I figured it out, while watching Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood. The thing about most available media is the inherent advertising. Commercial breaks. The incidental advertising, the brand of the icons the media provides.
Thing is, ever since we started getting our media through torrents [mostly because we can’t get the media where we are] we aren’t as exposed to the commercials as everyone else.
All torrented shows clip the adverts.
The kids don’t know about the multitudes of other commercial-oriented things out there. They don’t know about the commercialised game sites. They don’t know about the toys we’d have to order online if they wanted them in the first place. They don’t demand the brands with the logo/mascot/character they’ve been taught to want.
We decide what shows we download in the first place. Most of what the kids are exposed to are documentaries and the odd show we decide actually contains a better message.
Sure, we have a lot more fans of the G4 ponies in the house, now, but the show has a better message than the “need it, want it” of most kids’ television.
I actually trained my 10YO to recognise and despise advertising. Now, if only I could get him to start consumer inspection and doing the things that are good for him…
Maybe I should start advertising veggies to him ;)
I’m doing my bit to teach my kids about things like “value for money” and “we can’t afford that”. And, more importantly, “Handmade means someone cared to make it”.
You can do it, too.
Disconnect the cable. Vet your media before the kids see it. Limit their computer time. Don’t look at the magazine rack. Shop at cheap vendors who don’t even have the brand-saturated products the mainstream ones do.
You, too, can isolate yourself from the commercial.
Unplug. Unravel. Undersell.
It could be the catchphrase of the new revolution.