How Does Consumerism Affect Reality

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Advertisement’s Effects on Reality
In the modern day capitalist United States consumerism is what drives our economy, our material goals, and our measurement of success and wealth. One of the main proponents of consumerism is advertising, which is now more copious than ever. The digital era has given companies a new medium through which to advertise their products, granting them space in front of Youtube videos, popups on websites, and ads that look like posts on Facebook. M.T. Anderson took this advertising through digital media a step further in his book Feed. In Feed, M.T. Anderson illustrates the negative effects advertising will have on our society if we allow it to shape our thought process, causing us to develop a false sense of reality
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Throughout the book, he has trouble focusing solely on what is happening in front of him because his attention is split between reality and the products being advertised in his head. In this world, consumerism is king because products beckon to consumers chronically through advertisements in their minds. These advertisements cause people to develop a false sense of reality. Advertisements show a distorted version of reality with people singing and happy, surrounded by friends, all because they bought a certain brand of shoe or wore a certain style of shirt. After prolonged exposure to advertisements, people begin to associate the products being advertised with the feelings the people in the ad are experiencing, so they seek those products out. They want their reality and emotions to match those in the ideal reality that exists for the people in advertisements, so they consume the products purported to create that reality. This phenomenon can also be seen in Brave New World. In Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, it is the subliminal messaging of government propaganda that cause people to want to consume the products specified by the government. …show more content…
In Feed, Titus’s parents decide to buy him an upcar. He is stuck trying to decide between two, a smaller sports upcar and a larger upcar that can seat more people. The advertisement he views for the larger upcar in his head shows him driving with a party going on in the large back seat. He decides on the larger upcar so he can fit his friends and have the reality presented to him in the advertisement. After buying the larger upcar however, he never really drove his friends around. When consumerism becomes the focus of daily life as it did in Feed with everyone constantly receiving sales pitches in their heads, they think that what they see in advertisements is how they can attain social acceptance. Titus thought his car would be buzzing and full of friends, and that did not happen. Advertising causes people to think that their reality should look something like the ads, and that is how they can be popular and cool, but the product does not bring this social acceptance. This causes people to be discontent and sad when they think they are not receiving what they should be. We can see this happening in our society as well. Billboards by freeways and ads in youtube videos show people smiling and laughing in the new car or wearing their brand name clothes. Although we know logically that eating a certain food

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