October 22, 2014
Media Ethics Essay #8
The advertising market focuses on the “human desires for security, acceptance, and self-esteem to influence consumer choices” (Carroll, 1). The amount of manipulation available drastically increases when that said audience is a child. Children have much less cognitively developed processes than in that of the adult brain. Electronic media is becoming an increasing difficult media to escape, with the average American consuming more than 1500 ads every day, making media outlets the perfect vehicle for overwhelming messaging through advertisement and an absolute nightmare to avoid for children.
When dealing with children it seems the most logical to look the most closely at the care based theory of ethical reasoning. A theory based on love and compassion is ideal for nurturing children who are the prospective thinkers of this world. The nature of advertising however falls completely against this concept. Advertisements and media are now at the forefront of shaping our future generations. Studies have shown that one of the best ways for a child’s cognitive imagination to develop is through creative playing. In the digital age, the amount of imaginative activities in the 8-12 age group has decreased 94% in the last several decades(Consuming Kids). The engineers who in the past spent their childhood designing and building forts and then imagining a world in which their fort turns into a castle, are now sitting in front of the TV falling scheme to companies cradle to grave consumer tactics. Dr. Allen Kanner, a psychologist has been asking kids for generations what kids wanted to be when they grew up. What he used to receive were aspirations to be a nurse or an astronaut. In the late 1980’s however he began to hear the response of wanting to be rich (Consuming Kids). The media had created a “profound remaking of their psyche” of what was a desirable or rewarding occupation, while being rich is not even an...
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