Uncharacteristic of my usual blog content, I want to say a few words about advertising. It seems odd to me that so much fuss was made about privacy when the government was searching bundles of phone lines to apprehend connections with potential terrorists—that’s not listening in on private conversations, it was seeking to know about connections with foreign powers—yet there was an outcry in the media.
As for the privacy issue, my privacy is invaded on a daily basis through my house phone and cell phone robocalls; through the internet via uninvited and unwanted ads in email and messages; through the mail with a sea of printed advertising, and through TV which seems to have become devoted more to constant ads than programming—I pay to have TV yet I’m subjected to endless advertising.
I have faithfully watched CBS Morning Show for years. They have important and accurate news, interesting guests on a variety of topics as well as friendly and humorous banter between their reporters—it’s a well-rounded informative show. But over the years the advertising has increased to the degree that I estimate equal time is now given to ‘stuff’ other than the show itself. Many ads are the same ones over and over and they have added more advertising for their other CBS shows. In addition to repetitive advertising, time is consumed by long weather/traffic reports repeated every 10 to 15 minutes and between ads they insert shots of the reporters around the table to make viewers think the show has returned in case they zoomed ahead to skip the ads. I no longer want to watch it on live TV. The effect of the onslaught of advertising from all directions has alienated me to the extent that I deliberately avoid purchasing things that are over-advertised.
If the government is to protect our privacy, why is there no effort to protect us from the invasion of unwanted advertising over our phones, the Internet, TV we pay to receive, and the US mail? Why is it OK for advertising sources to collect data to learn an individual’s preferences and aim specific advertising at them? Why is there no privacy protection there?
It seems to be a confirmation that our consumerism is out of hand.