Who is the Person Behind the Profile?

Have you ever been a victim of online dating? Many people, who think they have found true love online, may have actually discovered the complete opposite. Although there are a lot of advertisements for e-harmony, match.com, and christianmingle.com making you think dating on the Internet is easy and harmful, there are other sources for communication that go unrecognized. For some people who don’t have the money or time to fill out long personal profiles, they may turn to chat rooms or various social media sites in order to meet that potential someone. These options might be free to access and more convenient, but they aren’t as reliable.

Chat rooms are available through Internet service providers, such as America Online, Comcast, and Verizon. Thinking that it is a smart marketing strategy, this feature allows their customers to meet people from all over the world and make friends. You can also search for chat rooms on google.com and see that a huge amount exists for entering into. The only downfall is chat rooms aren’t as safe and fun as they were originally designed to be. They have been starting to get a bad reputation over the years because there have been several cases of deception.

Image by KetuGajjar/ CC licensed Image by KetuGajjar/ CC licensed

The next most popular conversational tool that came afterwards was Facebook, which is the number one leading social media site. Facebook has its flaws too. This leads into one shocking story about a man named Nev Schulman, a 24-year-old who started talking to who he thought was the girl of his dreams through Facebook messages. He made a documentary called, Catfish, about his experience with online dating. In the film, he finally went to meet her and she turned out to be a troubled housewife. Now, Schulman hosts a series on MTV titled Catfish: The TV Show, so he can teach others a lesson about becoming involved with people online. At the end of every episode, he takes the man/woman to the person they have been speaking to only to reveal that they probably aren’t who they thought they were. This goes to show, that you have to be very careful with whom you get yourself involved with on the Internet.

Although modern day technology is incredible and allows you to meet people from everywhere through various forms of media, it’s all about the proper way you go about in executing these relationships to determine if it will escalate into something more. Due to the fact that web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and Linked in give you the option to post pictures of yourself and establish an online identity, anyone can abuse the system and create a false persona in order to attract someone’s attention. Facebook is a great tool for staying in contact with people you already know, but when it comes to meeting and getting to know new faces, it’s hard to trust if the content posted on their pages are legitimate. According to CBS News, one of the five hidden dangers of Facebook is that scammers generate fake profiles. That’s why if you begin a relationship with someone online, you should ask for their number and tell them to send you a photo or snapchat and decide from there if they seem real by matching it up to the pictures on their Facebook.

After all physical attractiveness plays an important part in dating let alone online dating. A person that an individual would be expected to date will try to date. A personal construct is a “mental yardstick” per say of how a person is measured (Wood 71). If someone sees a person online, they may find them attractive because of their brown hair, brown eyes, and moles. Because they possess all these likeable qualities, they want to get to know them on a deeper level. If the person in the photo turns out not to be who they were speaking to, it’s such a disappointment. That tends to happen all the time on the show Catfish.

Skyping would be the closest way to see a person fully without them being able to hide their identity. Skype can also allow for a real life conversation. You would be able to determine at that moment whether you can hold an actual discussion with someone apart from texting and Facebook messaging. This aspect is vital because you have to gain a closeness through dialogue since online dating restricts couples from doing activities together (Wood 254). Not being able to see someone means building a strong talking relationship and constantly giving day-to- day updates in order to feel close. It helps people to understand the rhythms of each other’s lives and to see if they maybe want to be in them.

However if there is silence during skyping, which is a nonverbal behavior that communicates powerful messages, then it may create awkwardness (Wood 137). That is always something people want to try and avoid. Silence isn’t necessarily always bad, because it could mean that two individuals are just so comfortable with one other that they don’t need to talk back and forth, but that is rarely the case during a first encounter with someone. Therefore if nobody is really speaking, then it could negatively impact the potential relationship. On the other hand if you are able to carry on a conversation and feel a connection then you have reached the next level, self-disclosure.

