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Communications 215 - Essay Example

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Effects of the Media Name: University: (A1) Most people believe that in their minds at least they have control and can think whatever they please. However, for Ezenberger the mind has become "industrialized" since the thoughts in every person's mind is "a product of society," (Berger, n.d); our thoughts are not our own…
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Communications 215
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Communications 215

Download file to see previous pages... I agree with Ezenberger that the media has industrialized the human mind in the way that it has now come to influence our thoughts (Berger, n.d). In my own experience, whatever opinions I have on what is the best brand of toothpaste to use, or which shampoo gives the most silky hair, all come from what I have seen on television; without having access to a television, I would not have had these ideas at all. Moving onto how the media is "amusing" us to death, Postman believes that the main focus of television is to fill the human life with "triviality and incoherence," and to instill in us the belief that life is like some kind of circus show where the point is just to be entertained (Berger, n.d). For Postman, television is only instructing us what products to buy in order to bring excitement into our lives (Berger, n.d). While there are many television programs that try to educate viewers, I believe that most television channels have an agenda to simply amuse the audience and keep them in a sedated state where they do not care about the more important things in life. (A2) For Jameson, postmodernism entails a blurring of the lines between what is regarded as high culture and mass culture in modernism (Berger, n.d). Since postmodernism does not believe in metanarratives and is eclectic in the way it defines things, for Jameson postmodern art maintains no division between elite and popular culture, and that "anything goes," (Berger, n.d). The postmodern landscape is "degraded" in the way that it is composed of "schlock art" (Berger, n.d). I do agree that in the postmodern era there is a kind of art that eliminates the previous boundaries between elite and popular culture; for example, Marcel Duchamp constructed a ceramic urinal and passed this off as postmodern art, thereby blurring the lines between high and low art. (A3) Baudrillard's theory on the effects of media is influenced by the notion of simulacra; he claimed that in today's postmodern era which is dominated by the media, there are not true copies of something, there are only "simulations of reality which aren't any more or less "real" than the reality they simulate," (Mann, n.d). For Baudrillard whatever we see in the media becomes our reality, and seems more real than what is actually real. These simulacras, these images of things that do not exist in reality, become part of hyperreality. As Baudrillard rightly states, postmodernism entails " the death of the real," since we are connecting more and more with media where the content "merely simulate reality," and thus living in a kind of hyperreality that is not real (Mann, n.d). I can see this in the way that we relate to actors on TV; I myself have spent hours with my friends discussing Blair and Chuck's relationship in the TV serial Gossip Girl, as if we personally know them. There are often times when I feel I can connect to people from TV shows more than I can relate to my own family. This all shows that media has created a hyperreality with simulacras that we are now relating to more than we relate to real life. (A4) For Rheingold, a smart mob has emerged from the onset of mobile phone technology (Berger, n.d). Smart mobs are characterized as groups of people who can be rallied for social and political campaigning though the use of mobile ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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