dagnyscott's Entry:

user page: 1350
Major: English and German
School: Grand Valley State University
Status: sophomore

Looking over the threads I’ve commented on, I’ve been reminded how much of my website has been inspired by my participation on metafilter, probably more than any other single source except my American Literature class and the excellent Professor Ihrman. One thread, however, interested me very much, and that was one about marketing to children and teenagers. Not since I stopped frequenting Beatles chat rooms and alt.music.monkees several years ago had I been so conscious of a “generation gap.” I’m not always real fond of my peers, but I felt most of the posts in this thread were really condescending towards us. Not only did I make several posts in this thread, I also wrote a satire based on it (incorporating other sources, of course) for the humor section of my website, I later wrote a direct rant inspired by it and a related post by Kottke on his weblog.

I felt like this was a generation gap because it seemed the adults failed to realize that teens today do not all fit into one group, not to mention underestimating our ability to think for ourselves. What would be reasonable and true about a certain portion of teenage culture was expanded to apply to everyone within a certain age group, and became an echo of the age-old complaints of adults against the younger generation. Comments like “Now how many of those *non*-brand-name jeans that aren't advertised to you do you then go out and buy? What do your friends think of them?” were pretty insulting to my friend, whose thought patterns tend to run more along the lines of “Ooh! Cheap clothes! Cool!” and buy their clothes at Meijer, or Target, or Goodwill. Maybe that’s not the norm in California, but it’s stereotypical behavior for a Dutch West Michigander, and no one feels ashamed of it, except a very distinct (but not all that large) portion of the population.

I felt like a spent a lot of the time trying to clarify what I’d said. When I talked about the spiritual emptiness of our culture which was a precursor to (rather than a result of) our commercial culture, it got virtually no response, but mentioning the name “jones soda” as an example of a soda not made coke or pepsi got a huge response against their marketing division, and me called a pawn, even though I never even drink Jones Soda. My friend AJ does, and I’d just put up a not-entirely-serious essay praising the merits of Jones Soda on her website, one of her weapons in a mock argument against the Coke-drinking Paul.

I don’t know if anyone’s opinion was changed as a result of this discussion. Certainly most of us posting were pretty entrenched in our positions. I think I, at least, got a chance to look at my ideas a bit more closely, and to become familiar with other opinions, even if I ultimately didn’t have any change of heart, I’d know better how to approach the issue.

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