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Self-disclosure is when you reveal information about yourself that the other person doesn’t already know about you (Wood 57). You are able to move beyond the open area, which consists of all the public information displayed on your Facebook profile like your name, status, tastes in music, what you like to read, etc. Of course, don’t engage in self-disclosure unless you feel that the individual on the other side of the computer screen has been displaying interest and honesty so far during the whole process. Self-disclosure can be very personal so it’s important to be sure you aren’t giving out details you will regret later on if it turns out to be a hoax. Begin stating your dreams, fears, and feelings in hopes that you get a response that will give you a new perspective on who you are. If it does, then the relationship between the two of you is apt to progress hence the online dating will probably continue until you decide to convene.

Then again symbols are ambigious, in other words they aren’t clear-cut (Wood 96). To one person a couple nice conversations together may seem like you are “talking” which is the term people usually use when getting to know one another before dating. However to the other person, “talking” could just mean that you are being friendly with one another and nothing serious is going to come out of it. This is where it can get very confusing and cause issues since neither person is on the same page. For example, it may lead to mind-reading. Mind-reading is assuming you know what someone is thinking or how they are feeling without actually asking (Wood 84). So you may say, “I know you like me, why don’t you just ask me out already?” Although, in reality, they don’t feel the same way and you just dug yourself into a whole. That is why it’s important to allow people to speak for themselves so there are no misunderstandings.

Commitment is a major step and for most people it’s one that they don’t want to take unless they know the person inside and out. So while some people view themselves as “talking” to someone online, the other person may just see it as another conversation. A lot of visitors to dating websites and even users of Facebook talk to many different people in order to figure out what they like and want out of a romantic relationship not to necessarily be in one. Once you make a commitment to someone, you make a decision to remain in that relationship, which can be a problem if you didn’t evaluate all other options and be sure you were making the right choice (Wood 278).

To complete the online process of dating, I think everyone who has even been involved with someone on a dating website or social media outlet should set up an actual meeting with them like Nev Schulman did in order to solidify if the person they met matched expectations. This will help determine what could have been done differently and how to go about handling a situation like this in the future.

I feel like I now have a better understanding after writing this blog as to why online dating has become so prevalent. Internet is so easy to access thanks to smart phones and tablets making talking to other people so simple because everyone is always constantly connected now. My only issue is the dangers that can potentially come along with it which is why I put forth my advice. On that note my last word of wisdom is to seriously delve deep and figure out..who is the person behind the profile?


Wood, J.T., (2010). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters, sixth edition.Boston, MA: Wadsworth.



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Trust and Scandal

Would you ever go far in any relationship without trust? Could you sleep at night not knowing what was going on behind your back that you may not be aware of? Many people would agree that trust is the most important factor in all relationships. It is the building block for relationships whether it is social or professional. Without the idea of being able to believe what a partner is saying or doing, lacks your ability to rely on that person and fully commit to anything. In order to have a strong, lasting relationship you must always have trust.

Trust doesn’t occur solely in social relationships. There are a lot of practices in the business world that require trust within the business itself and stakeholders. You need to be able to depend on your coworkers and employers so everyone can work together in a setting to get the job done. An example of this would be an office assistant. They are given work that needs to be completed in a timely manner by those working around them. Others place a lot of trust on them to get everything finished by the deadline so nobody is reprimanded.

A prime example of a company that did not have trust among its stakeholders was the Enron Corporation. Top management, including Jeffrey Skilling the chief executive officer, were lying about the financial health of their stocks to investors and employees. They changed their statements showing profits when instead they were losses.  The fraudulent acts of these individuals led to the bankruptcy and downfall of Enron, a Fortune 500 company. This scheme demonstrates that it is not only the trust of the hierarchy from top to bottom, but vice versa, an employee must trust their superiors and their decisions must not just be reliable, but ethical.

According to Julia Wood, taking risks requires a degree of trust (Wood 199). Relating back to Enron, when shareholders make an investment, they take a risk in the company not knowing what the outcomes will be. Investments in this case regards to time and money. Those who put money into the company don’t reap benefits unless they keep up with stock. Just like social relationships where you put time and energy into someone, you are putting effort into something that could go wrong and that you won’t get back.

Whether you are trusting a significant other, an employee, or a company altogether, you need to understand that trust can go a long way. Trust is definitely something that is not earned over night, and before you decide to invest your time into a relationship, you need to make sure that it will be worth it. Always be aware of what you are getting yourself into so a situation like Enron’s won’t happen to you.

