The Effects of Advertising on Society

1582 Words7 Pages
In a society where malls have replaced parks, churches and community gatherings, many people no longer take time to meet their neighbors; people move frequently as though cities are products to be tried, like differing brands of shampoo. These unfortunate occurrences can be the result of many causes, one of them being advertising. 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 persons subjected to it. It shapes people’s views of the world and warps their connections to each other, distorting their personal values and changing their perspectives of others and themselves. Thus, in my opinion, advertising 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. We begin to evade meaningful relationships and commitments—choosing instead to fill our personal hollowness with the feelings we obtain from our material possessions. Thus, the society we live in reduces us to objects; 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 Fo... ... middle of paper ... ...mmunicate and then once communicating, beginning to solve problems in their home, community, nation and the world” (“Verdant” 49). Works Cited "Advertising Effects." Encyclopedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec 2011. . "Ethics in Advertising." Vatican. Vatican City, 22 Feb 1997. Web. 5 Dec 2011. . Heath, Joseph, and Andrew Potter. Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture. New York: HarperBusiness, 2004. Print. "How Consumerism Affects Society." Verdant. N.p., 2002. Web. 5 Dec 2011. Kavanaugh, John F. Following Christ in a Consumer Society: the Spirituality of Cultural Resistance. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2006. Print.
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