The Non-Stochastic Increase in Print Advertising and its Effects Upon the Adult ADHD Brain Within Contemporary Post-Modern Society

I n my post – Toccata and Fugue In The Keys of ADHDminor – I complained about the reappearance of piles of paper, the very piles that I worked so hard on eliminating from my life (or, at the least, from my desk). Their reappearance was, I assumed, another case of the ADHD boomerang effect: once a problem has been solved, the likelihood of its reappearance  – of it ‘coming back’ – increases with the passage of time. This effect is, essentially, a variant of the ADHD Whac-A-Mole theory I had touched on in another post which is, itself, a variant of the ADHD Conservation of Chaos (think ‘conservation of matter’ except as applied to the realm of ADHD). I apologize that this is starting to sound like an ADHD physics lesson. However, Gina Pera left an interesting comment that implies a larger conspiracy at work, one that is meant to undermine any ADHDers sense of progress. She wrote: “[...] I’m pretty sure everyone is dealing with a surplus of paper, mail, and annoying notices. I have an extremely good memory, and I know darn well my parents didn’t have to deal with this deluge.” So is it possible that ADHD symptoms, such as their infamous ‘Piles of Paper,’ are being exacerbated by modern life? Others have made the observation that modern life has ADHD-like qualities and, if this is true, then ADHDers would seem to be more susceptible and sensitive to the ADHD-like qualities of our society. To put this in slightly different terms, IF ADHDers are nuts AND contemporary society makes us nutty THEN ADHDers are made nuttier by contemporary society.

So, how do we test the theory that society is conspiring against ADHDers? In the case of piles of mail, we test the theory by ‘measuring’ the amount of mail received during a particular time period. Unfortunately we do not have any control group with which to compare the amount of mail received by ADHDers with those of non-ADHDers since all are subject to the same societal forces. All we can do is rely upon human memory which we know is not always reliable. However, we do know that there has been a veritable explosion of advertising in both print and digital form and, in addition, we know that there has been a vast increase in disposable income over the decades (this, despite, our current economic malaise) and that advertising has increased exponentially in order to tap into this increased disposable income, therefore we can assume that the amount of advertising, specifically, that form of advertising that arrives via the daily post, has increased in equal proportion (if not greater proportion) to the increase in disposable income. Or, to put it another way, advertising increases in proportion to the increase in disposable income which, allowing for perfect elasticity of both advertising and disposable income, will reach equilibrium thereby providing, through the providence of the Invisible Hand, the correct balance between disposable income and advertising. You still with me?

So, by the powers invested in me by the elders of the Great City of Oz, I bestow upon you this esteemed list of one week’s worth of mail. You do not need a heart or a brain (or even courage) to read and understand this list. All you need do is click your heels and start reading.

Bon Appétit!

Here is one week’s worth of mail.

Wednesday April 27

  1. Chase: Checking Account Statement
  2. Chase: Savings Account Statement
  3. Payless Shoes Postcard/Coupon
  4. AAA Magazine
  5. Postcard from local legislator
  6. Health magazine from local hospital
  7. Affiliate Marketing magazine
  8. Chase: Amazing offer of 1% interest if I deposit $25,000 dollars or more!
  9. AAA insurance promo
  10. HSBC Credit Card promo…low low interest of only 19%!
  11. $3,500 “faux” check from local car dealership

Thursday, April 29

  1. AARP membership application
  2. Sprint special offer
  3. Harbor Freight Tools catalog
  4. Catalog of music and acting classes in NYC
  5. Cablevision offer: TV, Internet, Phone
  6. Hometown Shopper: a “newspaper” filled with pages of coupons for local stores for Pathmark; Lowe’s; Rite Aid Pharmacy; North Shore Farms (local supermarket); Fortunoff’s; King Kullen (America’s First Supermarket!! Really!); Stop n Shop; Fairway

Friday, April 29

  1. Staples  flyer
  2. Postcard with list of events for local arts & performing theater

Saturday, April 30

  1. Invitation to college alumni event
  2. Bill for local car service (now referred to as “ground transportation”)
  3. Verizon bill
  4. Financial Times subscription offer
  5. Invitation to see a “famous author” at a new restaurant in town

Monday, May 2

  1. Flyer for local supermarket
  2. Postcard reminder of local school board meeting

Tuesday, May 3

  1. Letter for daughter from high school
  2. Chase: Business account statement
  3. “The New Yorker” magazine
  4. Catalog for imprinted merchandise
  5. Dell Catalog
  6. JetBlue/American Express promotional offer
  7. Verizion FIOS promotional offer
  8. Postcard about summer camps
  9. Advertisement for SodaStream
  10. Costco Flyer
  11. CHADD regional conference flyer
  12. Flyer for flowers and plants at local nursery
  13. Fund raising letter from Phi Beta Kappa

Wednesday, May 4

  1. Advertisement for Pella Windows
  2. SAT Test Prep classes
  3. Offer for Cablevision Phone and Internet Service
  4. MicroCenter sales flier
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  • Pursuit of Focus

    I believe there is a free service that will remove you from all unsolicited print mailings. You might consider signing up for that!

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      Yet one more thing to add to my ever-growing ToDo list. ;)

  • scottthutson

    That list looks allot like my own weekly pile Jeff. I’m lookin’ @ it right now (well, when I’m not typing this anyway..heh heh). Hmmm..Even the Chase account stuff and amazing offer. I would have to get a $25,000 loan @ a higher interest rate in order to take advantage of that ‘Amazing Offer’. Or I could write a check for 25,000 and deposit it in savings, and then pay an ‘Amazingly Low Overdraft Fee’ of 33 bucks apiece for all the Debit/Credit card purchases I make next week. ;)

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      You realize you may have just found the next Wall Street scandal. Deposit $25K by “putting down” only $33 dollars ;)

      On the positive side, the more mail, the longer postal workers remain employed.

      And speaking of postal workers, periodically some bonehead Republican says we should privatize the postal service. Would any private company deliver a letter cross country for only 44 cents? Or even for a dollar?

      (Sent via crackberry)

  • Katy Rollins

    “9. Advertisement for SodaStream” – I own one and it’s awesome!

    • Jeffs ADD Mind

      I own one too. It’s a great little device. My kids like the Root Beer soda and I like the Diet Coke. But there are times when I just make plain ol’ seltzer.

  • Mechelle

    Number of people think that by drinking diet coke, they will lose weight but the truth is, something in the diet coke does damage to your liver and may cause of cancer and liver problem for you. So this is because avoid the use of this.

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