Wood, J. T. (2010). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.



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The Bully You Can’t Stand Up To.

Has someone ever made you feel like you weren’t good enough? Maybe it was a classmate, a complete stranger, or even a friend that caused your distress. If you’ve ever been bullied, I’m sure you were told by a parent to stand up for yourself and to deal with the problem at large….but what do you do if the bully is a teacher?

Teachers are supposed to be role models for their students, and although it is rare that bullying occurs within a learning setting, it does take place. Through my experience, it’s easy to say that just about anyone can alter your attitude and possibly affect the way you see yourself. When I was a junior in high school, I had a vocal coach who taught me outside of my chorus class the proper way in how to use my diaphragm and sight read so I could become a better, well rounded singer. As the weeks continued on, she started to become more direct with me because I wasn’t grasping her instructions. I never fit into the mold of what she wanted me to be so I eventually started to doubt my talent. She would ask me questions like, “are you slow?” which led me to believe that I was never going to meet her expectations. In her eyes, I was inadequate as a vocalist and she told me I wasn’t going to make it anywhere professionally. Due to her negative comments, I gave up on my dreams of auditioning into a musical theatre program instead of following my heart.

Constructive criticism is supposed to be meant in a kind manner in order to improve a person’s outlook. Everyone in life is criticized on a daily basis, but it is all a matter of how it’s given and taken that will enable you to work on your weaknesses and move forward. Unfortunately for those of us who have been hurt by an instructor, it’s out of our control to talk back to them when they are the ones holding the most power. According to Bill Page, teachers are the biggest bullies. Bullying after all is based on someone’s physical attributes including their strength and size as well as their position. They are seen as superior, which is the view of a teacher from the stand point of a student. If a student can’t maximize their work potential according to the teachers wants, the teacher will then badly criticize them with no positive reinforcement resulting in a downward spiral.

Reflected appraisal is known as our perception of how another person views us. Their thoughts affect the way in which we see ourselves (Wood 44). There will be people in our lives that can be complete debbie downers, but then there are individuals known as uppers that are there to lift us up and make us feel self worthy. They admire our ambitions, tell us when we are successful, and accept us for who we are. As for downers, they call attention to our errors and know just how to drive us away from our goals (Wood 45). Vultures, however, are even worse than downers. They are constantly negative and multiply every little flaw to the point where your self-esteem slowly diminishes (Wood 46). In my case, my vocal teacher was a vulture, because her criticism was so brutal that it made me second guess what I wanted to do.

Overall, it’s important to take criticism whether it be positive or negative and view it in the best light possible. There are certain types of reflected appraisals where someone is going to make you feel badly about yourself, but then there are others where you are put on a pedestal. There are always going to be uppers and downers in your life, but it’s how you react to these people that will reflect your self-esteem and self-efficacy.


Wood, J. T. (2010). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.


About Me!

Hello everyone! Even though my hair color has changed from bright blonde to brunette, I am still the same old spunky Rachel Lewis. I am now a junior at Longwood University majoring in Communication Studies with a concentration in Mass Media and I recently picked up Spanish as a minor. Whenever I’m not at school, you can find me in Richmond, Virginia my hometown of 20 years. I am happy and honored to call myself a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta and a member of the dance team, Blue Heat. I am also involved in an on campus acapella group known as High Street Harmonies and I plan on becoming more active this semester in other clubs and organizations such as the Longwood Show and Lancer Productions.

Over the Summer I got a new job as a waitress at O’Charleys where I learned how to serve and interact with customers whether it was assisting them to a location in the store or helping them decide which item to choose on the food menu. Working in the restaurant business has allowed me to gain even more experience and further broaden my communication skills. For the first time in four years I didn’t work at Kings Dominion, but when I did I was a park ambassador and my job was to show patrons around the park and answer any questions or concerns they might have had. Talking to others and making people happy is a huge passion and interest of mine. Public Speaking has definitely been one of my favorite classes, because I really learned a lot from that course and I have applied it to all my jobs thus far. I already feel better prepared for what’s to come and I am excited to continue my journey as a Communication Studies student. I have realized that it doesn’t only require speaking and being comfortable with talking, but in order to be extremely successful you have to be knowledgeable on the topic at hand and be professional in every environment whether that may be in class or at work.


