted and criticized. These possessions, however, make us self-loathing. Subsequently, we lose our sense of significance and find it hard to accept love and friendship from the people surrounding us. People begin to evade meaningful relationships and commitments—choosing instead to fill the personal hollowness with a display of power they attain from their material possessions. The society we live in reduces us to things; it diminishes our personal relations and portrays connections as transactions, only advisable if there is something to gain. These ideas can be found within John Kavanaugh’s book, Following Christ in a Consumer Society, in which Kavanaugh creates a name for the American way of life--the "Commodity Form." The Commodity Form values products, marketing, and consuming while promoting strategic manipulation that more possessions equate to increased happiness. Within the Commodity Form, people are seen as “replaceable and marketable” objects (Kavanaugh 26)...


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...pursue money to spend on things, to be living mannequins for the material adornments, our worth determined by what we have or lack, rather than what we are, what we do, or what we know. People become used to the intrusion of advertising into their consciousness so they fail to protect themself, or worse, their children from being seduced by it. Convinced that their self worth is based on the latest cell phone, children are already on the road to spiritual dissatisfaction and resentment as well as a perception of diminished self-worth, and with low self-worth comes low community involvement. Empty, hollow words, bespeaking a personal void filled by the pursuit of things. Getting away from need for things is at least a start in allowing people to communicate and then once communicating, beginning to solve real problems in their home, community, nation and the world.



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