Advertising’s Effect on Children

Well after the poll that I think 8 people voted on, this topic was the most favored. Now since the topic doesn’t really specify a negative or a positive effect, I choose to focus on the negative effect. So…here it goes.

Advertising has a rather negative effect on children in today’s age. Commercials, billboards, magazines, etc. all have some sort of effect on the person looking at it. In the modern age, advertising as a whole has become a lot racier than it used to be. They’ve become more capable of portraying things that are relatively hazardous to be something that’s good or needed or “cool”. The bad thing about all the new type of advertising is that it has become more accessible to children via the internet, television programs/commercials, and out in public through the use of magazines or billboards. Companies are beginning to take more liberties with how they advertise a product and, in most cases, it’s giving something negative a positive skin. The bottom line here that can’t be argued is advertising affects children in negative ways and I believe that it affects them in positive ways less and less.
Mainly, I think the advertisements today are slowly teaching children that there’s a certain “image” they need to follow or be a part of. Basically, “this is what you need to use, what you need to wear, what you need to look like, and what you need to act like in order to be part of the cool crowd”. So, more or less bandwagon techniques are being used more and more. The funny thing is that pretty much any advertisement for pretty much any product is doing the same exact thing. Yeah, it gets that company a sale, so who cares, right? Nike shoes, for example, always have some person doing all these athletic things like jumping really high in the air, or someone that’s running a marathon, or something of that sort and it always looks ‘really cool’. Basically, those are just the absolute bestĀ  shoes you can possibly have, and children see this and suddenly they feel like they need to have them to fit in. The same goes for any name-brand clothing item.
This technique holds true with every other item on the market right now. iPad, iPod Touch, Droids, Kinect, Wii, television sets, headphones, games, everything. It’s teaching children to think they need to have the best of everything there is on the market, which slowly causes them the be spoiled by their parents that buy them what they want. Then when the next advancement comes out, suddenly they need to have and what it replaced suddenly becomes a pile of dog shit. Advertising is causing kids to have no regard for the little, simple things of life and it makes them want to have the best of the best.
Girls are effected by advertising when it comes to the magazines that have all these models in them and advice columns for how to behave to make friends or other stupid shit like that. Makeup ads are teaching young girls that they just absolutely need to look great on the outside to get noticed, and now it’s becoming about how long your eyeliner stays. Young girls see these types of ads and strive to conform to them, which I think is causing somewhat of a lack of self-worth.
This type of advertising is everywhere, really. A majority of it is aimed at adults, but little children see it as well and watch as their parents fall into the same trap of buying this and that because the ads make it look like the best thing since sliced bread, so the children follow suit.

Now we all have to admit it here; we’re all guilty of wanting to haveĀ  something because an advertisement made it look like the best thing in the world. But as we grow older, we begin to develop a sense of what’s needed versus what’s wanted and if it can be afforded or not. Children, on the other hand have no knowledge on any of that, they just automatically think that they need whatever it is and have no worry about how obtainable it is. I think because there’s the lack of knowing what’s needed versus what’s actually wanted in children, they become more susceptible to growing that mentality of “this is the best thing out there right now and I obviously can’t live happily without it.”
To make the issue even worse, parents know the value of the dollar. When a child takes interest in the newest name-brand technology, for example, and they want their dad to buy it for them but the dad knows it’s too expensive and he settles for a generic brand that’s close to the same as the name-brand. So they give that generic to the child and bam, it’s the end of the world because it doesn’t say ‘iPhone’ or something like that. So not only are the advertisements teaching children that they need the best of the best, it’s also teaching them to settle for nothing less than the best of the best.
It’s just all negatively impacting the children I think and setting them up for a rude-awakening later in life when they can’t learn to differentiate between necessities and desires.

To make matters worse, the advertising just gets better and better at doing what it does, which causes the negative effect to become stronger and harder to avoid.
So how far is too far when it comes to advertising? All these companies are doing what they can to make things look needed and that there’s nothing better. Does parenting come into play?

Tell me what you think about it. This was somewhat difficult for me since I’m not as in tune with advertising as I used to be, but I’d like to hear what your views are. Is the effect of advertising good or bad on the children?


Right to Bear Arms

Okay, well I was going to do standardized testing…but I couldn’t think of anything really to argue at the moment so I’ll save that for another day. So how about we talk the second amendment today.

We all know it. The second amendment states that anyone has the right to bear arms, but let’s look deeper at it. As passed by Congress and as ratified by the states, the second amendment says that the nation, the states, and citizens have the right to “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
You know, I’m not really sure why this is a major issue. Let’s take a look at that last segment right there…”shall not be infringed.” Last I checked, infringe means to break the terms of a law. So why is this such an issue? We all need a “militia”, granted it isn’t called that anymore. We actually have the military, but that’s basically the same thing. It says that it’s necessary to the security of a free state, and that couldn’t be more true today with all the threats the nation has within its borders and abroad. And the right of the people to keep and bear arms makes sense as well. Personally, I think that’s the most important. Where the militia/military can’t help immediately, it should be up to the people to bear the arms they own in order to defend themselves.

But then again, maybe there’s the issue. There’s too many people that have their guns who go out and shoot people for the hell of it more often than the people who shoot someone out of feeling endangered. But does that mean we need to change the rules to the second amendment? I don’t think it does. I think, if anything, it should change the rules of who can get a gun. It’s sad that it’s going to have to come to that, but it’s clear there are too many people using guns for the wrong reasons, and they’re getting all the attention while those who use them for defense go unnoticed. You can have five reports of people using gun in order to end a conflict or dangerous situation, but it only takes one report of someone going out to the local grocery store and killing six people to overshadow those five reports.
I honestly think that gun rights need to be left alone all together. If people get killed for the wrong reasons, oh well. Yeah, it sucks and causes heartache and people start to panic about “how close that was to our house” or something. But what about the whole phrase that “everything happens for a reason”? I say let it be. Leave the second amendment the way it is.

I think this was a pretty shitty topic of debate, personally. It shouldn’t even be controversial. Also the fact that I feel like shit prevented me from putting too much thought into this.

So it’s your guys’ turn. What are your thoughts?
And please, don’t hesitate to go to the topic page to suggest topics you want to see talked about. :]