Watching the video on Bernays and Freud that Ethan sent out was highly revelatory. So much so, that I went home and told my roommate about Bernays. To have one figure start the mass consumerism that our country now engages in is quite astounding. I had always taken for granted that people wanted things they did not need, but connecting that to our psychology in such a way as to invoke the ego and the id takes this manipulation to another manic level.
Both this aspect of human interaction and The Media Equation deal with a level of mindlessness. That is to say that the average individual is not being mindful on a day to day basis (not being aware of actions and consequences on a profound level). The human being has evolved certain heuristics over time that are not necessarily compatible with our current society. As technology becomes more ubiquitous and pervasive, we, conversely, have to be more mindful. Taking our roles for granted is no longer acceptable in such a fast-paced and wired community.
One example that enters into this comes from an article that came out recently in the Stanford newspaper which said that those who engage with social media extensively are less compassionate in real life. This fragmenting can only be combatted with mindful behavior.