In today’s society we are infiltrated with brands through advertisements that play Houdini mind tricks on us, which at some point (probably right away) form our opinions of what clothing we wear, food we eat, toys we buy, etc. But if you’re a kid/teenager, you are drowning in it and don’t have a chance to come up for air! Someone toss the kids Life Savers (see what I did there?)
On average an American teenager spends 31 hours a week watching TV, 17 hours listening to music, and 10 hours online. (LoveSocial with MissRepresentation.org) And well marketers are no dummies, they hit those groups full-force straight in the ‘noggin.
In college I watched a documentary called Consuming Kids. You should watch it, highly fascinating and scary all at the same time! AH. My knowledge of this documentary resurfaced when Anna Lappe a concerned mother and food mythbuster honed in on the food industry in particular and the obsession that kids develop.
“The food industry says themselves that they spend $2 billion every year in marketing directly to children and teenagers,” said Lappe in her TEDxTalk. “When you think about it in the context that diet related illnesses among young people are on the rise, and we think about this omnipresent marketing I think it isn’t an exaggeration that is has become down right dangerous.”
Yep, Lappe knows what’s up. When I (hopefully) become a parent I can only shield my children so much because, like the Lappe and Consuming Kids noted, commercialization is burying children under a pile of consumer messages. It’s inevitable they will receive that commercial stimulus in schools, day care, or at slumber parties, EV.ERY.WHERE. It’s not ideal to guard children from social situations because that doesn’t help children develop either. It’s clear that parenting in the 21st Century is more difficult than ever!