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Get Your Eye on the Target, and Shoot!

Do you ever wonder why certain advertisements pop up on the side of your webpage? Has it ever occurred to you that the advertisements are directed right at you? It’s almost as if the company promoting the product knows that you may be interested in what they are selling. Well here’s a reality check, they do. Your computer tracks everything you explore online from looking up great deals on vacations to viewing used cars off of CarMax. Companies are now taking advantage of these findings and targeting you based on what you type into a search bar. How exactly are they able to do this? Hold your breath, because you may be in awe at how far along the technology world has come.

Cookies is a program designed on everyone’s computer that consists of files stored into your hard drive making it possible to identify who you are if you have ever registered with an online site before. Cookies has a unique ID assigned to each computer so as soon as you start entering in your personal information onto a website, you will then be tied to that ID. Once you are connected by your PC to a web server, it makes knowing your name on any webpage as simple as reciting the ABC’s. Through the use of cookies, websites are able to welcome you into their domain by your name instead of as just another number.

The one downfall is that if you have never given out any details about yourself, then companies are only able to track what your computer does. They have absolutely no way of finding out who the person is sitting behind the keyboard, which makes it difficult for companies when they are trying to advertise to prospective buyers. Lots of users to one computer can be hard and somewhat confusing. Not knowing who exactly someone is can result in a company advertising to the wrong person and being ignored.

Behavioral targeting is what companies are doing through the use of cookies. Behavioral Targeting is when information is constantly collected after being found from an individual’s web-browsing behavior, and is used in order to select which advertisements should be exhibited to that person. If you return to a website that you have been on multiple times before, cookies will be able to determine that based on your recent history and record it. In time, your computer will have a pretty good idea of what your top viewed websites are because of the number of visits made, the items you have been searching, and how close you have come to actually making a purchase. At this point, companies can finally step in and take over. It is a company’s dream after all to be able to know who’s interested in their products and when a consumer is thinking about or is ready to purchase something. Thanks to cookies, now they can!

Highly developed software tools, such as cookies, can allow marketers to alter web ads that pop up on peoples screen while browsing on different websites. Whether someone is on Facebook, WordPress, Google, etc. they will definitely come across a product that catches their attention due to all their online behavior. Since the advertisements displayed are generated by a consumer’s demonstrated interests, behavioral targeting has provided companies with strong, more promising sales leads. Thus allowing marketers to post relevant ads just about anywhere and everywhere they can imagine within a network of websites.



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It’s Not Always On Paper!

When it comes to receiving the latest news, the internet is the place to go. Newspapers are now starting to turn their own pages over in shame because they are no longer getting the attention they used to. With all the different sources available in today’s society, traditional newspapers are having a tough time competing in the digital world. Not only does news come at no cost to access online, but it’s also quicker and easier to obtain.

Social networking sites are also a huge component such as Facebook and Twitter, which are currently the two most popular, and have become so much more than just posting statuses about your day and uploading pictures of you and your friends. Now you can rely on these sites in order to learn what’s happening in your area and quite possibly the world around you depending on who you’re connected with. Through social networking sites, local news realities can turn into national tragedies instantly with the simple click of a button. When you re-post, share, like, or comment on something it will display in everyone’s news feed to view and act on allowing the information to continue spreading rapidly everywhere.

Two weeks ago on April 5, 2012 a young man that I knew from my hometown took his life when jumping off the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge in Richmond, Virginia. This horrific event became viral in just seconds after it happened due to someone’s tweet about it. Minutes later posts started adding up on Facebook about the incident and people from all over knew and were talking about it. If I hadn’t of checked Facebook that afternoon, I wouldn’t have heard about his death until 9:25pm that night when our local Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote an article online soon after it was aired on Fox News. Not only did it take the press that long to make the announcement, but they still hadn’t even released the name of the victim. At that point everyone knew exactly who he was thanks to social media sites. This goes to show how strong of an effect the internet has on consumers when it comes to news related content, because the full story wasn’t published in the newspaper until Sunday, which could have kept people anxiously waiting to find out the substantial details.

