Monday, October 10, 2011

A bad case of "Affluenza"?

It always amazes us that no matter how hard we try our lives are a constant challenge to keep perspective. There is always someone on the T.V, radio, internet, phone etc telling us we need this latest gadget, upgrade, outfit, shoes or body spray! Not to mention all the freebie temptations that come with stuff we have already given in to and purchased. Our world seems to be stricken by the worst disease imaginable "affluenza" described as the constant need to accumulate more; to better our self worth and image by adding to or upgrading the things we already have. It is a never ending affliction though as so many others suffer from it and this causes competition and jealousy which is incurable except by purchasing more to even the balance. Now as adults we should understand that marketing is specifically designed to convince us that we "need" something to make us better people, save us money and or time. Not all of us are suckered in thankfully! Unfortunately though children and teenagers do not have the benefit of life experience and are constantly taunted into thinking they need stuff to make them more acceptable to others or elevate them to a higher social status; sometimes it is also just a way to fill the emotional gap they have in their lives. The reason I bring this all up is because recently I have really had my eyes opened when it comes to marketing. How targeted as consumers we actually are but also since writing for a younger age group I have had to keep a closer watch on what is "in" and believe me this changes fast. Even with characters as diverse as mine the need for techno gadgets and labels is still so culturally prevelent that it becomes a universal thing which can affect even a fictional character on the pages of a book, for instance who would believe in a teenage character without a cellphone, computer or labelled shoes these days? I guess the question then becomes if that is the case how can we write to prevent becoming outdated even before we are published, especially in the genre and age demographic I'm writing in? Equally importantly is how do we prevent our own household suffering from Affluenza? I'll leave it there for today as that is a lot to ponder! Have a "outstanding" day where ever you are! Isobial :)

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