I don’t consider myself all that interested in pop culture. However, I play video games and watch an average number of movies, television shows, cartoons, and cable news; but I do not read US Weekly, People Magazine, or the tabloids, with the exception of the front page when I decide to wait for a cashier at the supermarket rather than utilize the self-checkout option—my preferred method. I frequently eat fast food because I like how it tastes despite knowing it is horrible for my health and I shop at all the big chain supermarkets. I know I should go to the farmers’ markets more frequently but it isn’t as convenient and for me convenience is king, convenience and efficiency. Do I always go with the most convenience? No. Am I always the most efficient? No. However, I appreciate efficiency.
Because I watch an average amount of TV I also see an average number of commercials. Most of them I don’t remember. Recently a few caused me to actually believe what they said. But only long enough to waste a somewhat significant amount of time (roughly 10 hours) finding out they are truly full of crap. They were all car insurance commercials telling me in oh so clever ways how to save money. Most of those same companies must have paid a lot of money for clever external advertising consultants because all of the insurance companies with clever ads wanted to increase my monthly premiums. I probably have friends that work for those same ad companies and I applaud my friends for their creativity and ability to make me laugh and believe the tag lines. I don’t applaud those insurance companies that can’t or won’t save me money.
It’s not that I have a great love of money; I just appreciate what it does in society and particularly what it does for me—it lets me buy things I need. I particularly appreciate how much time, sweat, effort, and frustration I put into obtaining it. So when an insurance company wants to take more of my money while providing me with what is probably the least tangible good I will ever purchase while at the same time providing creative and enticing, although mildly deceptive visual advertisements seems wrong. I only say mildly deceptive because for another person those same companies’ complicated algorithms that measure the particular level of risk for a driver given the car they drive, their age, geo-location, and other random data points might actually save them money. However, that only works until the equilibrium price is reached and you have to wait a few more years for the old companies to be priced out by newer, leaner, more innovative insurance companies run by more recent Ivy-League MBA graduates with their revised algorithms that utilize the same data points in a different approach plus a few other data points like moon phases, your astrological symbol, and your lucky numbers—as determined by your most recent fortune cookie—to adjust your risk measurement and once again save you money all while increasing their stock price and bottom line.
Mostly I am just amused by the convoluted workings of life, insurance, advertisements, and everything else that connects to create the human experience.