Manufacturing Consent

Following our look at Noam Chomsky’s film, I started to think about how the media might control my life. How does the media affect what I buy, what I believe, and how I view the world and myself in it? I then started to wonder how news agencies, advertisers, and government set about to influence my thinking. How do I compete or combat these forces so that I can remain autonomous? Serious questions, no?

How does the media affect you on a daily basis? Are you conscious of it? How many advertisements do you see a day? Think about these forces and share with the class your thoughts.

Here’s a recent video of Chomsky talking about the purpose of education, if you’re interested.

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18 thoughts on “Manufacturing Consent

  1. The media is a major part of life in the 21st century. We see advertisements more than 1000 times a day. When we watch TV and movies we unconsciously try to mimic what the actors/actresses are doing. If we don’t know we are doing it then how will we be able to fix it. How many hours of TV/movies do you watch a day? How long do you listen to the radio? If we don’t consciously make a change in the way we think about media then one day we might be controlled by it.

  2. Every day all around the world, we are being monopolized by advertisements and the media. They affect what we buy and how we view each other and the world. For example so many women have this idea of what a perfect person looks like, and at all costs they will change themselves to have this prefect image. The media has put his image into people’s heads through advertisement. If you see a commercial with someone famous using a product, because you look up to this person, you will want the product as well, this is also made present by advertisement. The media changes peoples views and values through advertisement.

  3. The media regularly affects us on a daily basis. Sometimes, I am not really aware of it since I am so used to seeing advertisements every day. When you watch a TV show, there are often several commercials that are advertising certain products. By watching these commercials, you are being pressured to buy the product that is being advertised. Even when I play iPod games, there will be advertisements advertising another iPod game for me to download. The media has a huge effect on our lives with all the constant advertising and things like celebrity gossip. We aren't even aware that there is too much media going on and that the media may be controlling our lives. If we want to stop being controlled by the media, we've got to take a look at all the information being given to us on a daily basis and figure what is reality and what is just the media trying to control our lives.

  4. Whether or not we like it, the media is a very prevalent force in our lives. Through TV, celebrities or advertising, we're being subconsciously influenced by images we can't get away from. Young girls see pictures of women as technologically enhanced models, and believe tag they have to look as the women do in order to be accepted. It tells everyone that if you're not wearing brand-name clothing and decked out as a walking advertisement, you need to start acting that way immediately. Most of the time we aren't even aware that it's happening, but we follow the media's lead regardless. Even before you get to school in the morning, you've seen thousands of ads on your way. There isn't a cure for the media itself – destroying everything with advertisements in it would be bad, to say the least – but the solution for the media's effects is simple: remain objective. Question what you see and hear, and judge yourself according to your opinion's, not the adverisement's. And remember that in the media, almost nothing is what it seems.

  5. The Media is such a strong statement to all people of the world. It dictates exactly what we will do everyday. It gets to a point that people drink coffee because of all the Tim Horton add’s! The media is so powerful that most things that humans on the planet follow have some link the media world. Some people are quite cautious of what is happening and avoid what the media says, but, for some the media means everything. I personally do follow some things from the media. Some products that I buy are based on media reviews and advertisements. Per day I think most people would see around 200-250 add’s per day. If we lived somewhere else then Winnipeg, like a bigger city, we would see more then a thousands add’s per day! The bigger the city gets the number of add’s also increase and the more the add’s really work. I also agree with Shannon’s idea that media changes peoples values and views, this is a very correct fact. The media has effected humans a lot and it will not stop.

  6. The media has changed our whole outlook on life. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, the media bombards us with advertisements. We may not want to believe it, but the media controls us. Advertisements influence the clothes we buy, the foods we eat, the places we go, the cars we drive and even more. According to the media, we have to continuously buy and own the best products and we have to look like photo-retouched, fully made-up models in order to achieve “perfection”. The “perfect” lives in advertisements are untrue and fake. The media tells us that buying certain products will make us happier. If we took away all the advertisements in the world, many of us would realize we are already happy. As much as the media tries to convince us; happiness doesn’t and shouldn’t come from buying new things. Living without the media would be a completely different world, but this world is improbable. Megan makes a great point about remaining objective and judging yourself according to your own opinions. We can’t stop the media, but we can stop ourselves from taking the media too seriously.

