Companies are spending billions of dollars on TV, print, and digital advertising to swing us towards their products and services. From watching the Superbowl to checking Facebook on mobile phones, we’re flooded with images and slogans of how we should live, how we should look, and how we should act.
Consider this: We are one of the only countries that allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to consumers. In 2006, global spending on prescription drugs topped $643 billion. Even though we're only a fraction of the world's population, the U.S. accounts for almost half of the global pharmaceutical market, with $289 billion in annual sales. Coincidence?
While schools and districts are right in filtering their internet connections to maintain state and federal compliancy, we need to better prepare students for “what’s out there” when they go home each day, or for when they finally graduate. Here are eight media literacy activities that’ll help your students sift through the sensational product messages, and be smart, informed consumers. If you’d like a set of PDF handouts for each activity, reach out to me on Twitter (@Ryan_Fisk), and I’d be happy to send them over.