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Last month I realized that I was spending as much on sweets as I do on meat--a per-trip spending limit has been set. It's really this mentality that I deserve a treat after running errands, which I still have, it's just that I realized that the treat doesn't need to be expensive and last the week.

I didn't have a TV for the first year-and-a-half I was living on my own after college. So I felt the same way you do when I watched ads--they were just so weird, especially since what they were selling (youth! sex!) really had nothing to do with the products themselves. (I remember especially being kind of mortified by a really suggestive commercial for...yogurt. Ew.) This was also when I was making a lot of these purchasing decisions on my own for the first time, and the pitches also didn't have anything to do with why I bought the brands I did (quality, price, environmental impact).

It's interesting to think about it now, because I'm basically doing the same thing you are, although I didn't do it to avoid commercials but just for the sake of convenience. I almost never watch things on regular TV, even shows I keep up with (like good old Prison Break). I have high-speed Internet access, so I'll watch episodes on the network Web site after they air, and Netflix now not only has DVDs but free on-line viewing as well. The only TV ads I see these days are in the gym, and those have no sound.....

Lisa S.

That's the weird thing -- I didn't really do it to avoid commercials. It's just how my media choices began to suss out. And then after a year, I realized ... I have no idea what the hot new slogan is. And that's okay.

It is sort of amazing to learn about all the pop-culture vectors of transmission. I am thick enough to have to notice them only after subtracting them.


I didn't really do it to avoid commercials. It's just how my media choices began to suss out.

Yeah, I really wonder what this means for the future of advertiser-supported TV. I wouldn't have expected, say, getting high-speed Internet access to change how I watched television, but it really has--it's not like I don't watch shows, I just don't watch them the way I used to, so I don't see the ads. It was easy for me to do--I didn't do it deliberately--and I'm old!


The only television I watch live is sports, so I only see ads for beer and cars. I hadn't fully appreciated this until I watched The Hills with friends who didn't have a DVR -- I hadn't seen ads for things like woman's deodorant in ages. It was like the Super Bowl, with all these new-to-me commercials!

It is sort of amazing to learn about all the pop-culture vectors of transmission.

Since I rarely see commercials, the thing I miss out on, and in fact kind of miss, is movie trailers. Unless I make an effort to seek out movie reviews, I have absolutely no idea what movies are coming out in the near future.


I've especially noticed this with kid's programming. My oldest son is getting close to five years old, and most of his TV until now has been on specialty channels or blocks of little-kid programming that have no commercials. But in the last few months, we got a "new" channel with all these retro cartoons on it and he has fallen for Bugs Bunny and Scoobie Doo in a big way. This means that he is now seeing huge numbers of commercials, the same ones over and over, and he can hum along with the Motorola Razor commercial that has a couple "fighting" and slicing each other with their razor phones. So now I'm a bad parent because Teletoon Retro doesn't think little kids will watch Scoobie Doo.


I don't clearly remember really wanting something after seeing a commercial for it. I'm sure it happened when I was a kid, but that type of thing would never fly in my parents' house. Wanting something very seldom corresponded with getting it. Needing something, yes, of course. But via the time honored tradition of tight finances, the want it - get it connection was never forged in my impresionable little mind. And the want it - whine for it never really had a chance to take root either.

As for spending triggers - I don't have any strong ones. For the health of my bookshelves, I do avoid even entering book stores. I allow brief forrays into the friends of the library corner and used book stores on occasion.


Along with chick mags I'm setting aside shelter magazines. I guess one criteria for my magazine reading should be "Does it have a 'Where to Buy' Guide in the back?" I let even Outside magazine lapse when it seemed high end tours and fancy gear pushed out the articles about what was "outside."

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