On Media and Us

I’m reading a book on Habits, and it is incredibly thought provoking.  It made me think about how we let media influence our lives, and more importantly, our self image.

Do you know how much data commercial entities collect on us consumers?  A ton.  That’s how much.  So when people make a song, or a movie, or anything that reaches us (the consumer) you can bet that a lot of research has gone into this.  And what exactly are we consumers interested in? Are we interested in the truth? In finding new and interesting things?  Nope.  It is a proven fact that we like what is “familiar” and “normal” and “more of what we already know”.

So if you keep that in mind, movies, TV shows, and media in general take an entirely new meaning.  They’re not showing us insight into life (unless you’re maybe watching a BBC documentary or something), but what they “think we want to see”.

So if you find yourself thinking that your life is like such and such movie, and maybe this is how it will work out because this is what happened over here in this book, or this is what this TV show shows (whether consciously or unconsciously) that is probably not true.

Maybe that’s just me, but I definitely find myself thinking that sometimes wow, maybe I can divine some wisdom from media.  And it usually doesn’t end well.  And somehow, when I realized that nobody knows my life but me, it’s incredibly empowering.

Because at the end of the day, media is not sexy or exciting at all.  It’s an algorithm, based on lots and lots of data.

And life, turns out, is way better than that.

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