In Newsonomics, law number 4 states: “The old news world is gone, get over it” (Doctor 2010). Newspapers are definitely becoming a fad of the past so they might as well write their obituary and kiss the old news world goodbye. The internet age has given readers and journalists of the once so prominent newspaper, the opportunity to distribute news themselves. Jay Rosen therefore had to re-define the notion of “readers” as those formerly known as the audience (Doctor 2010). Now “readers” are no longer sitting back waiting for the news to come to them, but they are actually contributing to the news being read. With the tools available presently, people can produce news just as any other corporation can because of the various options to do so online or by using a smart phone.

Lots of news is delivered within Facebook by its users and it’s about time news companies encourage their writers and reporters to do the same. They must get involved by posting news related statuses with a link attached directly to their news site or either by tweeting. If news companies did that, more people could become aware of what’s happening as its taking place. After all 175 million people log into Facebook everyday, which makes it the most visited website beating Google out of its number one spot.

Since people are spending far more time on Facebook than any other website, it would be smart for news companies to make note of this and change the way things are being done. All in all, people are more willing to trust a reliable source versus amateurs that post news to the web. Like the question asked in Newsonomics, “If anyone can be a publisher, how can a reader or viewer figure out who’s paying them to say whatever it is they’re saying” (Doctor 2010)? You don’t really know which is why it would be easier if the publisher were a big commercial name that is well recognized. In the process of networked journalism, the public can get involved in a story before it is reported (like they did in the suicide case mentioned above) and contribute facts, but in the end people are going to want to go straight to a known source for verification.

Works Cited:

Doctor, K. (2010). Newsonomics: Twelve new trends that will shape the news you get. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.


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One Girl, One Movement, One HUGE Impact

There are many events that have taken place in history where time just seems to stop ticking. Events that you are able to look back on and remember exactly where you were and who you were with at the moment when the news got to you. Events that make you feel like the wind was just knocked out from under your feet. I’m sure several of you can recall the reaction you had when seeing the planes plowing into the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2011. The shootings that occurred at Columbine on April 20, 1999 were one of those events where the whole world came to a complete standstill (Cullen 2009).

This tragedy is something that will never be forgotten and as we venture forward in life it is continuously brought up when other school shootings take place, such as the incident that happened at Virginia Tech. Considering the fact that it was the fourth-deadliest school massacre in the United States where 13 people were killed, it’s no wonder why it keeps being resurfaced. However behind every catastrophic tabloid story, there is also a story that can have a positive effect on society. A story that is never told until years later that can bring the good out of evil. Even in the darkness, one girl with one powerful message was finally recognized, which was all it took to make people unite and create a change in their schools and communities to start working towards a better and safer environment for the futures of everyone.

Rachel Joy Scott, who was 17 years old when she died, was the first victim of the Columbine High School Massacre. Before delving deeper into the story behind Rachel, it’s important to know how it all began and why it came to prominence.

The two senior students involved in the killings, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were said to be part of the Trench Coat Mafia, but that was just a myth that didn’t get disproven until a couple years after the occurrence. Although they were wearing long, black trench coats at the scene of the crime they were not gothic and they had no plan of shooting jocks to get revenge of being bullied (Cullen 2009). There was far more going on inside the twisted mind of Eric Harris than anger or mistreatment from students. They shot people indiscriminately, because their original plan of bombing the victims didn’t work out which caused them to improvise. As the television kept streaming news about how the gothic culture was bad and can lead to aggression and violence such as this act, Americans did the only thing they could at the time and believed it! They relied on the television for information, which according to Gerber’s Cultivation Theory, has become one of the main tools used for storytelling.

Now years after the Columbine shooting, and due to more research on the subject we can see just how much of an effect media has on us and what it can result in: assumptions, lies, rumors, stereotyping, and myths. Those are just a few factors. Before the case of Columbine was truly investigated inside and out and then shared with us in the book titled Columbine, people had no other choice but to read, listen, and give in to the media presented to us on the radio, television, and newspapers even if it was announced too quick for consideration. A majority of news presses don’t have enough time to get the true full story before announcing it to the public, especially when it comes to hard hitting, breaking news that needs to be told immediately. Just as Newsonomics mentioned, news has to be delivered fast, which definitely has its downfalls (Doctor 2010). Now with so many different types of media available and ways to stay connected online and with smart phones, people can receive information about events such as this one as its happening and constantly changing instead of hearing the real story a couple years down the road.

