I’ve never been interested in advertising and especially aggressive advertising which seems to be the norm these days. If I go online it is everywhere, it even appears on my blog. The occasional advert is fine, not that I take much notice but I am bombarded with them! The dynamic ones are the worst, flashing away on the sidelines whilst I am concentrating on something else, emails for instance. It gets so bad sometimes I just cover the screen where they appear. Have you noticed what a minefield it has become when trying to move your cursor around the screen? It is just as bad with finger scrolling, you only have to accidentally slip and you’ve clicked on an advert and opened a tab. Most annoying. I don’t receive much mail at home, you know, the stuff that comes through your letter box, I call it real mail but others call it snail mail because it takes longer to send and receive. Is this real progress or just simply the fact that we are so much in a hurry that everything has to be NOW? Oh how I yearn for a return to times when we had time for everything and didn’t want to cram as much as we could into a day. The mail which comes through my letter box and addressed to myself is usually official and sent from organisations like the tax office, insurance companies or other financial institutions making demands upon my purse. Those I have to accept of course but they are far outweighed by the unwanted stuff, advertising leaflets and special offers from some companies I’ve never even heard of. We have a recycling bin in the porch which is less than a metre from the letter box. How convenient it is for dumping all of it! I do check that none of it wanted of course before binning it.
There is far too much advertising these days in my estimation. The problem I find is that I cannot stop it coming through the letter box or block it online. If I see an advert and make an attempt at deleting it I am asked why I don’t like the advert but there is never an option to delete it. I can opt out of receiving certain advertising offers but cannot block them from my screen. All I get is ‘We want to only display adverts which follow your interests’ or something similar. Data is collected from every site that is visited and it is then assumed you have an interest in purchasing from them all! Most of the time I am just browsing and don’t want anything else, especially unsolicited adverts. When I visit a high street store I do not like staff to approach me asking if I need assistance. If I need assistance I ask for it. If I want advertising I will ask for it but don’t hold your breath waiting for a question.
Perhaps it is my age (I will be 73 by the time you are reading this) but I doubt it. I guess I have always thought this way, for most of my life anyway. I might call it being anti-social and once many years ago I was very anti-social but no not in the real sense is it being anti-social when I say I dislike, even hate advertisements and the advertising media in general. My attitude in life is to make my own decisions when it comes to purchasing and not to be pestered by those pushing their wares into my face. If I want something, no matter what it may be, I will go and get it. I have no need for junk mail either paper or electronic, they get destroyed, deleted, thrown away, take your pick. I want timber, I go to the timber yard and ask. I want food, I go shopping for it and select the items I want. If there is anything I want I go and look for it, yes even when making online purchases. Then I select and buy. I watch television as many do and sometimes I allow the sound to remain on during the adverts, not because I want to listen to them but I sometimes just cannot be bothered to keep switching off the sound. In doing so however I end up listening to the auto-suggestive crap in some of them. ‘These are a must have item’. No they’re not! ‘Everyone wants them’. No they emphatically do not! ‘Don’t miss the opportunity’. I’d rather save my money for something I really want. ‘Hurry while stocks last’. Yeah sure I’ll dash out straight away. ‘Save money by buying while the goods are on special offer’, is another advertiser’s favourite. No thank you I will save even more by not buying anything! Christmas, what a wonderful opportunity for advertisers to show us what we are missing if we don’t buy all the unnecessary stuff they throw our way, food, drink, clothing, furniture (?), you name it they want you to buy it. I wonder what Jesus thinks of all that self-indulgence at his birthday party, you know, the one you don’t invite him to? The thing is, do we really fall for everything the advertising media pushes our way? Sadly many do. Do we really need it all? Probably not but many don’t wish to admit it. For me, I hate it all.
Watching the television for me can be a very active occupation……….for my index finger! Isn’t technology wonderful? No, not really, for me anyway, I am not into technology, at least in unessential areas. Technology is great in certain fields like medicine, policing and other areas to an extent. The advent of the television remote control was one such innovative and useful invention which put an end to having to arise from the armchair to change channels.
