There’s a Slight Chance that Our Children Aren’t Hopeless

I’ve thought of a reason why our kids might not be hopeless.  I mean they probably will be, but not necessarily.  Like my generation, they will play countless video games and refuse to read books that aren’t about zombiesvampires or wizards.  But while we were slowly introduced to the tech media dominance that engulfs our every waking moment, they will have it all from the moment they’re born.

I’m 30 years old and have lived nearly my whole life with cable TV.  But we didn’t have a VCR til I was 10, no internet until I was 14 (and we were early on that), and I didn’t have a cell phone or DVD player until I was an adult.  When I was young I watched TV constantly, an endless parade of sitcoms and cartoons.  And I saw the commercials.  All of them.  Even when we taped a program it was so touchy to fast forward that we’d usually just watch the commercials anyway.

Now I don’t want to sound like a young guy pretending to be old.  Nothing is more ridiculous than a 30-year old saying things like “back in my day.”  I’m not saying how hard we had it that we had to watch commercials.  I’m saying our children won’t have to.

With DVR’s, movies on-demand, and netflix streaming we are entering an era of no commercials.  Sure we have the 30 second clips that interrupt us when we watch a show on hulu, but I don’t think that will be the norm in the future.  We will skip the commercials or they won’t be there.

My generation thinks they are cynical of commercials but then wax nostalgic about TV cartoons from their youth that were little more than toy commercials.  Then we spent millions of dollars to awful watch movies based on those illiterate toy commercials (Transformers, GI Joe).  We are too cynical to believe the unthinkable:  that we are suckers who have fooled ourselves into thinking we are wise.  You don’t watch over a million commercials in a lifetime without it affecting you, no matter how much you consider yourself above the sway of commercialism.

We might not be able to prevent our kids from TV, movie, video games, and the internet, but this will be the first generation of the media age that will be less exposed to commercials than the previous one.  Maybe they’ll grow a healthy distrust for anyone that tries to sell them something.  Maybe they’ll never see a political ad and have to learn about candidates through research (or more likely, they will just blindly pull levers). Maybe they won’t be the referred to as “The Dopey Generation” (though I’m coining that. Have you talked to modern teenagers? They are dumb).    Maybe they at least won’t beg us for useless crap.

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About ronfreeman42

I'm trustworthy.
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6 Responses to There’s a Slight Chance that Our Children Aren’t Hopeless

  1. Jeffrey Crouch says:

    If we were to pay to watch a movie based on a commercial then maybe you might have something here. However, I have to respectfully disagree with your point of view.

    Now, your points would all make sense if the movies you mentioned were in fact solely based on the commercials on which you noted. The only problem is that the movies were actually based off of the cartoon series’ just as other movies have been based off of tv shows and books. That being said, the commercials were nothing more than toy promotions of the cartoon shows.

    As far as the new generations not being exposed to commercials, there are in fact many commercials all over the internet! Just going to yahoo.com alone brings up an automatic flash commercial that you can close if you are able to find the hidden close button by the time the entire 10 second commercial is done playing. And then not to mention all of the little ads that are plastered all over just about every webpage including Facebook!

    Political ads are something even more parasitic! Even if the entire commercial advertisement era is over, they will always find some way to creep into our lives with their opponent bashing ways and mind numbing, empty promises to please every single person who votes for them. And sometimes we actually believe them, even though we all know that it is merely impossible to please everyone all at the same time.

    In closing I believe that our children’s generation will grow up just as tainted as we all were. Heck, even now my 6 year old daughter has asked for a cell phone as “all the other kids have them.” So, even though the television advertising as we knew may be on the brink of extinction, the industries are finding new ways to pressure consumers into believing they “need” the products and services that they offer. Sad, thing is we believe them! Look how many people are walking around with iphones or smart phones that have access to the internet 24/7. Do people actually need this? NO. But somehow the industry has convinced enough people to make it “seem necessary”. Our children, as well as generations to come, will continue just as we have being pressured by salesmen no matter what form they are in. And as far as the teens of today, well I believe we were just as “dopey” to our older generations as the younger generations are to us now, it’s all perspective.

  2. ronfreeman42 says:

    While Transformers and GI Joe weren’t technically commercials they were cartoons designed to sell toys. They were sponsored by themselves. GI Joe toy commercials sponsored the show and the big profits were the toys. These weren’t cartoons with an artistic vision, they were made to sell toys.

    And I understand that kids see millions of ads online but since this is a time of media transition it gives more power to parents to interrupt the idiocy of their children.

  3. Jeffrey Crouch says:

    Hmmmm….. good point.

  4. Jeffrey Crouch says:

    Could you elaborate on this statement as I feel I am not quite seeing your perspective:
    “And I understand that kids see millions of ads online but since this is a time of media transition it gives more power to parents to interrupt the idiocy of their children.” Thanks!

  5. ronfreeman42 says:

    The next generation will be brought up with very different media experiences than our own. No one would balk at a parent limiting how much TV that their kids can watch. However modern parental control of the media will have to be in step with the changes of current media. When a form of media is new it’s much more influenced by the consumers, making it the best time for people to exert some control over it.

  6. Jeffrey Crouch says:

    I get it now. Very good points!

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