With that being said and bearing in mind how much time has passed between then and now, a lot has happened. Stories that were once told by the media have evolved drastically while new ones have been brought to attention and shared with people around the country. One story in particular that should be heard is Rachel’s story. Although she lived a very short life, much has been developed and gotten better because of her. Since her death on that lovely spring morning, she has touched many people’s lives with what she’s left behind. An essay that she wrote for school was found by her father that inspired a program called Rachel’s Challenge. In the paper she said, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”

Rachel was well known by her peers and teachers for always seeing the good in everyone, and standing up for people that were bullied and mistreated. She had such a huge heart and wanted to express her love to mankind by making a difference. Although she’s no longer with us, the shooters couldn’t silence her completely, because Rachel’s ideas of making the world into a better place are still being told to this very day by her friends and family. Whether she knows it or not, she has made her mark on this earth and will forever be alive through the spirit of others.

The organization’s mission statement is to “motivate, educate, and bring positive change to many young people.” Ever since Rachel’s Challenge first began, her dad Darrell Scott and his wife Sandy have told her story and showed her drawings and writings to more than 15 million people making it the largest training and assembly program in the United States. Not only do her parents travel from school to school across the nation, but there is also a Facebook group set up in honor of her where people can post their comments about it. Just this afternoon a girl wrote, “After today, my life has officially changed. Thank you so much! I accept the challenge!♥” Check it out yourself by clicking here. Darrell Scott has also appeared on many talk shows such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, CNN, and the Today Show to discuss the issues of school violence. Schools recently reported that the program has severely cut down on bullying and increases attendance.

In a picture that Rachel drew the day she died, was a set of eyes crying thirteen tears. The tears were flowing down onto a columbine flower that was dripping blood. Ironically thirteen people died that day at Columbine, and whether we call this fate or not will never be determined. Rachel was extremely religious and maybe it’s quite possible that she connected with God that day. Regardless of the situation, everything happens for a reason and now Rachel’s story has reached out to millions of people across the globe shedding light onto a very tragic matter and improving this world one step at a time. With her program people are more aware of the seriousness of bullying and how it makes people feel, which along with the Columbine shootings has really woken people up to realizing what it can do to you. So now that the media coverage has stopped, and the real stories have been put out there for viewing I hope you decide to accept Rachel’s Challenge.

Works Cited:

Cullen, D. (2009). Columbine. New York: Twelve.

Doctor, Ken. Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. New  York: St. Martin’s, 2010.


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Catchy Shows For Little Joes

What do you want to do when you grow up? When asked that question a majority of children respond with, “I want to be an astronaut, a doctor, or maybe even a firefighter.” Well that used to be the case before advertising started making such a huge impact on kids and their futures. Nowadays the response will most likely be “make money.” Instead of helping children to succeed in life, commercials appear to be doing the exact opposite by exposing them to a world full of toys, food, and videogames that convince them that if they don’t purchase what they see, then they are missing out. Advertisements cause children to always want more than what they have therefore they end up insisting their parents to buy them everything and anything they recognize in stores from a commercial due to the different mascots, logos, and jingles that appeal to them.

According to Allen Kanner, a psychologist, “Advertising is a massive, multi-million dollar scheme that’s having a colossal effect on child development.” It leads to “narcissistic wounding” which pertains to children believing that they are inferior without having an infinite amount of new products. Advertising is literally consuming kids. “It’s making them materialistic,” says Kanner. Since the 1950’s companies have been advertising to kids on television, but at first items were generally sold at a reasonable and affordable cost. In order to be happy in today’s society, it requires spending loads of money, or at least that’s what children think. Advertising makes kids want what they really don’t need, which puts pressure on everyone in the family causing parents to either answer to their wishes or create tension for not giving in.

