Technology gives us, as humans, amazing opportunities, but the very same opportunities also change some essential basics in our values that we MUST address. When it's possible to carry out organic transplants, opt-in or opt-out becomes critical as it raises the question of who owns your body. With opt-in, you choose to donate your organs, but the moment it's an opt-out option and you, by default, donate your organs, you can question whether this potentially questions ownership of your body and organs. Donating organs saves lives, no question about that. However, it extends the philosophical question of whether lives always and at all costs should be extended.
This article is NOT about donorship but will maybe help you with the perspective. I firmly believe that I own my own body and organs and that I am the only one (as long as I am alive) who can make donor decisions. If the technology weren't available, it would be a pointless discussion, but it is possible, leading me to the next topic - porn.
I come from Denmark, and Denmark prides itself on being one of the freest and most liberal countries regarding porn. Porn became legal in Denmark in mid-1969, which allowed photos, videotapes, and more. When the Internet was born, porn exploded. According to recent articles, easy access to porn has changed the view on sexual normality. Anal sex, i.e., is, according to the report, practiced by 40% of heterosexual couples - and it has led to an increased number of health issues for particular women - and I am sorry if you are wondering about the relevance of this information, but please read on.
You can think of porn whatever you want, but porn has changed our sexual preferences and behavior, and maybe in this context, more relevant, how porn is also used to sell products.
Underdressed women sell cars. Using phallus symbols in communication sell products and sexuality is widely used when promoting products and services - a short example you can see/read here.
The widely accepted use of sexualism influences everything. I read a book a long time ago about swearing. In the medieval age, cursing was typically associated with religion; before porn became legal, swearing referred to disease, and now, even cursing relates to sex. The broadest example is 'fuck', which has become a mainstream term.
Before Tinder and widely used dating apps, men and women typically met at schools, work, friends' places, etc. Today young people use dating apps to connect, and a new dating culture has grown into something that stresses young people a lot. I spoke to my daughter about this over the weekend, and she said - I need a dating pause, as it is exhausting. I don't think the exhausting part is doing things she doesn't want to do, but I felt that young people mirror themselves against a culture defined by something I don't like - which is why I write this article.
I think young people - and older, for that matter - are becoming exposed to some ideals created by marketing that are raising unbelievable pressure on all of us. The porn culture exposes "perfect" bodies. When the fashion industry suppresses imperfections with makeup and, more importantly, photoshop, I can easily imagine going on a date; you need to 'dress up' to deliver a perfect side of yourself - which can only disappoint when the reality of stressful lives are exposed.
When you meet people, you are always expected to deliver. The Instagram culture extends perfection. We always show happy families, great travel experiences, and amazing food.
Even when we "adults" talk about young generations, we divide them into 'millennials,' 'Gen-Z,' and for what reason? To find ways to market to them! I am sick and tired of the terms, mainly because kids should NOT be seen as marketing objectives but be protected against the ever-ongoing commercialism of everything we do.
The Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok culture are suitable for connecting and engaging. Still, the very purpose of these channels is increasingly becoming money machines to expose marketing messages. I have written this before, but when Chris Anderson wrote 'The Future of a Radical Price' and spoke about advertising as a subsidizer for content, marketing has become the product and the purpose itself.
This leads me back to the start, where I wrote about transplants. Who owns your body and your organs? Who owns your kids, your time, and everything associated with the huge advantages of new technology?
When I look at my kids, the oldest, Christine, is 28 and is a marketing professional. She talks about influencers and SoMe marketing as if that is an important and relevant thing in communication. For me, it starts with good food! My sons, Kasper (15) and Mads (17), are in a way 'victims' of computer games and YouTube. Nina (my wife) and I try to govern this as much as possible, but it isn't easy since young people socialize with friends and cousins online today.
I buy subscriptions to the services they use the most to avoid marketing as I don't want them to be exposed to marketing, and I don't want them to become objects. When I look at how much games influence them - in good and bad - I have decided that the Metaverse will NOT be something I will have in my house. I don't need further distance to the real world, and I don't need an enduring and potent marketing influence on my kids. The Zuckerberg universe is wrong in my mind, and yes, it may sell tickets, but at what cost?
I have tried to explain how our actions influence us all with this story - and I believe it's imperative that we, as businesses, consider our actions through a moral compass and not only what is good in the short term. It's said, and I don't know if it's true, that Steve Jobs didn't want his kids in schools using computers. I love my computer and use it way too much, so I may not be suitable to judge its influence, but I know one thing, which is that advertising doesn't do much good to any.
Why do we buy Netflix? To see commercial-free content! Why do we purchase subscriptions to YouTube? To watch commercial-free content! Why are marketers afraid of Opt-In agreements? Since most will never opt-in for marketing, you know I am right. As long as marketing subsidizes content, we MAY accept it, but we are becoming the product, and I can handle it as an adult, but we should not expose kids. Every time new technology is introduced, we should ask ourselves whether we really want this technology in the heads of our kids!