Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

Subliminal Advertising

Posted by Ann on February 9, 2011

Around 3 to 4 years ago, after suffering from pretty regular insomnia due to having two small children who didn’t sleep through the night (they do now, thankfully), I began having experiences of hyper-awareness of my surroundings. These periods of insomnia were a kind of “awakening” to the world around me, similar to the experience of culture or transition shock. It was especially strange for me, a person who, as a child, learned to block out my surroundings as a coping mechanism to deal with my fundamentalist upbringing, and frequent discipline. I was a bookworm who could read a book and not hear people saying my name directly behind me.¬†This insomnia threw me for a loop. Suddenly I was noticing my surroundings more clearly, frequently all at once. Seeing signs on the roads, advertising in stores, hearing the music, smelling the scents, paying attention to the subtle cues in my surroundings. Got me thinking about how these experiences with my environment might be influencing me, and also influencing the people around me.

Although I’m sure many coincidences are purposeful, I suspect many of these coincidences (aka “God speaking to me” for believers) are simply a result of our mind and its exposure to our environment and the culture we are living within. Crazy how susceptible we are as humans to persuasion. Why I take my job as a counselor seriously (I’m not an advertiser, but I could be!). Sometimes I realize how much I can persuade people, and attempt to be as genuine, straightforward and intentional as possible with my clients (with humor).

And I’m sure this human susceptibility contributes to beliefs of all sorts. Watch this video. Personally, I for one am not surprised (at all):

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5 Responses to “Subliminal Advertising”

  1. Jesus said

    This is frightening. Now I feel paranoid living in a city.

  2. JN said

    That video makes me feel like I’m not just a conspiracy theorist. I have tried to have discussions with friends about the constant bombardment of advertising, but they blow me off. I guess that’s not too unusual since people tend not to listen to what I say anyway.

    • Ann said

      Lol! Me too. It’s been a couple of years now that I’ve become really aware of it (or, in other words, the actual effect in my own life). It’s like vindication for what you already knew. With my history of study in psychology, there’s a lot of stuff like this I know about people in general that makes me feel kind of isolated at times. I try not to over-focus on it. We can’t be conscious of everything. BTW, social networking on-line and in person has a tendency to create hive-like thinking and behavior too (or what psychologists sometimes call “collective consciousness”). Then there is on-line advertising, TV and TV advertising, etc. I just try to think straight as much as possible–it helps to level everything and remember all of culture is created.

      • Ann said

        Oh, and at some point, it gets tiresome to provide evidence for everything psychologists already know about people. It’s a scientific field, unlike religion. Psychologists keep building on what they know, but people from other disciplines are often unaware of what psychologists know. Eventually, when you have to convince someone else, it means providing the research. Tiresome, when it’s stuff that most psychologists already know about people. Notice with religion or spiritual studies, people share a bunch of the same religious/spiritual ideas, only their ideas have no actual research or evidence to support their veracity.

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