Have you ever stepped back and looked at the range of messages-to-be-discontent that we receive daily?
That we are bombarded with, in fact?.
The messages designed to make you aware that other people are better, happier, more successful, and have more things than you?
- Quick let’s put these holiday photos on social media so everyone can see how happy we are!
- You’re not still driving that car – it’s already three years old!
- You’ve got to have new iPhone or Samsung – it’s even better than last month’s one.
The messages are endless and from varying sources – advertising, social media, product placement, and so on. And the overall intention is manipulation – to encourage unease and discontentment so you’re more likely to use their advertisers/sponsors to ‘buy contentment’.
We’re told to be insecure about what we have.
Don’t let up struggling for more.
Don’t enjoy what you have or what you do – others are doing better!
Stop enjoying the life you have.
Be discontent – and then spend money and time to get rid of this discontentment! Well, how can you relax when others are happier, fitter, wealthier, better looking than you!
Inoculate against the manipulation
How do we inoculate yourself against the discontentment disease?
(1) Recognise the all-pervasive ‘be unhappy’ theme.
Recognise the daily bombardment of messages-to-be-unhappy – from so many locations: print media, online social media, 24-hour sense-surround advertising, news feeds and channels, and so on!
(2) See and hear these messages for what they are
These are designed to make you unhappy with your lot – unhappy with your appearance, your health and fitness, your friends, your work, your possessions (and your lack of possessions!)
(3) Raise your awareness
Just for a couple of days watch and listen for the many ‘be discontent’ messages you encounter in your daily life.
Advertising is designed to affect us unconsciously – to change our emotions without our being aware of the process (otherwise we might resist and not be so gullible).
We can’t ‘not’ see and hear the manipulative messages. We can, through raising our aware of what’s going on, immunise ourselves to their power.