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Commuter sparks debate with observation about subway cars: 'This is the way it should be'

"I wish we had the right."

"I wish we had the right."

Photo Credit: Reddit

In a world full of advertisements on phones, buildings, billboards, and more, one can forget what it is like to not see an ad at every turn. 

Posting in the r/Anticonsumption subreddit, one user shared a photo of a section of a New York City subway car without any advertisements on the wall and wrote, "Ad-free subways make the inside look larger and brighter."

The Reddit post sparked a conversation about whether certain public places should be advertisement-free in an effort to create more peaceful spaces.

AdFree Cities is a United Kingdom-based organization that focuses on reducing public advertisements, and its website has information about how ads can negatively impact our mental health. 

"Advertising often presents us with an unrealistic picture of happiness, often tied to notions of glamour, money, power and possessions," it states

Some cities are taking action. 

Grenoble, France, for example, banned billboard advertising in 2014 to create community spaces, as reported by Euronews. Additionally, removed billboards were replaced with trees, which are mutually beneficial for residents and the environment. 

At large, the Reddit thread highlights the issue of overconsumption and how the advertisements we interact with can influence our decisions.

There are many ways to reduce physical waste that harms our planet. One example is to change the way you get new clothes. Though advertisements for clothing retailers are everywhere, they usually feed into the fast fashion cycle and contribute to serious pollution all over the world. 

Another way to rethink consumption habits is by upcycling objects you, or someone else, would typically throw out. 

In the case of advertisements in the subway, some Redditors brought up the fact that companies paying for ads on public transit subsidize the cost of riding, but it seemed most users agreed that fewer ads would be better. 

One person commented, "I wish we had the right to not be advertised to in certain places." 

Another user wrote, "I hate the overhead [subway] ads, always feels like you're in a propaganda pressure cooker." 

"This is the way it should be," a third said.

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