To a certain extent, any audience/ audience member exposed to media or simply modern technology is vulnerable to anxieties.
It would surely be true to state that anxieties throughout time occur as embedded within our genetic makeup is the desire for the ‘known’. As the latter is not always obtained due to rapid progression, fears of being left behind (or to my latest discovery the very extravagant word Athazagoraphobia) arise. Today, ‘knowledge is the antidote to fear’ can be employed to represent the need for participation within the networking of media. The culture of the 21st century is to be technologically savvy and aware. We are in fact, the ‘online generation’. Subliminal messaging exists within most media forms and we have been conditioned to be distracted and attracted to these. Hence our vulnerability.
Loss of innocence, Social isolation and Anti-social behaviour, current anxieties mentioned by my fabulous lecturer (capitalised as they might just have a human form shadowing over our society), have a serious and very tactile realism to them. Consumerism in the form of obesity, in the form of anorexia, both our bodies and our minds fall into the traps.
Our online activism is affluent. We are culture obsessed with sex, modernism and scaringly, ourselves. Take Instagram, a way others can see into your experiences the way you do through a camera lens. But are we trying to capture the memory, or the attention of others. It is also a largely popular forum for the coined ‘selfie’. One might question, is it promoting self-confidence? Or narcissism? If anything, self- consciousness.
Growing up with technology desensitises us. Take the video game fixation or television as the ‘Plug in drug’. The Media Violence debate spurs from the exposure to Psychological aggression. Nintendo’s, what seems age old, very Mario Cart relies on using weapons and irrational forces for winning. Now, I don’t consider myself a violent person or dramatically influenced to inflict harm such as that experienced while playing Mario Cart, yet there was a certain excitement and thrill in using those forces on another’s character . There is the cultivation of violence through exposure to television. Many of today’s films, TV shows and other forms of visual entertainment rely on thrilling and unrealistic impact scenes (yet highly realistic within regards to experience) , captivating the intrigue of an audience. Three words, Game of Thrones. A terribly brilliant television series that has created an new definition of value within popular culture.
So, it is not only how the media influences society, but how individuals within influence the media. What we crave is what we get fed.