People see 5000 ads a day. This is way more than the 2000 ads a day people saw 30 years ago, according to the New York Times.
As if the sheer quantity wasn’t enough, over the past 20-30 years ads have become more and more deregulated, to a shocking point. For more information check out the Miss Representation documentary on Netflix. Ads are designed to make you feel nothing but negativity. They want you to feel bad about yourself so you buy their product, they want you to feel anxiety if you don’t buy their product. I remember watching toy ads as a kid and literally feeling panicked if I didn’t beg my mom for everything. The commercials were loud, fast, overwhelming and they worked. I thought if I just got my mom and dad to buy whatever toy they were selling that I’d feel happy again. I remember even asking for things I didn’t actually want. Thats how well they worked!
While watching Hulu months ago I saw one of these toy commercials and was shocked that these were still being made, I mistakenly assumed our society had come so far since then, but apparently not. I then decided I didn’t want my kids to feel this way, so we upgraded our plan and for a mere $4 more a month we stream Hulu 99% ad free.
It was when I upgraded our plan that I realized I’d been systematically riding our home of as many ads as possible. When we first moved into our first home almost 3 years ago I subscribed to numerous magazines, now I subscribe to 1 (and it’s an annual Christmas gift- Organic Living). I somehow receive Glamour, Marie Clair and a few other women-hating magazines and either I automatically throw them in the paper recycling bin or I look at the headlines, shake my head, pray for any girls/women who read these and feel bad for themselves and then chuck them in the bin.
One word about fashion/fitness magazines, these magazine server double duty making women feel bad, not only do they body shame women who aren’t between a size 0-6, but they also make you feel poor because all of the items they showcase are ridiculously expensive so out they go! Once I realized reading these magazines only made me feel like shit and that I could stay abreast of fashion trends by knowing my own personal style and by following fashion bloggers online I felt no remorse recycling them.
We got rid of cable almost 2 years ago, going with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and HBO Go, none of which have commercials, and other than a few select shows (Fixer Upper) and some golf tournaments (for my husband) we haven’t missed cable at all. In fact when I am exposed to cable, while getting my oil changed or visiting my parents, I do not miss it because I realize the commercials negate the experience of the show for me.
Just getting rid of magazines and commercials has been HUGE. I don’t really have a specific way to measure this, but I can tell you I am more confident and I feel like I know myself way better since the clutter of commercials has mostly been removed from my home.
Now when I see an ad or commercial I know exactly what it’s doing and I know better than to fall for their trap.
And before I conclude I’d like to touch on internet ads briefly, I don’t have ads on my blog so this is my completely unbiased opinion, but I don’t mind them. Yeah they’re creepy, it’s unsettling that Facebook seems to know my Google searches and then targets ads to me based on those searches, but I honestly prefer that because odds are good that if I’m Googling something I have an interest in it and an ad on Facebook not only makes better use of my time because it’s something I’m interested in and it maybe helps me to find a better deal or product. It doesn’t try to convince me to buy something I don’t want or need. And they’re fairly innocuous, for the most part they won’t trigger seizures or give you feelings of anxiety so despite the creepiness I am mostly pro internet ads (with the caveat that I’m sure at some point I’ll regret making that statement in the near dystopian future).
If you’re interested in ads and how riding them from your home might benefit you, I highly recommend the documentary Miss Information that I mentioned above, it’s shocking, informative and will help you to better understand why we’ve chosen to remove as many ads from our home as possible.
And if you’ve done the same thing or have the same goal as I do feel free to leave comments with any idea/tips/tricks or opinions on how to achieve this goal. I’d love to hear from you!