Wednesday, February 14, 2007


In a survey of modern industrialised economies, it seems our kids are the least happy with life; despite living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

That really comes as no surprise to me at all. I suspect though, if they widened the remit of the survey they'd also discover that most British people are generally unsatisfied with their lot.

But focusing on our kids...I've got a good idea why they're all surly and depressed. And it's got a lot to do with wealth. See, in the UK, we are mostly quite pampered. I think something like 90% of kids over the age of ten now have a mobile phone. I don't know how many have a TV, a DVD player and at least one console in their room, but I'm guessing the percentage is quite high.

Sadly though, our kids live in a country where either they're driven from friend's-playover to after-school-activity by terrified SUV-driving parents, whipped into a fever of peedo paranoia by the media, or...they're totally ignored and rejected by chav mums and dads who are way too busy watching trash TV.

They've got the latest mobiles and Sportswear accessories, but no freedom.

But worse still, our kids are being bombarded - like radiation - by subtle (and not so subtle) media messages specifically designed to make them feel crap about themselves (unless, of course, they go and buy product XYZ).

Seriously. I'd like to start a class action and sue the hell out of the media for making our kids despondent, depressed consumer clones, who, no matter how much they have in their bedroom, need only pass a street billboard, a TV set or recieve an unsolicited text to find out how little they have in comparison to 'all the other re-e-e-al co-o-o-o-o-l kids'.

If you've got a moment, why don't you take a look at the adverts on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon? Or skim through a copy of some teeny mag next time you're in a newsagents? Or, if you want aspirational radiation therapy at it's worse - check out one of the music video channels.

I look at our kids and really worry. And you know, I'm not dissing them.


The people I save my venom for are people my own age; the creative execs and degree-holding middle-class media muppets who are responsible for peddling this insipid me-me-me poison. You know, I once toyed with the idea of breaking into marketing/advertising, back when I was much younger.

I'm so glad now I have a kid of my own, that I didn't chose to go over to the dark side. Hell...maybe I should have, and tried to affect change from within.

Nah. I could see my 'Don't Buy Nike...they're over-priced and won't actually make you any happier' campaign not really going down too well with my hypothetical employer.


AndyC said...

Very Very true,

The amount of times that my 2 have said "oooo can i have that" from an advert on the kids tv channels, but my answer is always a very emphatic "no!"

I'm sure is heard somewhere that legislation is trying to be pushed through that kids TV cannot show adverts during programs just between them, but alls that will cause is a datablast between shows and much longer bewteen shows i for one will hope my kids will switch off, although at least 40% of their viewing is the national geographic type channels so there is hope yet!

parmenion said...

i think parents should all get sky+ and record kids tv, that way al adverts can be jumped past. then you only have to combat the very poorly hidden media placements in the program content.

Maybe we should actually just provide them with something else to do that does not require a plug socket??

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Ankhsy said...

I completely agree with you, Alex. The problem is that parents are also sad cases...they don't pay the right attention to their kids and keep them quiet by giving them their designer clothes and trendy gimmicks. Maybe its because the parents are split up so they compensate for their guilt with presents. None of this works and in the end we get emotionally neglected kids growing up into emotionally unstable adults who have no idea how stable relationships work.

After that tirade, I'm off to the coffee bar.

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Anonymous said...

tell u what, that's why i'm actually happy for being born in serbia and even though i've lived and worked just about everywhere (west indies, eu, middle east), i have no plans on settling down anywhere else but there.
might sound overly patriotic (especially in light of everything that happened there in the 90's), but listen to this: exit music festival (look it up), children practise sports as a passtime, one year of maternity leave on full salary + 6mths on 80% (optional), free education, free social & medical care and the best looking women i've ever seen anywhere :). got mates from uk that moved in for good and some of them coming over regularly, just for fun (mind u, it's rather cheap over there).
going back in 3 mths, and extremely happy about it :)