However, since televisions developed and progressed as they have they became computers in the process too. This meant the controller needed to be more sophisticated too. Now we can search through program menus and text information without effort and without getting out of the chair. For me though the greatest part of that technology is the ability to switch off the sound whilst the advertisements are running! One of the reasons I like the BBC channels is the fact that they have no advertisements to bore me soft. It isn’t that advertising is really a bad thing but the way the advertisers operate these days is irritating and annoying. As an example I was watching a certain program which ran for an hour and after the first ten minutes there was an advertising slot which ran for five minutes. This pattern followed through the whole hour which meant the program content lasted forty minutes and the advertisement lasted twenty minutes or half as long as the program. In fact by the time the program’s introduction and ending credits had run the program was only thirty-five minutes long! What made it worse was the adverts were repeated time and time again as if the advertisers were trying to brainwash the viewer. Actually that is what they are trying to do! It doesn’t work with me. Knowing a particular brand and having the advert pushed in my face over and over again only serves to put me off and it doesn’t influence my purchases. Enter my index finger…..when the adverts start my finger pushes the mute button. I guess I am one of those people, and I’ll wager there are many, who are an advertiser’s nightmare…….we just don’t want to know.
How many times have you received unsolicited mail whether paper or electronic? Telephone calls from unknown callers? I’ll wager many and if you are anything like me you are probably fed up with it all. It is easy to throw away unsolicited paper mail and just as easy to delete emails. Telephone calls are a nuisance and the only solutions are hang-up, block (if it is possible) or simply don’t answer. All are an inconvenience and as far as I am concerned an intrusion. Many years ago I realised that advertising, aside from it being necessary for promoting business, was also becoming a nuisance in the way it was being thrust upon us. In today’s world it has become increasingly aggressive too. I remember years ago being encouraged to make savings by buying certain brands over others or encouraging me to save money by taking up special offers. ‘Save 10, 15 even 20% by buying our goods’ is a frequently used phrase in the advertising world. My answer to that one is that I can make even more in the way of saving, 100% ! Why would I want to make a saving of 20% when I can make one of 100% ? In other words, I am not interested. I am disinterested in the majority of advertising that comes my way no matter which form it takes. Too much advertising produces a negative response. My attitude had always been and will always remain, if I didn’t ask for it I don’t want it! My recycle bins get full very quickly. Unwanted and unsolicited phone calls have the sender’s number listed on my phone as ‘Spam’, Spam 1, Spam 2 and so on so that each time they call I can see who it is and ignore them. If I could block them I would. Presently there are nineteen of them on my mobile phone. If by chance an unsolicited call comes through on the house phone and I answer I immediately hang up once I realise it is an unsolicited call. My house phone isn’t listed in the directory and even has a block on it but still some calls get through now and then. Life it seems is a battle with advertising companies but one I will engage in if that’s what it takes. For me it is all spam………..
I cannot escape it. Whenever the television is switched on and tuned-in to an independent broadcasting station I am bombarded with advertisements. I expect this of course but at this time of year the advertisements are aggressive and are so repetitive as to be annoying. As my readers I’m sure will know by now I detest advertising of this nature, in fact any dynamic and thrusting advertising but I do realise their necessity in the great scheme of things. As we are approaching Christmas the pressure to buy or invest in something is relentlessly pushed into our faces via the television screens. I often wonder how positive or negative the reaction to them is. For a few months now furniture manufacturers have constantly advertised their goods and the fact that they can deliver them before Christmas day. They subtly suggest how would-be buyers would benefit from having new furniture both to take advantage of their ‘special offers’ and to be able to accommodate their guests on the big day. We are made to think that we cannot do without new furniture. Aside from the fact that most people do not need new furniture the offers are at a reduced price to persuade us otherwise. I wonder how much profit these companies make if they can offer goods at half-price and still be in pocket! It’s not just furniture it is perfume, alcohol, seasonal foods, clothing, watches, electronic equipment and one of the most annoying to me anyway, Internet and television media suppliers. If I’ve seen each one every day I have seen them twenty or more times. Where did ‘Black Friday‘ come from? They must be desperate for our custom. The mute button on my remote control unit gets pressed often!
It is all to do with life in a modern society but the sad thing is that most people are influenced and taken-in by all the hype and many end up with so much debt it is frightening. People need to realise they are not sheep, they do not have to jump on the band-wagon so eagerly because their friends or family have done. This is the secular world, driven and kept well-oiled by commercialism which can only end when it runs out of steam. That energy is sapped out of all those who allow it but the people are blind. The people are comfortable with it all but don’t realise they are being manipulated. I took a step back from the false security that is secularism. It has no future, it is heading nowhere. I fell in love with my Creator and placed all my hope in Him. I fell in love with Jesus and have a future not based upon the secular life and all the material blessings I might gain from it. In the end they perish and have to be left behind one day. Can you see why I look at the ways of the world the way I do? Can you see what an empty future you have if you put your trust in worthless things, the things the secular world offers? Don’t take the advertisements too seriously. Take the offer your Creator God offers, the FREE gift of life everlasting in Jesus Christ.
