Amy Munro – Is Media Amusing Us to Death?
Media is Everywhere. Media is a means of getting out a message or general content to reach large masses of people. It is consumed by billions all over the world, including you and me. If you ask anyone from Gen-Z what they first think of when they hear the word media, it is very probable that the first thing that comes to mind is “Social Media”. A very large percentage of Gen-Z is rather technologically informed and grew up whilst great advancements were being made in terms of the evolution of the internet and technology. Nowadays, a large percentage of our lives is consumed by social media platforms such as Tiktok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, where we consume hundreds of hours of consumable media in the form of Pictures, Videos, blog posts, and more. These Media consumption Platforms provide us with hours of entertainment every single day we are online. However, what if we are simply, too amused? What are we gaining from scrolling on our devices for hours on end? Are we wasting time? These questions cannot be answered simply, because this particular situation can be viewed from many different angles.
Large masses of people, primarily teenagers and young adults, spend a lot of time on the social media platform; Tiktok. It is essentially an app that allows the user to create and share short videos. With the app one has access to billions of short videos about all sorts of topics, meaning there is bound to be something to tickle your fancy. The app is addicting because of its quickly consumable media, the videos are rather short so even in small windows of time, one can still get through a handful of videos. People spend hours upon hours scrolling away watching video after video, but what are they gaining from it. Many admit to spending hours watching countless videos, whilst not retaining much from all that time spent staring at their devices. In some ways, it is simply fast-consumed media that is engaging due to its short length and not due to the content in the video itself. We are wasting time by scrolling for hours, and though many of us notice it, we don’t seem to care and keep on doing it. Instagram is another widely used app by teenagers and young adults. The application allows the user to share and post photos and short videos, whilst giving them access to view other people’s photos and videos. On paper, social media seems wonderful, however, it has its negatives. With social media, other side of the world instantly, and you can make connections with people that you would have not met if it weren’t for the internet. The introduction of social media has brought a lot of tension with it. With more of people’s lives being visible to us, it is almost instinctive to compare our lives to those of others. We compare our bodies, we compare our lives and we compare our own choices. Despite how toxic social media is, we continue to consume this media, comparing our lives to people who we don’t even know, but we think we do. We are amused by unrealistic depictions of other people’s lives, and we compared them to our own. When being intoxicated by this sort of media, it is important to realize that the reason your life does not appear to be as perfect as the lives of all those people that you follow, is because people only post what they want you to see, their life isn’t perfect, they just don’t show the imperfections.
However, despite all this, not all consumable media is bad. Some media is very informative and many use media sites such as YouTube to pick up new skills and hobbies. There are countless music lessons on Youtube and many people pick up musical hobbies this way. There are many educational media consumption sites that provide a lot of knowledge, and learning and obtaining knowledge adds flavour to our lives. In conclusion, it is important to monitor yourself when it comes to the media you consume, and it is also very important to not let yourself be consumed by media, because whilst people may idealise how someone’s life appears to be on social media, nobody’s life is perfect. It is not worth letting you self feel bad over an unrealistic online depiction on someone’s life.