“Consuming Kids” Reaction Blog

“Consuming Kids” was an eye opening film, and really put things into perspective on how sickening major corporations advertising approach to children is. There comes a time when someone has to stand up and put an end to this. Is it even possible to stop how intrusive and evasive this approach to advertising is? It was amazing the lengths, and extent of research, these companies go to in order to reach children. It’s all about making that dollar and exploiting young kids means nothing to these companies.

 It will be interesting one day when I am parent how I will approach this whole issue. I find it this whole issue alarming and an overwhelming feeling rises up to not let this happen to my children. I hope I have the courage to not give into this type of hypnotizing behavior. This interesting article goes into a more in-depth approach to the issue dealing with psychological impacts on kids. These forms of advertising force materialism into the brains so young that adolescent brains soak it in like a sponge. This is why my generation is polluted with the overwhelming need for so many materials and possessions. What are ways we can combat this? Maybe not let your child watch so much television where he is exposed to so many forms of advertising. These practices to say the least are unethical.

Advertising and Boundaries

Dear Mr. Zinczenko,

The October 2010 issue of Men’s Health contained an incredibly offensive campaign ad that was reissued from the 1960’s. This offensive ad was for Kenwood Chef, and completely is demeaning to women and their social status. The ad reads “The Chef does everything but cool, that’s what wives are for.” I for one, find this offensive being quite the cook myself. This ad makes it seem that I am feminine for taking up this hobby. In case you are not aware cooking should not be associated with any one particular gender role, and the magazine should take much greater responsibility and caution on the ads it decides to publish.

There are many other ways this product can be advertised, that would be in a way that is not demeaning or demoralizing to someone else. This ad is an utter outrage and should not be used in any further issues of the magazine. There is no particular sex that cooking is subjective to. I believe you should seriously consider an apology in the next magazine issue that is released. Responsible and appropriate ads are something that should be high on the magazine’s priority list or I am going to consider discontinuing my subscription. Poor ad responsibility can be very damaging to its viewers, which is seen in this article on MSNBC. Irresponsible and inappropriate ads have played a damaging role on children’s health.

The Kenwood Chef ad not only is offensive against women and displaying patriarchy, but it is incredibly offensive to men also. The disrespect to women is uncalled for. Your magazine is also known to use women as objects, and dehumanizes them as people. The Kenwood Chef ad is only the tip of the iceberg. Inappropriate and irresponsible ads have been a constant for this magazine and it seriously needs to reexamine itself. Today it is even more important to be careful with advertising than ever before. Please take this letter as a letter of care and concern, and its purpose is not to come across as condemnation, but one to make aware of the seriousness of the negative effects this ad has on people.

BP: An Attempt Towards Restoration

This summer everyone around America had become all too familiar the United States worst natural disaster in our nation’s history. Estimations of over 100 million gallons of crude oil were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, causing environmental damage of catastrophic proportions. BP the company responsible for this oil spill has received a lot of criticism for this disaster. Marine life has been seriously damaged and destroyed throughout many places in the Gulf. This crude oil has washed onto the shores of Louisiana and other surrounding Gulf coastal states. It has ruined the beaches for hundreds of miles requiring massive high powered cleanup.

 If I were to be in charge of a public relations campaign I would develop a campaign entitled Restoration Gulf. In this campaign BP would except full responsibility for their actions, and will supply all the necessary funds, time, and effort to restore the Gulf as much as humanly possible. Many fisherman and other marine related jobs have been lost. In compensation for that they would either be directly paid through BP during their unemployment, or BP would pay them to assist in the oil cleanup so they have a job. Costumer relations staff would be on site at every majorly effected site. They would be stationed there in order to assist with the surrounding affected families.

 The biggest message trying to be displayed is that BP cares about what happened, and wants to make right by any means possible. It does not matter how long it takes, BP will not rest until the job is thoroughly complete. Commercials will be launched nationwide showing that BP cares about those who have suffered and the environment. New regulations will be set in place for every oil site within the company. In showing that BP is serious about their mistakes, they would fund research for greener forms of energy to show their honest sincerity towards the environment. Progress reports are to be released every month with an official press release on how far along the cleanup project is.

 This obviously cannot completely make up for all that was lost, but it is an honest foot forward toward restoration of the Gulf and its families. It is an honest approach instead of sweeping it under the carpet (which would be hard to do with an incident of such a large magnitude). BP is taking the necessary steps to deserve a second chance. Even amongst severe tragedy, when someone owns up to their mistakes honestly and has sincere efforts to make amends, they deserve our respect. I believe if BP follows this path truly than they should at least be commended for their efforts in attempting to mend their transgressions.

