Advertising, flow states and me

Euan has a go at the mindlessness of most of what passes for marketing these days. I confess I’m pretty much a grumpy old man about it myself, grumbling and sometimes shouting at many of the ads on the TV when I’m not able to fast forward them.

Meanwhile, Geoff’s thinking about how we get distracted by our always-on world. He makes some nice connections to notions about flow states and what I might call their shadow.

Whilst many books on our shelves suggest how we can enter the flow state not many talk about how to get out of addictive flow – when our immersion in the task or behaviour is doing us (and others) harm.

Maybe, the loss of self we get in flow can be confused with the sort of over-stimulated obliviousness of a morning spent clicking around in google.

Geoff has some useful things to say about the value of reflection, what I call “noticing more, changing less”. It’s a state in which we may become aware of our deep connection to what is going on around us. In that place, it’s possible to recover the sense of choice that’s temporarily absent when yelling at the latest intrusive advertising manipulation. If you want to get really philosophical, we might peek beyond a world where we struggle to be a cause and push against fear we may just be an effect. We might just be both.

Much as I like Euan’s anticipation of marketing retiring into the background, I guess for now I’ll have to settle for noticing how I get hooked into it just as much by resisting it as by following its prompts.

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1 thought on “Advertising, flow states and me

  1. Jerry Travis

    Reflection, introspection, percolation, “one step backward taken”, interruption of mindless “flow” are vital adaptations that often keep us from missing the whole point. Thanks for your reflections.

    Reply

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