The title of the article grabbed my attention. I’m not sure why…but it was just one of those things and I was in one of those moods. I had pulled up my default webpage and was glancing through the sports section looking for any pertinent or relevant college football articles…minding my own business, mind you…and then I saw a question and an article that promised an answer. I won’t go into all the details but basically the question had to do with how Nike had “lost” Steph Curry to Under Armor and the billions of dollars Nike had missed out on as a result. I had heard something about this a year or two ago, but I thought I’d refresh myself with the details. Thinking it would be a quick read and would satisfy my thirst for NBA gossip, I clicked on the story.
The first thing I noticed was that it took a tad longer to load up than other articles I skim over in the mornings. The second thing I noticed was the story was obviously going to be delivered in several parts because all I could see was a tiny paragraph with a huge NEXT block to continue the article. Clicking the NEXT block, I waited again for the page to load up…taking forever and trying my patience. After about the 5th page…with only little blips of the story coming, I was quickly losing interest in the whole ordeal. And then…I noticed…finally…what the deal was. Call me slow…but after taking a swig of coffee I simply looked at the jammed little screen and saw what I should have seen from the start-a tiny blip of a story surrounded by literally tons of advertisements. In short, the story itself was secondary to the ads.
It’s humbling to admit, but I had been reeled in. My curiosity about Curry’s footwear and Nike’s blunder had led me right into the jaws of corporate America…I felt victimized. Just for kicks, I stopped to count the number of ads that were on my screen on page 5. I kid you not…I was staring at 12 different ads that ranged from Marriott Suites to Cottonelle toilet tissue…no wonder it took the pages so long to load up. I was getting bombarded with this stuff. Twelve ads…just to read a tiny paragraph of a story that in totality wasn’t much more than a typical page. Somehow they had milked the story out over several pages with roughly 12-15 ads per screen…insane.
Of course all of this not only angered me…it got me thinking about how commercials and advertisements are now part of everyday life. Try playing a game on your phone or tablet and watch how often you are hit up to consider another game or another app. Behind all of this lies the desire to have MORE…of everything. New…better…improved are magic words. Couple that with the attitude that we “deserve” all of this…and you’ve stumbled onto something that’s a guaranteed homerun.
Now I can’t say with a clear conscience that the Apostle Paul…or Jesus Himself addressed this kind of thing head on. But I can say we should all stop and think about this for a moment. If we are all obsessed with having more, it stands to reason that we are not exactly grateful for what we do have. Jesus, Paul, and others had plenty to say about that. The obvious danger is missing the blessings that are directly in front of us and offering prayers that let God know we are somehow entitled to these demands. In many ways we get sucked into thinking this is “normal” and we incorporate it into our Christian lives. Sadly, the two do not gel…nor will they regardless of time.
Commercials and advertisements are here to stay. Perhaps on some occasions they can even be helpful to some degree. But don’t forget your current blessings before you go asking for more. Let us prayerfully discern between needs and wants. When we recognize God has faithfully met our needs, I believe our list of wants will be recognized for what they are. Then we will find ourselves at the mercy of a very gracious God who cares for His children instead of a corporate monster who cares little for its subjects.
Blessings to all! Thank You Monticello! 🙂