Movies: Modern Day Salesmen

Product placement in movies is brilliantly making major corporations millions of dollars. The use of product placement, and the money received for using these products, ends up funding a good portion of many major feature films. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen incorporated product placement in such a strategic way, it is mind boggling when realizing its extremities. When viewing movies, the viewer does not even realize that they are being sold a product just because of its strategic placement within the film.

Transformer’s plot is about alien life forms that reside in cars, helicopters, and airplanes. These transportation vehicles turn into giant robots, and find themselves on earth in the middle of an intergalactic war. Product placement within this movie incorporates multiple different consumer markets that it uses for advertising. Major blockbuster movies like this one are one advertisers love. They know so many people are going to be viewing the film ahead of time, they can exploit the opportunity to overuse product placement to extreme levels.

This movie has been a goldmine for General Motors. General Motors use there cars throughout the entire movie. It ends up feeling like you are just watching one big General Motors advertisement during the movie. Apple, Mountain Dew, Xbox 360, and many other products find there way in the movie also. They end up squeezing these products briefly between the speeding Cameros and big Hummers. The U.S. military could even be considered product placement in this movie, which is used as an advertisement to join the service. Many advertisements may seem inadvertent but there intentions are far beyond than you may realize.

GM obviously seems to be the biggest product placement company for this movie. Throwing action, attractive people, adventure, and awesome looking cars throughout the whole movie, it becomes a good enough advertisement for my consumerist filled mind. Even though MacBook for apple had a pretty big placement for advertising in this movie, it is hard to top General Motors when all you see are General Motors products from start to finish. An article on Blogcritics takes a much closer look at GM’s use of product placement for this movie.

In a poor economic time period, product placement has become even more important for companies. It tries to boost the consumers mind into desiring these products. The U.S. military in a time of war stands to benefit from being able to advertise themselves through this type of movie. Many people would not think of the military as product placement, but the raw truth reveals that it is. I would be curious to see if enlistment numbers rise, after a large blockbuster with heavy use of the military is released. Advertisement this way is extremely intelligent, but the feeling like my mind is being inadvertently penetrated to buy certain products, leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Honeymoon With My Brother

New York Times best seller Honeymoon with My Brother is more than just a book, but an adventure that captures the reader’s deepest longings. In this memoir you experience laughter, sorrow, joy, fear, and courage. This book was given to me by my cousin Ben, and this true story written by Franz Wisner has inspired me to think and live my life differently. Honeymoon with My Brother encourages you to live passionately, and live each day to its greatest potential. Reading this book had a tremendous impact on my life, opened up some of my deepest passions, and helped give me the courage to chase them.

In this book, Wisner writes about his tale of being left at the altar. Wisner already had his honeymoon paid for so he decides to take his brother, who he had fallen out of contact with for many years. The honeymoon became an incredible adventure, and there bond was restored after years of it being non existent. Franz and his brother Kurt did want this epic honeymoon to end at all. They ended up deciding to take an incredible risk and quit there jobs and sell there houses. For the next 2 years they used their money to travel around the world to 53 different countries. Dealing with there painful pasts they moved forward in living the life they always wanted. They go through a great healing process and begin to become the men they always wanted to be.  This book was so inspirational that Oprah added it to her book club, and brought the author Franz Wisner and his brother Kurt Wisner onto her show.

This book is what really inspired me to chase my dreams, and not let life slip by without pursuing my greatest passions and desires. I have learned that it does not matter the heart aches and pains an individual endures, it can be overcome, and everyone has the chase to make right there wrongs. When everything in life seems to be crashing down a fresh abundant life is always around the corner, but it’s up to you to pursue it. It is because of this book I went to Puerto Rico this past summer with my brother and friends. We ended up traveling all over the island, which turned out to be an incredible life changing experience. I credit this book also to why I am current planning on studying abroad next year. For a long time I would dream many things but never have the courage to chase these dreams. Most people walk through this life never willing to take the risk it takes to just go for it. Rarely a gift comes along where someone is shaken from there state of slumber, and end up becoming there hearts greatest and deepest desires.

I highly recommend this book for someone looking to be inspired to looking for the strength to chase there dreams. The success the authors received from this book allowed them to even plan another trip and write there follow up book called How the World Makes Love. Reading Wisner’s books will help shake you and wake you up. This one life we have to live should never go to waste. Wisner teachers what this life should look like, and that your biggest adventure is right around the corner if you have the courage to chase it.

Disney: More Than Just Children’s Movies

Walt Disney’s movies and concepts are unique, and they are exactly what this world needs. These stories are about unlikely friends, overcoming transgressions, conquering fears, and rising above adversities. All these attributes of these movies are ones that are not only good for kids to aspire to, but also adults. Kids grow up carrying these concepts and it becomes embedded into them. Believing in the triumph of good over evil is important. It may not always be reality but believing in these things is important in overcoming adversities and teaching our children values.

