As people spend more time on the internet and discover a bigger world and bigger reality, the traditional mass media have ramped up their hypnotic and desensitising techniques to rattle us silly. They used to be more subtle but not anymore. Now they are picketing in our faces.
You might think any person with a brain can see it for what it is. You don’t have to watch – you can switch off, change channels, use TV as wallpaper. True, but there is an underlying aspect to be wary about.
It’s easy to think it’s only a cinema movie or TV show, or the news, but meaning is derived from everything we expose ourselves to. We often look for meaning and confer meaning without realising that we do. The media presents a narrow world view dominated by one perspective. It feeds the ego by stimulating fear and insecurity, envy and competition, and the ideology of scarcity.
The internet might seem like a way out of the mass media box but a person can unconsciously transfer their mass media viewing habits to the internet by watching the same products fed from website feeds, downloads and pay-per-view. It’s still a relatively recent freedom to be able to selectively search for news and entertainment like we can from the internet media. This is a choice that is actively browsed and discovered, not spoon-fed. It stretches the imagination to be able to routinely come up with topics to search despite having the world’s current and historical knowledge literally at the fingertips. It’s an irony that at this time when we have this freedom of information it has come when the natural curiosity in people has atrophied like an unused muscle.
Some people are moved enough to comment about the quality of the media menu on forums, but the media don’t seem to care what the audience think. They are already working on the next generation who are being hit hard at an early age. Children don’t have the ability to discern spin and bias. The ability to filter information and understand it in a wider context is a skill that needs to be learned and practised. To some extent it is a natural ability (discernment) but as our culture doesn’t emphasise enough the value of discernment, gut feel, and the ‘ring of truth’ – it does need to be encouraged.
When children are exposed to vulgar entertainment at an early age it stunts their ability to develop these filters and conditions them to accept uncritically whatever is dished out. Many parents don’t actively shape their child’s media diet by introducing them to the classics or products from an earlier time. Nor do they expose them to media products from another culture or alternative source. Even advising them about what they watch in some broader context, is often overlooked.
The education system ignores the need for media savvy as a subject in it’s own right, so we are still (even as adults) prone to being influenced by media messages. The heavy use of fast paced imagery and other visual effects in high drama suggests it’s likely even more subliminal effects are being used today.
If an image is flashed in front of your eyes for a fraction of a second, your conscious mind will not register it but your unconscious mind may be imprinted with it. This is how over-exposure to negative media can have depressive effects on a person’s outlook in life, their energy vibration, and their sense of inner peace.
Yet people do vote with their feet and TV watching and cinema attendance are down. With the volume of low grade and mundane cinema movies that doggedly come off the production line you might wonder – don’t they ever lose money? One of the economies of movie-making is that a single blockbuster success will offset the losses from say five movie flops. With a globalised market, they can pull it off with a disjointed or thin story line smeared over a barrage of in-your-face, brain-bashing loud-sound action sequences spiced with extra-special effects – and voila – a blockbuster is created. Because of this, the media industry can afford to run purely as an ideological weapon to blunt our sensitivity, coarsen our tastes, and dumb us down.
Thanks to computer-aided design, the cost of movie making is much less than it used to be. Look at the obvious cost offsets:
• Less expensive sets (just fly to exotic locations)
• No ‘cast of thousands’ of ‘extras’ (just photo-shop a crowd)
• Fewer writers to spend on great plots, fine storytelling, compelling dialogue, and rich characterisation (just over-use visuals, drama and emotion, ramp up special effects and fast action sequences)
• More plunder of past movies and stories to create remakes and drop the original intent or spirit of the story. Focus on the ego trip and make the theme darker (good for the special effects division).
• Churn out cookie-cutter movie sets like sequels or parts, (eg. Fast and Furious 7 )
• Promote 3D versions of movies released at almost double the price screened simultaneously with the standard 2D.
Media news and entertainment is a well-oiled industry machine mostly formula-driven and well funded to channel the demand for its over-cooked product. With its interlocking tentacles of cross-media marketing it easily dominates the field of view of the public. The most stylised of its products like the Action genre is heavily loaded with visual effects and hypnotic close-ups. These close-ups often invade personal space and zap a person’s energy.
The majority of TV and cinema product feeds the ego and starves the soul. It’s not only the outdated materialistic values and stimulation of ego emotions like fear and insecurity. Visual media makes the brain lazy because it’s spoon fed whereas reading is better for your brain. When you read, your mind processes the words into nuances and mental images which you create. This increases your imagination and returns the power of visualisation back to you.
Have a look at the subtle influencing tactics the media use. Once you are familiar with them the media starts to look quite naked to you.
Check out the Media Savvy page the 11 Sneaky Ways the Media Distorts Our View of Reality.