For most people an access to understanding something about the world has come from the consumption of media either from photography in print & from movies, or more recently of course via the internet. But the
UNDERSTANDING of something DOES NOT CONSTITUTE an EXPERIENCE of it.
Thomas de Zengotita author of the book Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It …. tells a story somewhere at the beginning of the book of what it would be like for a city person driving along a remote country road listening to the radio when suddenly the car dies. That person opens the car door and steps outside for the first time into the country, gets assailed with the smells and sounds of nature perhaps for the first time.It would be a shock for some one who’s only understanding of nature had been Mediated through print images tv & movies.
From the wiki:
The basis of his analysis is that the opposite of reality is not phony or superficial, it’s optional. We choose between options to determine who we are, to make statements to the world about who we are. People, he argues, have always done so, but the difference with today’s situation is that we have a lot more options. In terms of options, comparing the modern world with the post-modern world is like comparing a breeze with a hurricane. The media forces at work since the fifties have contributed to expanding our options greatly, making the self “aware” of the possibilities to be who it deems worth being.
We have become method actors, constantly flattered. Deception is luring as it is the inherent condition of the flattered-self. So we seek new ways of satisfying our selves. These are the true forces at work behind what de Zengotita calls the virtual revolution.
Because our society is an Image based culture much of what we know of other countries people customs is obtained from images we have seen. Here’s 3 tv personalties who if we have seen their shows we may think that we have been there and done that …
Naturalist David Attenborough has taken people all over the world showing them exotic creatures
In Man Against v Wild Bear Grylls has taken us on some epic survival advantures
In No Reservations Anthony Bourdain has taken people to some crazy eateries around the world
In all of these tv shows we might think after viewing the show that yes we too were there and did that !
But the reality is this : We saw it on tv…