My two personal favorite Disney movies growing up were Aladdin and the Lion King. I love Aladdin so much that my best friend Alex and I bought a 30 pack of beer and had an Aladdin marathon last year. I can confidently say I am ok with that being a twenty-four year old man, I still enjoy Disney movies. The Disney culture is one that I cherish and reminds me of my childhood. Here is an article that further explains Disney’s culture and values, and its purpose in distilling these characteristics into children. How can the teaching of friendship and perseverance be a bad thing? People today have become overly critical, and are missing the point of Disney movies when they are viewed negatively.

It is true that these movies are not reality, and life does not always turn out perfect like in these movies. But children need to see the good in the world, and the importance of learning these values at a young age is crucial to a child’s development. Instilling values and exposure to these forms of popular culture will brighten the future of our nation’s children. I personally loved growing up with these movies and am happy that my parents exposed me to them. My world now is obviously far different than a Disney movie, but movies in general can help encourage and inspire human beings to be better people. These values that Disney movies portray are values that we all as humans can aspire to. Maybe its time we try to live some of these principles, if we do maybe we will see “A whole new world.”

Online Relationships: A Modern Day Phenomenon

Single, in a relationship, engaged, or married? These are all relationship statuses one would see on Facebook. The days of a private love life are quickly coming to an end according to Twanna Hines in an article she released for fastcompany. No longer are people’s love lives private. We advertise to everyone we know our relationship status via Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace.  Information on our love lives is becoming transmitted faster, and the gossip that surrounds these relationships is elevated even more. Studies are showing that Facebook and other social networking sites can actually be quite damaging to a relationship. Why does Facebook use relationship statuses? They will admit themselves that it has huge market, and your information is given over to online dating companies. According to Hines one out of every 3 Americans know someone who have found a date using the computer. I suspect this statistic is probably higher.

 Facebook is now the new relationship determinant. I have many times heard the phrase “It isn’t official unless you see the break up on Facebook.” How many have you know people who post every waking moment of their relationship on Facebook? It is almost sickening. People feel the need they have to advertise all of their private moments online. Social networking sites have completely shifted how people’s love lives are viewed and carried out. Elizabeth Persimmons discusses how Facebook ruins relationships on her article for Examiner. One of the problems she claims contributes to the damaging of relationships is the fact couples post their fights online. It is awkward enough when a couple fights in front of you, now they are fighting in front of their 600 Facebook friends.

 Social networking has decreased the value of human touch and personal contact. Our lives and relationships were not meant to be lived through a computer. Facebook is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it is very easy to abuse this social networking phenomenon. It takes discipline and wisdom to know what things to broadcast on Facebook and what things to keep private. Times are changing, and the way our lives are lived and are carried out have forever been changed. Facebook has revolutionized our relationships and how we live our everyday lives. If you have not realized this by now it’s time you better start.

“Beam Me Up Scotty!”

A Perfect World

In 2035, life just does not get any better. In this world, technology flourishes and dominates even more than it does now. No need for anyone to drive anymore for all destinations will be preprogrammed into all flying cars. This nearly eliminates accidents and drunk drivers, but beware all destinations are stored into the central computer, so you better not visit any place you will regret. Computer screens will no longer exist, but all images will be projected into the air. The controller to your television is projected right onto your skin even. This keyboard or controller on your skin is called Skinput, which contains 95.5% accuracy.

Robots are in all households who can afford them. They do all the work you hated to do. At this point in life, you do not really have to do anything. Your very own robot does anything from making coffee, preparing food,  loading dishes, and even your laundry. Heck, you don’t even need to think anymore. These Robots are your very own indentured servants. Think about it, it’s late and the dog needs to go out, here comes your robot to the rescue. Americans have finally reached their ultimate form of laziness. But what would this do to a people who no longer had these responsibilities? All these advanced technologies will greatly increase our power in this world. Thomas Edison said “There is no substitute for hard work”. This might need to be something to hold onto as the world advances and things continue to get easier and we continue to get lazier.

 Doomsday Affect

 These very technologies we created have caused our utter demise. For thousands of years mankind has worked hard on advancing themselves to help create an easier lifestyle. They should have been listening to spider man when he said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Technology advanced enough to develop a mind of its own and created a whole new race which has created a war between mankind and technology. Maybe we should have paid attention to all those terrible 80’s Sci-Fi movies.

Technology was mankind’s greatest accomplishment and mankind’s greatest disaster. These nice little friendly programmed robots and machines overthrew its own creators. This has left cities in complete ruins, and left people wishing they were back in the stone ages drawing on rocks. Technology has its incredible advantages but this scenario is more metaphorical to what it could really be doing to our minds. We must never get to the point where we no longer use our minds in which they were intended. Everything was never meant to be so easy and done for us. We as people must always remember and value hard work. Mankind must never let the easy way always have be the right way.

Un-Plugged!

