The modern American mass advertising industry is a very powerful machine. It is well lubricated by a lot of cash and technology. Make no mistake about it. There’s a lot of science, psychology in particular, that is involved in modern advertising. There is no such thing as an accident when it comes to advertising campaigns. Most modern advertising campaigns are finely tuned and finely engineered pieces of messaging designed to send you as many influences as possible.
You have to understand that in most cases, if people shut out media from their lives, their needs would be very basic and their lives would be very simple. They wouldn’t feel that they need certain things because these ideas weren’t planted in their minds. Their conception of what they need and what they want flows from their daily experience with their working or living world. In other words, depending on the circles of friends you gather around, you only get a fixed set of ideas. These ideas tend to be the same and remain static. This is your simple world.
However, when you turn on the media, all sorts of ideas come in and guess what? You might like to think you are an independent thinking person, that you are your own person, but guess what? You subconsciously absorb all those ideas, and they influence you. As a result, you end up buying stuff that you don’t really need. You end up thinking stuff that you don’t really believe in, and you start looking at the world in a very different way. That’s the power of media.
One of the reasons they are able to do this is because they use idea viruses. One of the best frugal life tips you can follow is to be aware of how you get influenced. Keep in mind that these frugal life tips don’t say you shouldn’t be influenced. These frugal life tips don’t say you have to resist influence. All they say is that you need to be aware because there might be some influences that you would welcome. However, by being aware, you can be selective about the influences that you let into your lives. A key part of this is to understand how idea viruses work.
What Are Idea Viruses?
The human mind is a very complicated machine. However, it must be able to make sense of all the data that it is gathering. The human mind is a very complicated data gathering device that pulls up information from many different sources. If you did not have a means to organize all these pieces of information, you would basically be insane. You would get data and one picture comes after the other. There’s really no rhyme, no reason, no memories, no form, but you don’t know why. It’s going to be a very confusing and crazy world. This is why human beings are rational and sane.
Human beings think in terms of stories. We have these narratives. One common narrative is, “Who am I?” We then pick and choose the different data that we get from our outside world, and we plug it into this picture that we frame in our mind as our identities. We also have memory, history, etc. These are narratives that use a story form. Advertisers know this. This is why they create idea viruses to infiltrate how we process information, and a lot of these idea viruses become part of our narrative.
For example, when you see a nicely produced car advertisement that shows a very successful young man moving up in the world, and at the end of the sequence, the person is driving a Mercedes. You subconsciously pick apart these messages, and then you put it in your narrative. You then begin to subconsciously evaluate your definition of success with elements from that advertisement. Most people don’t understand this.
They are unaware of it. In most cases, most people are in denial. People would like to think that they are not stupid to follow up an ad. However, people are. That ad has idea viruses, and you might think that you didn’t consciously pick something up, but write down your goals, dreams, and aspirations, and you would be surprised as to how many strands of DNA from idea viruses are present in your goals and dreams. One of the most powerful, frugal life tips that you can adopt is to be aware of how you get influenced.
These frugal life tips allow you to pick apart the idea viruses that have entered your consciousness and unlearn harmful idea viruses that lead to a lot of debt and financial tightness. Keep in mind that frugal life tips don’t intend for you to stop being influenced. That is just impossible. Instead, frugal life tips focus on the right influence.