My rest from electrical work was ended on Thursday, the day following my advert‘s return in the newspaper. Yes, advertising does work where services are concerned anyway, I am not too sure about other reasons for advertising. I think the car advert is hilarious, don’t you? Television advertising for me does nothing but encourage me to reach over to the mute button on the remote control. That kind of advertising, though necessary, is wasted upon me. My phone kept ringing throughout the morning but I didn’t take on many of the offers. At least now I am beginning to build up more funds which will enable me to purchase plants for the garden in the days ahead. It was quite a cold day on Thursday and that was to continue for the foreseeable future, well it is Autumn after all. The lawn is yet again covered with fallen leaves and will remain that way until all the leaves have dropped to the ground! I had a great chat with the lady in one of the houses I worked in. We talked about gardening and plants. I had mentioned I was looking to buy some more plants for the rear garden and she made some suggestions but it is difficult when people haven’t actually seen the garden. I am all for a low maintenance garden where I don’t have to constantly prune back or weed out all the time. That isn’t totally possible, especially where weeds are concerned. In the two flowerbeds at the front of the house which I had cleaned up during the summer months and in which I laid chipped bark to curb the weeds, they still manage to grow in places! Despite the Autumn weather the gardens are looking well after all the work I put into them throughout the year. And I thought I hated gardening. I expect I will be doing much electrical work between now and Christmas, it usually happens that way and I will be glad for that but I still hope I will find things to do in the gardens too.
Long, long ago when the world ran at a slower pace and my life was quiet and peaceful I was content and happy. As I grew into adulthood everything began to change but it was still all very manageable and life plodded along as it had always done for quite some time until fairly recently. I would say that the pace of life, my life, began to increase incrementally around about the birth of our first child who was born in 1982. A couple of years earlier saw the advent of home computers though at that time domestic connections to the rest of the world through computers was unheard of. The Internet hadn’t arrived on the scene yet. I remember seeing one of the first house phones which featured a screen and could receive and send emails! That would have been around 1998. Along came the Internet in the early 1990’s after years of development which began in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Home computers connected to the Internet have developed significantly since their inception say in the mid 1990’s and have become as standard in homes as the early telephones had years before. The world got the communication bug initially for commerce and industry but there was always going to be a need on a personal level once the possibilities presented themselves. It is one of those areas which has been generated and developed by commerce and now commerce greatly benefits from it. Putting it another way, it is a money spinner where everyone can benefit. The problem with this is that anything that can generate an income is heavily sought after and promoted until the whole system practically depends upon it. In fact it does depend upon it. You could say that we have created a monster which has an insatiable appetite and you would be right. The problem for individuals is that they can be bombarded with promotional advertising so much so that they feel they have to go with the flow so to speak and indeed some do just that. We are told that we need things or that things are a ‘must have’ commodity and that ‘everyone’ wants one. People just don’t know how to say no. Unsolicited and promotional advertising to me is quite frankly a nuisance and I despise it. I do my best to avoid it all. Any emails I get which promote or offer a service which I haven’t requested get deleted. Paper mail gets the same treatment. Adverts on the television get muted whilst they run. I don’t want any of it unless I have asked for it. I just want to be left alone. I prefer a life that runs slower, a life where I have to make an effort to communicate or to discover that which I want to purchase. I pity the poor salesperson who politely approaches me to ask if they can assist. The answer will always be no but I will ask if I need help.
I’ve mentioned many times in this blog how much I hate adverts and although I know they might be necessary, for me they are a pain in the proverbial! When television adverts appear on the screen I have the choice to mute the sound for as long as they are showing and they cease to be a distraction if I do something else for the duration. If I am tuned to a commercial radio station in my vehicle the only option I have it to either switch off the radio, try to ignore the adverts or just bear them! Reading a newspaper isn’t a problem, I simply read the news items and ignore everything else, though I will add that I seldom read newspapers anyway. Now when it comes to my computer, that is something different. Wherever I do my browsing I can be certain that I will be faced with adverts on the same page. The worst offender is my main email provider, AOL. There are so many adverts on their front page it is unbelievable and many of them are dynamic so that if my cursor accidentally drifts over them I am immediately taken to another page. Others follow my actions when I am scrolling up and down the page I am reading and form an irritating mobile panel to the right as if saying ‘you can’t get away, I am following you’! Others flash on and off in order to attract attention. It’s getting so bad I am frightened to check my emails!
