Saturday, 28 January 2012

Visual media and how TV ruined your life.

Listening to radio whilst driving in rural Southland as a discussion came up that effectively the internet is increasingly becoming our memory extension, especially younger people. Majority of us are now so heavily dependent on the internet to be disconnected or unable to access it is like losing as friend. I’ve grieved a few times this week as my 3G connection to the world dropped off.

Fact is we are very good at knowing how to source the information, it’s just the fact we are less likely to retain the information in our own brain! Being constantly bombarded with thoughts, ideas, observations, misinformation, trivia, facts, images. But don’t blame the Internet for you’re state of numbness and less cognitive state, blame TV.

By now the majority of us have grown up in front of a box watching advertising, entertainment, and so called news since the fifties. Back then it was our link to the world, we had serious looking news announcers, chosen for their repose pronunciation of the English language informing us of world events. We connected to television land where life was good and everything worked out well by time the credits rolled.

Slowly but surely we were exposed to the darker aspects of life on planet earth. Any crisis, regardless of how far away it was beamed into our lives, we became exposed to stressful situations that pervious generations might have only faced once in there lives. Cold war doom; the precursor to today’s global terrorism threat, made us all fearful.

As for advertising, where do you start? Suffice to say our early addiction to television and exposure to aspiration marketing drives our irrational need for a “lifestyle”, “ the perfect body”, “security” and need to have it all with no effort expressed in our love of unquestioned consumerism and sex. All this deeply embedded in our brains by advertising.

Whilst TV viewing is in decline we have all gravitated over to computers and we continue the same addiction to entertain ourselves, shop, and justify a sense of belonging without interacting with other people face to face.

I am being cynical, but also retrospective. In doing so I am trying to get you to think about future implications of visual media on the way you interact with others. This dependence on technology as our bank of knowledge, not our brain needs to be countered. As it is not productive, nor constructive to creativity or individual thought. We might as well become robots, like the Borg on Star trek (bloody TV!) here to assimilate resistance is futile.

So write more, exercise your cognitive abilities as well as your body, engage with real people face to face as often as possible. Question things, retain credible information, be disciplined in your use of time and actions. Hopefully you can lessen your addictions to TV and the internet. You will find you develop better empathy and emotional engagement with others both in professional and personal life.

End note:

Writing this blog I am currently operating in one of the remotest and most sparsely populated parts of the planet, Southland, South Island, New Zealand. (I’m only 4900 km from South pole at moment) where there are vastly more animals than people there are (checked and verified NZStatistics and a quick head count): 484,076 cows, 4.5 million sheep and god knows how many wild/feral animals versus 94,200 Southlanders!

Internet connection is intermittent as is mobile phone coverage. But everyone knows everyone, and as long as you have a positive attitude and smile on your face the locals will make you feel at home. They are genuine people who exceed in many ways (see attchment)

Technology and internet is used as productive tools to enhance productivity. For instance some cows here are being milked robotically and I am only a stone throw away from a successful vertically integrated sheep milking enterprise so I might drive over and have a yarn and some sheep icecream.

Take care until next time, when I will blog more about relevant talent shortages in primary sector and how to deal with it.

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