Forcing TV viewers to watch advertising... and more...

I progressively stopped watching television when I started figuring out how detrimental it was for my health.

It's obvious that corporations are cashing in on TV's captive audience.

It's obvious to anyone who dares to seriously think about it that television advertising has a profound influence on our psyche: if ads failed to brainwash us into buying some products, corporations wouldn't spend untold sums of money for a 30 second spot on television. That's why the television industry, to protect its revenue stream, is thinking about new ways to force us to watch the ads:

They will take my remote control away only when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

This thought followed my first reading of a patent application for a new kind of television set and digital video recorder recently filed by a unit of Royal Philips Electronics at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The design appears to threaten the inalienable right to channel-surf during commercials or fast-forward through ads in programs you've taped.

The aptitude of television to brainwash us has been discovered as early as the 1960s:

"In November 1969, a researcher named Herbert Krugman, who later became manager of public-opinion research at General Electric headquarters in Connecticut, decided to try to discover what goes on physiologically in the brain of a person watching TV. He elicited the co-operation of a twenty-two-year-old secretary and taped a single electrode to the back of her head. The wire from this electrode connected to a Grass Model 7 Polygraph, which in turn interfaced with a Honeywell 7600 computer and a CAT 400B computer.

"Flicking on the TV, Krugman began monitoring the brain-waves of the subject What he found through repeated trials was that within about thirty seconds, the brain-waves switched from predominantly beta waves, indicating alert and conscious attention, to predominantly alpha waves, indicating an unfocused, receptive lack of attention: the state of aimless fantasy and daydreaming below the threshold of consciousness. When Krugman's subject turned to reading through a magazine, beta waves reappeared, indicating that conscious and alert attentiveness had replaced the daydreaming state.


"Soon, dozens of agencies were engaged in their own research into the television-brain phenomenon and its implications. The findings led to a complete overhaul in the theories, techniques, and practices that had structured the advertising industry and, to an extent, the entire television industry. The key phrase in Krugman's findings was that TV transmits 'information not thought about at the time of exposure.'"

Advertisers are so obviously sure that they manage to control us through advertising, that they will make every effort to make us watch their ads:

Advertisers have long relied on 30-second TV spots to deliver messages to mass audiences. During the 1990s, the impact of these ads began to drop off, in part because viewers simply clicked to different programs during ads. In response, many advertisers began to place ads elsewhere, leading to "ad creep", the spread of ads throughout social space and cultural
institutions. Whole new marketing sub-specialties developed, such as "place-based" advertising, which coerces captive viewers to watch video ads. Examples include ads before movies, ads on buses and trains in cities (Chicago, Milwaukee and Orlando), and CNN¹s Airport channel. Video ads are also now common on ATMs, gas pumps, in convenience stores and doctors¹ offices.

Another very interesting article explores the use of subliminal messages in advertising (modern day brainwashing):

Advertisers have taken a firm hold on our daily lives. Half of their dominating influence can be attributed to their use of subliminal advertising. They take advantage of the vulnerabilities in our subconscious minds. Using the latest computer technology, they have unparalleled resources to manipulate each image to target a specific weakness in us. Key claims that "subliminal indoctrination may prove more dangerous than nuclear weapons.

(...)The potential for control of the American people is enormous. What can you do to protect yourself? Knowledge. Knowledge that advertisers are trying to influence and control you, and that you can fight back. The next time you make a purchasing decision, ask yourself, "Why am I choosing this product?" Buy a product because of its taste, its quality, and its price. Never buy a product because its packaging looks good or because it is a name brand. Remember, it is the major companies that have the resources to do subliminal advertising. Also, harass your congressmen to make and enforce laws against subliminal broadcasting and printing. Write letters of complaint and gather signatures to send to the advertiser. Eventually, it will work. Despite all this, it really is entertaining trying to see through the advertisements and find subliminal messages in them. It's kind of like beating them at their own game. The next time you go out for dinner, stare into the restaurant's placements or a luscious steamy dinner on the menu. See what you can find.

In our so-called modern society, there is no way to avoid advertising completely (and if this site becomes very successful, it may have to be supported by some kind of advertising). But by stopping watching TV altogether, you dramatically reduce your exposure to big corporations brainwashing techniques.

How far are you from your remote?

I notice a major drop in energy when I watch TV

I also notice that I can hardly pull myself away from a program, no matter how stupid, once I start.

I basically haven't watched TV regularly since I entered college, a LONG time ago. We have a TV, but no cable. I'm glad. I know my husband would do nothing but watch sports if we did. Happily he worked for many years at a location that had no TV, so he realized he could live without it.

everyday use of some technologies.


I don't have a tv (by choice), so I only get the opportunity to watch a lot tv once every few months, when I stay at my in-laws.

Like you, I do notice a definite change in mood and outlook after a few hours of watching HBO (I cannot stand watching advertising, and HBO is one of the very few channels without any).

Cars and televisions are the two everyday technologies that I feel the most strongly against. They are both amazing technologies that could be very beneficial if used in the proper manner, but the way the use thereof is being abused and over-abused (!) is having a tremendous negative impact on our society.

I hove that wechange will eventually provide some extensive and informative sections on the effects of both those technologies.
{wechange Join wechange and help me to build those sections with information and solutions}