Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Living in a Bubble

We spent this past weekend visiting my inlaws.  For the kids, part of the fun of visiting Grandma and Grandpa is getting to watch TV.  We don't watch TV in the traditional sense in our house--we stream it via the internet so there are no commercials interrupting the shows we watch.  (tangent: you don't have to look very hard to find legal ways to stream movies and TV shows--Netflix and iTunes cost a pittance compared to a regular cable bill) When the kids watch TV at Grandma and Grandpa's, they (and I) are exposed to a barrage of advertising we are not used to.

This past weekend we spent most of our time on YTV.  The ads on this channel are predominantly aimed at children and women.  My kids mostly learned about toys they never knew they wanted and now feel they can't live without, and candy designed to horrify grown ups.  I learned that with two separate beauty products I could reduce 17 different signs of aging.  I learned that my kids need meal replacement shakes or they may die of malnutrition. So, kids need Many Things, and their moms need to stop aging so fast and feed their kids crap in between meals so they will be too full to eat real food at mealtimes and make the moms feel insecure about them not eating enough so they have to feed them more crap.  I learned that I am a terrible housekeeper if I don't use disposable dusters and mops and spray my furniture with perfumed antibacterial spray.  That sounds like an exhausting and expensive way to live.   The only ad I found a bit amusing was the one that taught me my laundry would be cleaner if I changed toilet paper brands.  Thanks for keepin' it real, Charmin.

Am I just more aware of the fact that commercials are designed to make me feel insecure because I don't see them very often? Do you get used to tuning the noise out over time? Does everyone just DVR and avoid the whole mess now?

I DO know that minimizing my exposure to TV ads has made me feel MUCH better about myself and my home.  I don't miss having cable one bit.


tammi said...

You have GOT to tell me how to do that!!!! Now that we've got a new-fangled TV and wireless internet and a laptop, I would definitely love to stream TV. (Hey, I bet that'd eliminate a lot of annoying channel-surfing, too!)

Andria Crowjoy said...

We switched to internet TV at the new year and you're so right... the ads that were easy enough to ignore before are so commanding and bizarre to me now! (I must admit I watch way more TV now though, since I can control and actually enjoy the content.)