Lifestyle habits overflow in your personal, home and professional/ school life. For instance, have you ever worked with a person that is not easy to work with in the morning? Sometimes it may be covered up with “I’m not a morning person.” or “I just need some coffee.” Maybe the person has a habit of staying up late at night, doesn’t get enough sleep and oversleeps just about every day. They scurry out the door like Dagwood from the old TV show Blondie for their long commute to work (with the others who have the same habit as them) driving on the slow moving parking lot that we call the expressway. What do you think their mindset is when they get to work, school or their destination? Not only were they cranky, they weren’t productive about work until about eleven o’clock which affected the workflow and the workplace culture. Some days I would stop on my way to work, purchase a few cups of coffee for my coworkers and contribute to their caffeinated habit of which the United States Census Bureau points out that, “Between coffee houses and home, coffee lovers now consume more than 2.25 billion cups a day.” (www.census.gov) I can tell you, I have worked with different types of people, habits have no prejudice, and if they had this same habit, they were very unpleasant in the early morning hours.
Of course not all habits make people unpleasant. We have some good habits that go unnoticed everyday such as personal hygiene, holding the door for someone behind you or saying “Thank you” upon receiving something. Self-help is another good habit, whether you want to improve your knowledge/skills about something or get help to replace a not so good habit. Fortunately, there have been many products invented, developed and marketed that have helped people with personal and professional growth, I can attest to it myself. If it were not for the marketing of some of these products/ services I may not have known about them.
Today, marketing specialists don’t have to do a lot of guest work on what products/services we want or need. In a sense we as consumers have given permission to our favorite supermarket, department store or website cookies by showing them all of good or not so good habits. The information consumers give away for coupons, rewards, discounts or sales helps the consumer make a decision on what item to purchase and when to purchase, this data is also useful to companies with how, whom and where to sell their product.
Frequently there are companies who misuse this data and have thoughtless almost predatory marketing strategies. “Other companies analyze photos that consumers post online, cataloging if they are obese or skinny, short or tall, hairy or bald, and kinds of products they might want to buy as a result.”(Duhigg 188) No matter what type of media I look at whether paper or electronic they are swarming with marketing campaigns. Advertisements for overnight solutions ranging from weight loss, quitting smoking, body image surgeries, millionaire mania and oh let’s not forget about becoming the sexual sensation in the bedroom are among the top five. What in the world is going on? Everything we need to do in society now needs to happen with the speed of lightning. It seems like everyone has the quantum leap mentality and now we have the miracle products to match. Take this pill, buy this product, remove/add something on your body the spokesperson on the ads encourage, but no one reads the fine print (if they have it). You can buy these products and have some results however majority of them need for you to work on daily lifestyle habits to be successful as the actor portrayed in the commercial ad.
I remember years ago drug companies started adding the side effects (the fine print) in their commercials. I believe these other companies should be regulated in some form to do the same. There will always be knuckleheads who don’t heed the warnings in the advertisement. Likewise there will be companies who test the regulations however if with heftier fines, jail time and closure of business this may encourage others to change their methods on how they use their data they have received or purchased. Just like human habits, business habits are a hard thing to replace and they must be replaced with equal or greater value. Until we “root out the fixed mindset” (Dweck 229) in leadership, educate our community young and old our habits will always be exposed and made a target from anyone who chooses to purchase our data information that we have supplied willing or non-willing.
This information seems to be readily accessible to companies who are not thinking about how their marketing campaigns may affect our youth as well as the seasoned citizens. With the growth of technology and easy access that our youth have access to these marketing strategies there is limited protection for them. Even if you limit their television and computer viewing a vast majority of their homework is done online. There should be a filter or rule on children websites and television programs that prevents advertisers to stop preying on the immature. There is no reason for cigarette companies for example to have an ad spot on a channel that majority of the viewers are under eighteen. The same way eating too many cookies isn’t good habit I also believe that about website cookies. Your electronic footprint can tell a lot about you and your family’s habits.
Recently I was asked Who Am I? After much reflection, the realization is that I am and all of us are nothing but a bunch a habits! Habits don’t go away they are embedded in our being. They are what makes us similar and what makes us difference. Habits can cause unity and separation. Whether the habit is our weakness or our strength they can make you a target to be preyed upon.