I mean the question pretty littlerally. Who makes money when you feel badly?
To be honest, the list is pretty long. There are not a lot of businesses that lift you up for profits. Or perhaps more to the point, they seek to keep you down.
From time to time, I will chuckle with my other therapists friends that if you and I work really hard together, eventually you will not need me…. And that is the goal! I can’t think of another industry like that. Even if I had a lot of problems with my teeth, ranging from orthadotia issues to needing root canals and gum work, once my dentist (and orthodontist) got me squared away, I would still require maintenance work. That isn’t to say that no clients of mine ever want or need maintenace sessions… but some don’t.
Let’s look at social media for example. (Before you roll your eyes and tell me that social media can’t be my whipping boy for things, go with it.) How does social media pay for itself? You don’t have to pay for a subscription to FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram or SnapChat but they are all worth millions of dollars. Why? For two reasons, they have your information and your attention. Those are both resources and they sell them. They sell ads they promote things that will make THEM more money and keep you scrolling, clicking and logged in so they can make more money.
BUT WAIT, you logged out, come back!
Social media looooves push notifications and emails because they want you to log back in and see more ads. Trust me, you and I both know you haven’t actaully missed anything. But they are working on getting your brain addicted to all the stimulation.
They use the information they have been able to mine from you to put ads in your path that will be as enticing as possible to you. They know what gets you to log back in, what you look at longer and they will continue to give you as much of that as they can find to keep you there.
How many of those ads leave you feeling like you are good just the way you are? NONE!!! That is the point! They are all designed to make you think you need to purchase something you probably don’t need or buy a subscription you probably won’t use. All while you are drinking litter after litter of Compare-deraid (an empty calorie beverage that will make you feel inadiquate, less than and defeated that comes in different flavors).
Compare-deraid also has you looking at other people you are ‘connected’ with (don’t get me started on how that is not real) and wondering why your life is not as simple, happy or good as the people who you see on there. Meanwhile, most people are only posting the AWESOME stuff that goes on in their lives. Not the mundane or truly painful.
Don’t believe me yet?
Ok, I will pick on a totally diffiferent industry. What about the actual media? The news. 75 years ago in metropolitian areas, bigger newspapers would often publish a morning news paper and an evening/afternoon news paper and people would read the news. So there has always been a push to get the news as fast as possible in order to be the outlet that scooped everyone else. I mention this because in their haste to be the first, most (if not all) media outlets whether they are online, on TV or written of late have used the excuse of wanting to be first to pardon themselves for inaccuracy.
They profit from fear mongaring too. I rarely watch the news on TV now for a host of reasons but one of them is that they try to keep me tuned in all night by teasing a scary story that they will enlighten me on in the 10pm episode. Seriosuly!! How often to you hear a teaser like, “Tonight on KBHN; Are you kid’s school lunches being poisoned? Tune in tonight at 10pm” Of course done alongside dramatic music and images. If the middle school down the street was putting glass in kid’s food, don’t you think they would tell you right away?! They would be trying to get in front of it before the other channels did!
Why do the news outlets want you to stay tuned in from morning till night? The same reason social media wants you to stay logged in, they are able to show you ads.
And of course there are the opinions….
One of the things that urks me the most about most news outlets (and by the way this is in no way a new phenominon but it may be reaching new lows) is that they all display their opinions. Some of them are overt about it but a lot of them aren’t. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I need the facts so that I can have one of my own. I find myself having to mine and decipher so that I can feel confident that I have stumbled on a fact, not a headline that someone ran with.
And the list goes on and on…
Of course the beauty industry… When did not being able to move your face become a better option than being proud of the wisdom time has given you?
“Health” and fitness industry…. Six pack abs?! When is the last time your doctor said, your heart would do better if you had a 6-pack?! NEVER!!!!!!!!! I read a really interesting article by a nutritionist a few weeks ago that talked about how a woman’s body fat can be too low to bare children if she has a 6-pack. How is that healthy?!
I could keep going but I hope you are starting to see my point. The things are in our faces everyday have a self interest in staying in our faces everyday. And that interest is not benevolent care for us. In the coming days, I challenge you to start thinking about who you compare yourself to and why. What you think you are in need of any why. Are those thoughts in service of your best self or another industry that wants your money?