Bright colors, songs that become stuck in your head for days at a time, and spunky characters are all reasons for why children get sucked into the advertising phenomenon. Cartoon Branding is a technique used in many cases to capture their attention. Children prefer cereals that feature popular characters from the media such as Scooby Doo, SpongeBob, and Shrek regardless of how the contents may taste. Examples also include Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes with his catch phrase, “They’re Grreeaaat!” That’s the first image that pops into most children’s heads when browsing through the cereal aisle and coming across that blue carton. The same goes for toys. Children want the most expensive objects if they relate to something they have seen before and enjoy. Cost isn’t an issue when children’s feelings are involved. After all, Kunkel and Roberts stated that kids don’t fully understand the persuasive intent of an advertisement until the age of seven or eight, if that. They only want particular items because of what they liked seeing or hearing about them on TV and the way the commercial made them feel.

Then you have jingles such as, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun,” which is sung as a means to get consumers to purchase the Big Mac from McDonalds. More people know that song than the Pledge of Allegiance, which should be a wake-up call to America. Click here to watch ad. McDonalds also closes out all their commercials with “Ba da da da I’m lovin it,” triggering people to go buy their food so they can be satisfied like the actor on the screen. A study that was done by Yale asserted that 84% of parents in America serve fast food to their children at a minimum of once a week. That’s a lot of money that could easily be saved up for another purpose.

All children appear to do is spend, spend, and spend more in our crazy evolving market that directs a majority of their advertising towards a younger demographic. It’s no wonder why they are frugal with their cash. Companies today are spending almost $17 billion a year on kid advertising; more than double of the amount that was spent back in 1992. Statistics show that children between the ages of 8 and 12 spend $30 billion of their own money annually and persuade their parents to buy products for them too resulting in another $150 billion out of their pockets.

It’s shocking to know how much money is spent by viewing commercials. The industry is rapidly changing and directing more ads at kids, which is causing children to lose the battle against their budget. Their demands exceed their parents supply. There used to be a fine line between a want and a need in the eyes of children, and now thanks to advertising the boundary between the two is slowly disappearing.




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Vampires Can’t Handle It…We Can

When I first watched this advertisement released by Audi during the Super Bowl XLVI, I instantly thought of Twilight. That should come to no surprise considering the time and setting of the commercial. For those of you who tuned in, it was undeniably a touchdown for Audi. Out of all the slots that were filled for $3.5 million each, this one was by far the most hysterical. First the full moon appeared, and then it showed people at a party gathered around a bonfire in the woods drinking and talking while casually flashing their fangs, and soon after two guests climbed up a tree like spider monkeys. Once that happened, it showed the Audi speeding down the road where one vampire was coming back from making a blood run instead of a beer run. He was very happy about almost arriving to the location when all of a sudden he stepped out of the vehicle and realized nobody was there anymore. With a confused look on his face, he gazed around and saw one vampire left, but he vanished upon glancing up. It took the driver a moment to figure out that the reason all of his friends disappeared was because of the LED’s on his Audi. They disintegrated instantly and then the words on the screen read: Daylight, now in a headlight.

Click on Audi to watch Super Bowl commercial.

This advertisement is definitely targeted towards any fans of vampire movies, shows, or books. Although vampire fans are more likely to be captivated by what’s on the screen, Audi was also trying to spark the attention of viewers who like to go to parties and have a good time with their friends. The audience varies from teenagers to young adults starting at the age of 17 through 35, which makes sense because that’s the group most willing to buy a new car. Audi did very well in showing off their new feature by displaying just how bright their LED’s are. Since vampire fans take up a large portion of today’s society, Audi wanted to capture the interest of many by relating the ad to Twilight so more people would enjoy not only the commercial, but also consider making the smart purchase.

I have come to the conclusion that if you want to portray the mythical life of a vampire then you should purchase an Audi. When people watch movies like Twilight or shows such as Vampire Diaries, they always fantasize about what it would be like to live in a world where creatures like vampires really do exist. After all, it is supposed to be a dream car.