If there is one thing I really hate about this form of advertising it is the way they are being pushed under my nose and into my face. Even if I was remotely interested in whatever was being advertised that sort of behaviour will always have the opposite effect upon me. This is the same kind of behaviour I am faced with by ‘cold callers’ too and why the calls either don’t get answered or if found to be such a call will be immediately disconnected. Leave me alone, your efforts are wasted on me. I have just seen a program on television about Oxford Street in London and the frantic attempts to oil the wheels of advertising in order to keep sales high. The whole street is geared to make people part with their money (as with any other high street in the land). There isn’t anything wrong in keeping the economy running of course and for those who don’t mind being bombarded with sales pitches that is fine. Not for me, no, not for me.
We waited patiently for the onset of Spring and it looked at last as if the days could only get warmer but this is the UK and our weather patterns are never always reliable. On Wednesday at least the country was more or less split in half regarding the weather. Those in the south were enjoying temperatures and sunshine more typical for the month of June or even July whereas those up north had to put up with cloudy skies and low temperatures and even rain in some places too. Temperatures in the south were in the low twenties and even as high as twenty-five degrees Celsius in places but in the north it was more like eleven degrees with a slight wind. As far as conditions are concerned the weather in the north was more typical for the season whereas in the south conditions were more unseasonal. The day was a one-off though for the main problem was the passing of a cold front making its way slowly southward. For such a small country there can be quite a difference in weather patterns between the most northerly point to the most southerly at almost any time of the year. On a more personal note, the weather was just fine for me. I was half expecting to get more job requests for the day but had just the one and that one a very small one indeed, to connect a cooker to its isolating switch. I was happy about that for it meant I would have most of the day to myself but I couldn’t do it until the cooker had been delivered at eleven o’clock. It was almost lunch time as I drove home but I decided to go for another pub/restaurant meal beforehand as I had only fruit for my breakfast some hours earlier. Just as I had put the van in the garage, for I had no intentions of taking anymore work for the day, my phone rang, but it wasn’t a job request this time. I advertise in a local free newspaper, one of two operating in the area. The call was from the other newspaper group trying to secure my business! They had been trawling their competitor’s newspaper looking for more business. I wondered if the group I advertise with do the same. I explained that as I only work part-time (more or less) and as I am also 69 years of age to boot, I didn’t want the volume of work and was quite happy with my current newspaper running my advert. I locked the garage and went indoors.
On Wednesday the weather had become far more settled than it had been and though I knew it wouldn’t last it was an opportunity to get out into the garden to clean up the leaves and to do other things. However, E had mentioned that the light in the garage she uses didn’t always switch on automatically when it was dark. I wired the system a couple of years ago and it incorporates a light level detector fitted outside, a reed switch on the garage door (roller door) which operates when the magnet attached to it activates the electronic circuit to switch on the light. The light can also be operated manually as normal. The problem needed sorting and so that was the first job I did. I adjusted the position of the reed switch to be closer to the magnet when the door was opened. Problem solved though I did carry out a further adjustment the following day. I discovered that the door’s lateral motion sometimes resulted in the space between the reed switch and the magnet being occasionally too wide. Anyway I got to clear away the leaves but by now it was almost lunchtime and I received a request to install a new security light to replace two smaller units that were inadequate. That job took me a couple of hours so when I arrived back home it was around three-thirty. I was hungry having had my breakfast seven hours earlier so I had a belated lunch. Come time for an evening meal I couldn’t eat one but simply had a couple of items of fruit instead. Most of the time I do without lunch if I have missed it and that often happens when I am out at work. I had received a message on the house phone to call the newspaper office in which my advertisement is published. I wondered why because I wasn’t due to purchase more space having had a couple of weeks of paid space in hand. It appeared that the girl was about to take some leave and wished to ensure my needs would be looked after whilst she was away. I wasn’t surprised at this because I would have called one week later to arrange the purchase of a further thirteen weeks of advertising space anyway. I told her that I had been taking stock of my situation and had been thinking about retirement. She was surprised and scared that I might be leaving the paper to advertise elsewhere. I reassured her that I wasn’t and for the time being was continuing to work. She sounded relieved and wished me luck for the future. I have been advertising with the newspaper now for seventeen and a half years. I wonder if I will reach twenty? We’ll have to wait and see.