The world is smaller today than it has ever been. With the introduction of television, the internet, smartphones, apps, etc., people around the world are more connected (if you’ll forgive the tired cliché) with each other than ever before. Along with personal relationships, people are also (arguably) more in touch with the world around them. News, business, entertainment, and services are all available at home and in the palm of your hand. Companies know this, and that is why the whole world is filled with advertisements. Because almost every corner of the internet is being visited by someone, corporations and brands look to use that space to promote themselves and their products/services. They use social media like Twitter and Facebook to get in touch with their customers and potentially make new ones. They also advertise themselves on billboards, posters, city buses, television commercials; you name it. It has gotten to the point where ads are almost inseparable from every aspect of society.
So, I ask, is it possible to be in touch with the modern world without seeing almost any ads? I think it is. I haven’t watched TV in so long that I barely remember any commercials. I remember the Old Spice ones being pretty funny, but that’s pretty much it. I don’t follow anyone on Twitter, other than a handful of celebrities who mainly make jokes (Anna Kendrick is definitely worth following). I got adblock software for my computer years ago, to the point where I don’t see any advertisements on any of the 7-8 websites I use. When I go outside, I tend to just look at scenery or at people, instead of shops and billboards. If I see people handing out flyers or inviting people to try their product, I tend to go slightly out of my way to avoid them I think the only time I regularly see and pay attention to ads is when I watch the preview trailers at the movie theater. It could just be that I’m stubbornly refusing to let people sell me stuff, or that I’m an asocial, technologically-deficient shut-in, but I feel like I lead a pretty normal and healthy life (plus, that conversation is for my Psych class, not my Marketing class). I read the headlines on news pages so that I usually know what’s trending and what people are talking about to the point where I feel like I’m in touch.
What’s interesting is that despite my aversion to almost any form of advertisement, I still regularly buy and try new things. If I see a movie or video game or album or food get good reviews on the internet, then I’d be inclined to check it out, and perhaps even spend money on it. I think the word “advertisements” has a very broad definition. Just because I haven’t seen a 15-second pre-Youtube-video clip about some product someone is selling doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of it. Perhaps consumers/critics are their own form of advertisement, telling the world what’s good and what isn’t. In this roundabout way, products and companies can reach even the most secluded and distant of customers.