When Audi used vampires in the advertisement, they were displaying just how bright the new LED lights are by comparing them to the power of the sun and how affective they are. The fact that the headlights are now better and improved will keep you safe from any harm or danger that may come your way, which is what they were getting at with this message. Promoting safety is very important and their goal was to display that while also adding humor to it. Audi was hereby showing two different sides of the spectrum by having vampires signifying the darkness and the headlights representing the opposite of that. Their newly advanced headlights are designed to make you feel more comfortable when driving at night. Audi is demonstrating that they have harnessed the technology of the future and that their intense lighting system makes it seem as if you are always driving during the daytime.

Association, beautiful people, and humor were all persuasion techniques that Audi used to capture the audience’s attention. The purpose of association is to attempt at linking a service, product, or idea with something already liked or desired by the target audience. This could either be by insinuating fun, pleasure, beauty, security, or intimacy. In this commercial, Audi’s goal was to draw in vampire fans by relating the ad to Twilight, because people find satisfaction in watching those films. They also used beautiful people in the ad, because vampires are believed to be gorgeous with their pale skin, perfect body, fixed hair, and bright eyes. All the actors were done up to portray the vampire physique so beauty was definitely taken into account when hiring for this commercial. The last technique, humor, was a big part of this advertisement. If you are a Twilight fan, then you already know that vampires like to drive fast, fancy cars so Audi took advantage of that information and used it as a way to create something more out of it. They turned it into an advertisement that would cause people not only to ooh and ahh at the car, but also to laugh by displaying the headlights as weapons of destruct. The downfall to this ad is that if you aren’t a Twilight fan, you won’t understand or find the message comedic not knowing that vampires can’t survive in the sunlight.

This advertisement empowers both men and women. It shows the masculinity part when a male is driving the sports car and bringing back more blood (beer). The feminine quality comes out because of the vampire aspect that most women like and find entertaining/seductive. Men are more risky drivers, which is why they showed a male vampire driving down a windy back road at nighttime. That’s not a place where most women would be alone if it’s dark because it can be kind of scary. Yet Audi incorporated different ideas in order to attract both sides to ascertain people that either sex can drive an Audi because it suits anyone.

Super Bowl advertisements have always been fun and entertaining to watch, but when it comes down to analyzing them, you come across a lot more than meets the eye. Viewing the commercials and having to think about them in depth really opened me up to fully understanding not only the text, but the subtext of the message. This will definitely help me in the future when it comes down to purchasing what I see on TV and everything I take out of a commercial. Having this knowledge will be very beneficial so I can consider all aspects of an advertisement hence forward.





About Rachel!

What’s up everyone? My name is Rachel Lewis and I am currently a sophomore at this lovely university that I like to call home. When I’m not here, you will find me in Richmond, Virginia where I have resided for the past nineteen years. Although I’m used to the big city, I have found that there’s a lot to do in Farmville in order to occupy my time. Aside from being a Communication Studies major with a concentration in Mass Media, I joined Alpha Gamma Delta my second semester in the Spring and I am honored to call myself a sister. This year I plan on getting even more involved by auditioning for the newly mixed acapella group, Blue Heat, and the Longwood Show.

When I was ten, American Idol aired for the first time and I was so excited to watch it because of my passion for singing. It became a huge family event every Tuesday and Wednesday to sit in front of the T.V. and critique the competitors as if we were the judges. This show was very important to me because it gave me hope that one day I could audition and make it big like the rest of the contenders. My parents supported my decision and told me that when I was old enough, they would take me to try out. In the mean time, they bought me and my best friend tickets for the Season One American Idol Concert Tour. We were both diehard fans and always talked about the show in class, so our teachers and friends were happy for us when we announced the news. I remember that concert as if I just saw it last night. I walked into the amphitheater and couldn’t stop smiling once I saw the stage. When it began, I didn’t sit back down throughout the entire performance and I sang along to all the lyrics. Ever since that evening I haven’t given up on my dreams of wanting to be on American Idol. I continued to watch the television show after that and got more and more into it with each new season that premiered. Now that I reflect back on those memories, it makes me realize how bad I want to be on T.V. and possibly win the title of American Idol. After writing this, I have come to find that I finally meet all the needed criteria in order to audition. Good thing I’m a communications major so if all else fails, I will still be able to work with media in my future.


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