  7. We believe we are always in control of our lives, making what we think is our own decision, however if you take a step back and look from a different level, this is not always the case. The media is one of many things that is constantly affecting our decision making process, whether we enjoy it or not. When the media looks at the public, they focus a majority of their advertising around the concept of how they can control the thoughts of the society, spending large quantities money on studying the human mind and how it works. These ads that they send out in response are manufactured to directly manipulate are thoughts subconsciously, creating a certain attachment that we associate much of our lives with. Seeing thousands of advertisements a day, we are bombarded with the media’s ideals and lucrative opinions, and not consciously recognizing this we practically associate everything we think of with it. This is exactly what the media aims for, as it causes specific influences and what we buy, believe and view as right. In our current situation, it is no surprise how the media is quite successful in this day and age, as it relies on our inability to consciously think about how it’s affecting us. If we are to stand any chance against these barrages of ads in our daily lives, we must successfully take a step back and take a seriously critical view on the influences the media has on our lives, and how we can have the control to limit it.

  8. On a daily basis, the media reveals itself to be everywhere. Its ubiquitous nature is very influential and perhaps, even overwhelming at times. Personally, ads are often very successful at attracting my attention. In an era where technology is booming, avoiding these ads is inevitable. With updates being so frequent, it can be challenging to fend off or even put down the media for a short period of time. From the instance I see something fresh, it can honestly be a struggle to push it out of mind. Consciously, I'm mostly unaware of being drawn into the media. Being drawn into the media is potentially a negative part of our lives. Our perspectives and goals in the world can become warped and unattainable; most obviously in the beauty industry where celebrities and models undergo the digital transformations. The younger generation born into the overwhelming media will also change their lives, in comparison to previous generations. Violence in the media has been addressed as an issue for the children of tomorrow. From the videogame industry to film industry, violence has become more common. Although these may be directed to the 'mature,' or adults, children are still exposed to it. Once they have a solid grasp on what they like, they won't let go. As for how often we come across ads, the number I see daily are infinite. The radio, television, internet, and world around us consistently expose us to ad, after ad, after ad! My classmates bring about valid points where it is very crucial to think for ourselves in a world where the media is everywhere. I can recognize what the consequences of being drawn into the media are and how to drown out the noise, but I have to battle my temptation to follow the media, first.

  9. Having grown up in a digital based society, we have unconsciously been affected by prevalent media subjection. Every day we are overwhelmingly surrounded by thousands of ads. The media looks to attract our attention and delude our thoughts to control our beliefs, and consequently our actions. Specifically, advertisers manufacture false images of betterment and uniformity, taking advantage of the ignorance and insecurity of consumers. This can easily be seen in today’s beauty industry, where celebrities undergo unrecognizable digital transformations to sell products. The public has to be able to differentiate illusion from reality to prevent manipulation by the media. Personally, when I take a minute to think about my thought process and the way I spend money, I am aware of the effects the media has on me. However, like Alex said, I have to struggle with the temptation to conform to the media’s ideals, as my beliefs have already been greatly affected by the media. Unfortunately, the majority of consumers are unaware that they are being forced to believe what the media wants them to. As to a solution to the media’s constant suffocation, I agree with the responses my peers have made suggesting that people look critically at the impact the media has on us, think independently, and make decisions accordingly.

  10. Brett Swope people now a days see over 1000 ads a day this is alot when u consider how much time is spent away from any form of television or radio but when u look ads are every where. When u see somthing a thousand times it becomes hard to differentiate fact and fiction and kids in todays society often feel inadiquet or like they dont measure up to what they should. This is because the media tells us what we want and who has it and most imporantly where we can buy it when in many cases the people your buying it from dont have it themselves.

