Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Everyday we are exposed to thousands of different advertising messages. There are many forms of media such as the radio, television, magazines and bulletin boards that are used to sell commodities and ideas to our society. Many people do not realize the powerful role advertizing plays in our society. Throughout this essay I will discuss advertising's destructive power as it shapes our morals and beliefs and the need to educate our youth to help them understand how it affects their lives.

There is not a more forceful education system that shows us what it means to be an ideal person than the media and more importantly advertising. The average Canadian father spends as little as fifteen minutes a day talking to his children. This is a frightening fact considering children spend an average of twenty eight hours a week watching television. If parents spend no longer than a few minutes each day speaking to their children, morals and beliefs become based on television ads and family sitcoms.

This teaches the younger generation to avoid personal reality. The education we receive through the media does not encourage us to be better people, but teaches us to conform to the image of consumer ideology. We no longer feel the need to acquire better human qualities, but commodities. We fall for the great American myth, "The more you possess, the happier you'll be". We become attached to objects that have been branded significant by the media, instead of objects that are important to us and more importantly people that we value.

Advertising also shapes our attitudes and teaches us how we are supposed to be. It wrongfully portrays men and women making us feel in-adequate. Not only are women shown as flawless and ageless, they lead us to believe that our interior is...