Two days without media? Can I plead insanity now? What I encountered was terrible, horrific, painful, and worst of all it was complete torture. Yes I Micah Mohlmann experienced a gruesome two days of no phone, no internet, no music, no television, No Media! This is one assignment I would never voluntarily submit myself to do on my own.

Is it even possible to fully avoid media all together? I will tell you this you can certainly try but unless you keep yourself locked up in a box for two days it is impossible. I would be lying to you if I were to tell you that I did not intentionally avoid doing this experiment on a Sunday so I would not have to miss out on all the football frenzy going on. Going two days without media is one thing but, but having to miss football Sunday? Now that is a little ridiculous, well at least for an addict like me it is. My intentions were slightly skewed by manipulating the task by not doing this on a weekend. Come on now I needed to be able to go out in federal hill Friday night and the Hfstival all day Saturday right?

I decided to strap on my big boy shoes and do the unthinkable. I unplugged my TV, shut down my laptop, un-plugged my IPod from my awkwardly small little ears and went lights out for two days with no media.  The sound of waking up to music in the morning had obnoxiously transformed into a terrible buzzing noise that reminded me of high school. Next my normal bowl of cereal in the morning was far too quiet without the TV highlights of lasts night’s game on the screen, instead I stared at a dark black object that looks foreign when not turned on. The thirty minutes of exhaustingly slow traffic in dead silence left me alone with nothing but my thoughts. In my head I was getting ready to do the famous Happy Gilmore putter swing where he launches his putter fifty feet in the air out of complete utter frustration.

Strolling through campus from class to class it was all too quiet then what I am normally familiar with. I suddenly began to think the unthinkable, “this really isn’t that bad.” There was a kind of liberation feeling that I experienced without always drowning out my thoughts and everything else around me. It was not always easy to avoid media and at times I did answer my phone when I knew it was probably relatively important, but for the most part I experienced little or no media. I was able to accomplish more than I normally do, and I was also able to spend more time studying then I normally devote myself to. This media avoidance experiment gave me a sense of broken shackles and I realized it did not have to have the powerful grip that I had allowed it to have over me.

Music is something I love and it is one of my number one passions. But with everything in life a healthy balance is always necessary. This comes with self discipline, which is one of the hardest things to have. Media has become more than a fad but a genetic makeup of our culture and society. It is important to be engaged in, but the massive amounts we consume each day is something that we should monitor. While in the beginning I hated going two days without media, I also realized the importance of silence and being able to give yourself time to step back from the constant bombardment our media culture has forced all around us.

Media Obsession!

Music and Media consumption, it is what I have to come realize is what I live and breath. From morning to evening I hardly spend a living moment without it. From the very sound of my alarm in the morning, to what is plugged into my ears at night, constantly I am filling my mind with music and media. Sometimes it is an inadvertent consumption taking place but the majority of the time it is completely intentional. From too much time invested in my fantasy football team, to watching every HBO television series that is broadcasted. One thing is for certain I may have a minor addiction to mass media. Ok I lied I have a huge addiction to mass media and I do not see it changing anytime soon.

On the first day of this assignment it fascinated me on many accounts how much media I actually was consuming. I arrived to my boss’s house and we watched Espn for thirty minutes before we went to work. All day at work my ears were plugged in with my IPod. From car rides to and from work with the radio on to spending all day at work with my IPod plugged in, I am constantly infiltrating myself with mass media. All day long I constantly check Espn updates on my phone. Even as I am writing this article I guiltily admit I am watching football on my TV. This media consumption problem of mine is borderline pathetic and now I am broadcasting my problem. Before you know it I will be in a mass media consumption anonymous meeting with all my other fellow addicts.  I mean its normal for people to fall asleep with there IPod in their ears and TV sets on right? Well maybe for me it is. Day one of my media consumption journal definitely turned into something I would have rather left unchartered and undiscovered territory.

The second day of this task I was on campus all day and a lot like the first day it was filled with lots more music and lots more media. I would walk from class to class jamming out on my IPod and stayed plugged in as I would write a paper in the computer lab. Not to mention the massive ammount of time I spend on facebook while writing papers. Facebook and other social networking sites are something I just can not seem to pry myself away from. Like a broken record of the first day the second day was similar just different environments. Except this time I paid closer attention to the inadvertent consumptions. From pumping gas to going to the mall to buy a new sweatshirt, advertisements filled my head. I could not even go to the grocery store without having advertisement after advertisement penetrating my mind and infiltrating my head telling me what I should buy.

One thing is for certain Mass Media has too much power. Not only on my intentional decisions to consume it, but also the unintentional consumptions. Mass media surrounds us everywhere, we can not go anywhere without this constant bombardment into our lives. It is relentless and all around us and has become such a fundamental infrastructure to our culture and society. What would a day look like without mass media? It sounds like a day I would never want to experience.