Last night I did what we all do and watched TV ’til all hours of the morning. Often, I don’t even mind what I’m watching. It could range from New Girl to The Walking Dead to let’s face it, Law and Order: SVU because we all love Olivia Benson.
Last week’s lecture made me think of the impact of the content I watch. I go from genre to genre, sometimes you can watch an intense episode of Game of Thrones and you need an emotional break from the harshness of the semi-Medieval vibes. That’s when I go to comedy, an episode of The Office (UK or US) is very ideal. The themes of violence and war are pre-warned prior to every episode but we all know what we’re getting into when we’re watching an episode of Game of Thrones. It depends entirely on us whether we want to believe the Utopian or Dystopian view towards our consumption of media. Another example – WALL-E‘s scene of a Dystopian future that was featured in last week’s lecture, is it the people who are causing their own obesity or the technology?
Anyway, back to my point – how does what we watch affect us? We all know that television and film programs are fictitious…right?
I certainly can get myself caught up with characters or the incredible stories themselves. Sometimes the set just amazes me, I think how on earth did they do that! Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak comes to mind *insert all emojis*
But how do we separate reality from the fictional world when so often they represent humanity all too well, it becomes a blur. After watching Anomalisa, an animation that couldn’t be more real, I thought to myself – of course what we watch affects us but not always as badly as people often seem to assume. We as audience members have to be conscious of whether we’re “gullible victims” or earnest in our participation. I found Sue’s commentary of the origin of media anxieties interesting as it began with Gothic novels, coincidentally I’m reading Northanger Abbey for another subject of mine.
We’re not passive viewers, we engage, socialise and share our thoughts of what we watch. Isn’t that what Twitter is for after all? The model of sender > message > receiver is far too basic when our world has expanded with the growth of social media and hand held devices. Thus, the viewing experiences varies as we all don’t watch everything at the same time in the same place (why #SpoilerAlert exists).
Essentially, it’s up to us to challenge the preconceived perceptions about media consumption since we’re the creators of media as much as we’re the consumers. We’re the humans with the notion of morality in the so called ‘equation’.
So, try to enjoy everything you absorb but if you end up in fetal position, rocking back and forth – take a break or make an effort to change it!
Note: Feel free to click on the image for a link to where I found it!