How Real Life and the Media Are Askew
a philosophical thesis by Matthew Bissonnette
Since the dawn of civilization approximately ten thousand years ago, humanity has had the tendency to tell stories through different mediums. These stories where either on history or where fictional myths. This tendency still exists today and the medium by which these stories and most information is conveyed by media. It seems as time progresses, our ability to watch media or information becomes more portable with new technologies. Media, largely by design, is a product and thus must take a form which will appeal to the largest group of consumers. Media in most part is telling us what we want to hear and presents a very stylized view of human life and asides for the occasional tragic incident in the news, and distracts people with secondary issues and sometimes goes a long way making primary ones a non-issue. Media has created notions which are not present in real life, such as the concept of good triumphing over evil. Reducing some conflicts down to a view where one party is evil and the other good is a simplistic fiction and a world view which is easy to grasp, a such held notions might be counter productive since it may only ensure conflict. Other fictional media concepts is the happy ending, yet life is and always has been by nature somewhat cruel. These notions on the surface are somewhat altruistic but are some what at variance with reality. It can create a simplistic world view which tends to ignore the sometimes complex and difficult realities in encountered in life. Media in many forms sometimes is completely silent about changing situations in the actual world. The factors which shape events around us are numerous and complex, but the idealized world of most media made to be simplified and easy to understand to the viewer. Media initially was about entertainment but has become a very strong influence over the societies of many cultures.
In a media oriented society, most individuals derive much of their understanding of the culture of which they are a part of from the media. Sometimes individuals learn much of their perception of human relationships through either fiction or real TV. Some viewers of media will struggle with issues of poor body image and there are numerous other examples. But media when used for entertainment is escapism, and its only relevance is to entertain but it is not an actual view into life or society. In fiction there is usually a single protagonist who is the center of the story, yet real life is not about a lone protagonists but about being able to exist within society. The media's portrayal of human relationships may occasionally cover a more tragic subject, but still is unable to convey many of the difficulties encountered by people today. As I said, it is designed to show us what we want to see so we'll watch. And media has the ability possibly to effect you both on a conscious level but also on a subconscious, more instinctual level. It has a strong influence over many cultures and while usually harmless, it can also have some potential detriments for society.
A potential trouble of media is that many including myself aspire for a prominent level of success, there are many aspiring singers as well as other entertainers. Though pursuing a passion is a constructive thing, the continual pursuit of a success which is statistically highly improbable is a endeavor which will result in not much more then wasted time. The sometimes unpleasant and hard task of continuing civilization which requires the combined efforts of countless people is hard to glamorize since it is a sometimes regrettably can be a harsh existence. Media is meant in large part to entertain, but it is a fictional perspective of the world and not a reliable source of a individuals world view.
I'll finish with there should be discussion as to media's role and effect on society, and come to terms with its place in our homes.