I distrust the word “free.”
It seems to me that when anyone uses the word free, they have another motive. They’re trying to sell you something. Something that isn’t free.
Why do we need the word “free?” If it is truly free, then it just “is.”
By saying “free,” someone is trying to convince me to take it, to buy it.
If it really is free, why does one need to add the tag “free?” It’s a sales pitch.
It’s like 50% off. What does that really mean? “50% off the previously over-inflated price.”
It’s not 50% off, it’s the price. It’s more like “25% more than cost” as opposed to the usual 150% more than cost that we usually charge.
“Buy one, get one free!” If I’m spending money is it really free? It’s like 2 items at 50% off or “2 items with less markup than usual!” (I like that, it’s honest)
If something is truly free, and we’re not trying to use it to sell you something more, or somehow earn some profit from the transaction, why do we need to say “free.” We could simply just say, “here it is.”
Simple, truthful, to the point.
“Here it is.”
We should switch the wording.
When something is free (actually free), we should simply say “here it is.”
When something is not free, we should say “not-free,” “for money,” “profiteering in progress,” or something similar.
I think my biggest problem with the whole thing is that it’s dishonest. There is no honesty in sales anymore, it’s just not as profitable, and that’s bad for business (but might be good for our souls).
Nothing is free.
Not really. I mean sure I clicked the link to my free whatever-it-is, but what happened when I got there?
Firstly I was bombarded by advertisements (gotta pay the bills somehow, eh?). And despite what you may think, all this advertising is having an impact upon you, upon your psyche.
“Oh but I’m too smart for that’” you may say. WRONG!
There is an entire team (a whole army in fact) of very smart people, using the wonderful tool of psychology to overcome that smart brain of yours and hit you right where it counts, your reptilian brain.
“Umm, but I’m not a reptile,” you may say. And you’d be correct. But our reptilian brain is not about being a reptile, it’s the simplistic part of our brain, the part that deals with the necessities of survival, eating, and drinking, and humping. The animal aspect of our material existence. It’s necessary for our survival, but it ain’t too bright. It doesn’t think critically, your body says “I’m hungry” and your reptilian brain says, “eat.” Your body says “I’m horny,” and it says, “fuck.”
So why would advertisers wanna hit you in the reptilian brain?
Because it’s easy. And universal.
It sells quite well in fact. Why do you think beer commercials have attractive women? Or perfume ads have naked celebrities?
“Buy CK, and you might just hook-up with this hot celebrity.” It’s not true, but that simple part of your brain says, “I like sex, and I’d like it to be with attractive mates, let me douse myself in Axe and my chances will get that much higher.” Is it true? Of course not, but the truth doesn’t sell that well, especially with things that you don’t really need.
“Oh look, something free!”
“Please enter the names, email addresses, phone numbers, and Social Insurance numbers or your 20 closest friends.”
Is that really free?
You just traded the privacy of your loved ones for this “free” whatever-it-is.
“Well yeah, but I didn’t pay.” Ok, but those people now have to pay with their time, when dealing with telemarketers, email spam, or facebook spam-posts. They are paying for your “free” thing.
Kind of a dick move don’t you think?
“Like our page and you could get ____ for free!”
“What a deal!” Click
Oh what’s this in my news-feed? So-and-so likes wal-mart, followed by some little blurb about some inexpensive product made by slave labour in a third-world country. Low-price guaranteed!
Or so-and-so likes MasterCard, and I can get a credit card today which will help me live above my means and accumulate vast amounts of debt… Priceless.
Now my question is, do you really like this product/company/etc. Or are you just trying to get some free shit?
If you actually like it, and you actually support it, then great! That’s what “liking” is all about.
But if you don’t really like it, and you hit the “like” button, you have just shown me (and the whole facebook world) that your “like” means nothing. You’ve sold off it’s value.
Then the next time you “like” my post I’ll remember, so-and-so doesn’t really like this, they’ve just gone “like-crazy” or they just think I’m gonna give them a “free” ipad or something (jokes on you, there is no ipad give-away, it’s a scam! *evil laugh*).
So what’s my point?
As always, it’s about making you think.
Next time you see something “free,” take a minute to ponder it. Is it really free? Are they trying to sell me something else? Are they trying to steal my soul?
Now I’m not saying everyone using the word “free” is a soul sucking demon (just most of them 🙂 ).
I’m not trying to make you distrust everything and everyone. I just want you to think critically. Don’t give into that knee-jerk reaction of, “it’s free, give it to me.” Pause and think. Do I need it? What’s the real cost? To myself and others?
Don’t buy everything that’s sold to you, even if it is free.
So in conclusion…
“Like” this post and get a free car!*
*disclaimer – free car is subject to availability*
*disclaimer – availability or cars is <0
and remember the best things in life are free 🙂
Book of Face: Ch. 10, Verses 15-21