  11. In the past year, how much money would you estimate you have spent on non-necessity products? How much money would you estimate those companies have spent on you? In the past year, the world has spent over $500 billion on advertisements alone, bombarding the average human being with over 40,000 advertisements per year. The social media changes our every thought, whether we recognize it or not. Reading the previous blogs, I have come to realize that the word "media" has been directly associated with commercial advertisements, but it is much more than just that. The dictionary definition of media is "the intention of reaching a large audience via mass communication".Therefore the media includes anything from our government, broadcasts, movies, music, to graffiti on the school walls. Subliminal messaging, found in many commercials or films, is also an effective way of controlling the thoughts of multiple people at once.The Chinese government, being a communist country, has attempted to control any use of media in order to appeal to the masses, and create a better image of themselves. The United States government have used their social media to, for example, portray the image of a terrorist as a, in general, Middle Eastern man with the goal in mind of destroying the American people. The media is generally used to create a large sense of fear within households (fear of death, other people, terrorists, the future) in order to convince many people to buy lots of pointless items to soothe their own worries. With the use of violence, the media has succeeded in this and has been able to drive fear and plant thoughts in the average household. Whether it is beneficial or not, media has been used, for a good and bad cause, to control the masses and create stereotypes and certain images and thoughts in the mind of the average human.

  12. I feel that the media and popularity are very close. We see many different forms of media everyday, but whether we can change all of our views, is questionable. For hundreds of years, there has always been a popular style, and human beings have been known to follow. When it comes to the media, it is almost everywhere. Adds on TV are an example of media that really affects us. A logo on a shirt can affect us, yet rarely does. I have had a little bit of a hard time noticing how the media affects me, because I do not buy many things and I do not watch a lot of TV, but I can see how it affects others. I have come up with the obstacle we have to get around to solve this problem: How will we stop adds without it hurting beneficial companies and affecting our basic knowledge of which product has the best ratio of price to comfort. In the end, we should think logically of the difference between wanting and needing. We also need to stop judging people for what they buy or wear, for we are helping the media in that scenario. We need to ignore the adds, and think before we do. Eventually, we may see right through the media. A blind man will not budge, even if it's the shiniest thing in the world.

  13. Our generation has definitely seen the most number of advertisements as the amount of ads seem to increase with each coming year. Everything we buy and see are based off of advertisements. Even as I stare at my screen this very moment I can identify over 20 different advertisements. However, most do not see the harm in this and how it is manipulating our thoughts and bending our ways to go and consume something that we may not need in the end of the day. Unfortunately, we are often too intrigued by the advertisements to see the greed of the companies and the harm it is doing to the future generation who will receive even more advertisements. Celyna made an important point about how people think product consumption makes people happy. Every day, people think that their emotions rely on the things we buy. Think about it. If you're in a bad mood but see an ad about a sale at your favourite store, chances are, your mood will rise. If our emotions rely on the way we feel, what will happen when nothing exists? How will we manage then? Again, Celyna made a great point about how we would already realize that we don't need everything we want to truly realize the full potential of being content with the things you already have. Because of the companies' desperate desire to make profit, our thoughts have been guilt-tripped into buying products that will have supposedly have benefits for us. It has also changed our opinions that once had our own say in it. If everyone else has it, though you may not like it, you will be lured into buying it. The worst part is that you will get it for the wrong reasons, which only does harm. By doing this, we're only supporting these ads which are destroying the way people think and making people consume more. We already have so many advertisements, and if we continue at the rate that we are going in, chances are there will be more. If it is doing so harm to us now, how is this fair for the generations to come ahead of us?

