Proyecto Visión 21

Technology first and dehumanized humans second?

A TV ad promoting the services of an insurance company says that, if you want to contact that company, there is no need to speak with a real person:  you just use technology. In fact, according to this commercial, speaking with humans is secondary and optional. The message is clear: technology is unavoidable, humans are not.

It is interesting to see that a TV ad showing with such clarity that technology should be the first option and that humans are, at best, a second option and something you can do without.

And it is also interesting to realize that in order to sell a product or service a company should displace humans and present them as less important than current technology.

In fact, commercials reveal many details about what we think about ourselves, or at least details about how marketing companies think we should see ourselves.

For example, a company selling cleaning products airs two commercials, one led by a woman and one led by a man. In both cases, both persons appear elegantly dressed, but we soon discover they are just pieces of dirt that should be removed using the product promoted by the commercial.

Is that what we really are, dirt that should be removed? Not only that, according to the commercial, we should be happy that “cleaning” is finally happening, because that’s our destiny.

Another example: a satellite TV company tells us in one of its commercials that our friends our not really our friends, but just walking $100 bills ready to be used by us if we only convince them to subscribe to the said TV company.

To emphasize the point, the commercial shows how the faces of the “friends” are replaced by green faces (dollar style) with the image of Benjamin Franklin, such as his face is seen in the $100 bills.

In other words, according to these commercials, we humans are less valuable than technological devices and, in fact, we are just dirt to be cleaned and our only value is to provide financial gain for those other pieces of dirt who can manipulate us to buy the same things they buy.

Those same commercials tell us we are too fat, too old, too wrinkled, too inactive, too bald, and even too ugly and inelegant to be seen in public, much less to succeed in life.

If there was any positive self-esteem left in us, it is now gone, thus paving the road to our total dehumanization. We are now stock to be sold and dirt to be cleaned.

It is true that, at a cosmic scale, we are insignificant. We live in a dark corner of a forgotten galaxy among billions of other galaxies.

Many old traditions also say we are nothing but dust. However, at the same time, those same traditions say we are more than just dust. The question is who we are going to believe, if clever modern marketers or old, persistent traditions. Or perhaps are both of them wrong?

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