  14. Our generation has definitely seen the most number of advertisements as the amount of ads seem to increase with each coming year. Everything we buy and see are based off of advertisements. Even as I stare at my screen this very moment I can identify over 20 different advertisements. However, most do not see the harm in this and how it is manipulating our thoughts and bending our ways to go and consume something that we may not need in the end of the day. Unfortunately, we are often too intrigued by the advertisements to see the greed of the companies and the harm it is doing to the future generation who will receive even more advertisements. Celyna made an important point about how people think product consumption makes people happy. Every day, people think that their emotions rely on the things we buy. Think about it. If you're in a bad mood but see an ad about a sale at your favourite store, chances are, your mood will rise. If our emotions rely on the way we feel, what will happen when nothing exists? How will we manage then? Again, Celyna made a great point about how we would already realize that we don't need everything we want to truly realize the full potential of being content with the things you already have. Because of the companies' desperate desire to make profit, our thoughts have been guilt-tripped into buying products that will have supposedly have benefits for us. It has also changed our opinions that once had our own say in it. If everyone else has it, though you may not like it, you will be lured into buying it. The worst part is that you will get it for the wrong reasons, which only does harm. By doing this, we're only supporting these ads which are destroying the way people think and making people consume more. We already have so many advertisements, and if we continue at the rate that we are going in, chances are there will be more. If it is doing so harm to us now, how is this fair for the generations to come ahead of us?

  15. Everywhere that we turn we are be bombarded by ads whether they are on the t.v, billboards or even on benches. The fact is that the ads are trying to mould us as humans. We are constantly faced with ads telling us where to go, what to buy and how to look? But what would happen if we didn't listen to ads? What would the world be like if we didn't feel the need to buy the latest gadget just because of a commercial? Ads can be bad because they make us create a desire for something that we might not even need. Imagine if I have a dell laptop, then I watched a MacBook Pro commercial and all of a sudden my dell laptop isn't good enough. Ads are everywhere but not all ads are bad, some are around to inform us of the choices we make or to help educate us on some things. I agree with my classmates who have said that the media has a huge impact on us but it is our job as humans to control the media and not let the media control us.

  16. Before seeing the video with Noam Chomsky, I never thought about how many ads I see in a day. After that class, though, I think I finally realized how much influence the media has on us. Every day, whether it be on TV, on the internet, or on someone else’s t-shirt, we are surrounded by advertisements that are all trying to grab our attention at the same time. Most of the ads I see just fly over my head because a few seconds later I see a new ad that makes me forget about the previous one. Then, I think about how much money is being poured into these useless advertisements that no one pays attention to. I used to wonder how big corporations like Google and Facebook could get by apparently without selling anything, but now I know that they make tons of revenue from advertising. If I had a penny for every time I saw an ad by Google on the internet, I would have a few dollars. But since Google shows a few billion ads per day… well, you get the point. Even though most ads are ignored, once in a while I see an ad that I can still remember 10 seconds later and perhaps it made a small impact on me. So yes, whether we like it or not, all those advertisements do affect us as and how we think. However, people in today’s society are faced with more ads than ever before, and in the future the number of ads will continue to increase as more and more people compete to influence us. Inevitably, more ads will mean that we will pay even less attention to each ad. How many ads are too many? Will we ever need to put a limit on public advertising?

  17. Each day, we see so many ads that we hardly know how many of them we see and when we do notice one, we usually forget about it and move. Some ads actually catch people’s attention, like Apple, with their ads about iPad’s and iPhone’s. When people see these, they want to get it and be like everyone else that has them. When watching TV, we see ads/commercials every ten minutes. Young children when watching TV, see many commercials introducing new toys and gadgets. These commercials are made to catch children’s attention so they would want to get what they are advertising. For example, McDonalds have commercials showing their new toys they give out with their kid’s meals. When the kids see these commercials, they want to go to McDonalds just to get the toys. This is also how McDonalds make most of their money. I also agree with my classmates about the idea of us, humans, controlling the media instead of the media controlling us.

  18. The age of individual thought has long been over. Instead of the great leering face of Big Brother we have the big golden M, the soft white apple, the happy yellow smiley face who promises us the lowest prices, and many more. Our lives within the system are more or less out of our hands. Other comentators have talked about the hundreds, if not thousands of ads that we are bombarded with each day, they tell us what we need, who to vote for, what to think, where to go if we have used, broken, or unwanted gold. I find it sickening. I imagine all the sad people sitting there and crying over their poor unwanted gold. Past the sarcasm I wonder what the future will hold, will the age of mass consumerism continue? Karl Marx once said: "Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society". Can we really make a difference? In closing the media does affect me, it shows me the faults of our society and makes me worry about our future.

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