365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Today’s Media

Ok…so today I think I want to talk a bit about the craziness that can be news media in our culture. And before I really get started this is by no means based in any amount of fact it is simply 100% my own opinion of the impact news and media has on world events in today’s society. If you feel the need to argue a different point please do so but I probably won’t engage with you. It’s not that I don’t see your point of view, in fact i am sure that you’d raise some very valuable points. It’s just that all I am attempting to do here is lay out what I see and what I think based solely on impressions and not at all in fact. So I don’t feel the need or desire to research anything to attempt to support any of my statements or refute any of yours. But I am always happy to read your thoughts and comments in any event.

Now that all that disclaimer stuff is out of the way here is what I think. This week in DC we had both an earthquake and a hurricane. Both ‘events’ were what have been labeled as historic for the area by one media outlet or another. Against the world scale of these kinds of events both were EXTREMELY MILD in comparison. Sure North Carolina experienced a great deal of damage from Irene…. but here in the DC area it was what most people would refer to as a bit of a lame ass storm. I mean come on.. so it rained all day and got a bit windy. We didn’t have any thunder or lightening and the loss of power that people experience (while insanely frustrating I am sure) has more to do with the pathetic services that exist in some parts of the area than with any ‘major storm damage’.

That said… the media spent the entire week hyping up both events. The earthquake was disastrous and the hurricane was setting up to be the storm of the century…. or at least that’s what you’d think if you watched some of the news coverage or read some of the reports that were circulating around. One really good example of this ‘media induced hysteria’ comes from my family. Some family friend saw some inaccurate news report up in Canada that said that the storm was going to hit DC full blast and that everyone was being evacuated. Since my parents (especially my mom) tend to worry like crazy about me down here all by myself they went into just a bit of a panic because I hadn’t called to tell them I was being evacuated and where I was going. In fact, I was in my shower when my mom called and since she got my voicemail the worry in her voice increased a notch or two as she left her message to call her back and let her know I was safe.

I can 100% appreciate my mother’s concern – who wouldn’t be concerned about their daughter being evacuated from her home because of some expected national disaster. Here’s the thing that gets me… she never would have been worried about it or concerned at all if someone hadn’t seem some over dramatized news report about how bad the storm was going to be. If that hadn’t happened she would have known (had she been thinking rationally at all) that since I am completely terrified of hurricanes if one was truly in my immediate vicinity that I’d be on the first flight back to Canada in total avoidance mode…and of course since she’d have to pick me up she would know exactly where I was and how long I’d be staying at home.

I think the increase in media coverage and in providing information to the masses is, as a whole, fabulous. But, I think there comes a point in time where you do nothing but insite panic is us ‘little people’ by telling us all the gloom and doom of what COULD, MAYBE, POSSIBLY, happen. Rather than just saying the facts… it’s a big storm, might hit your area, try and prepare as best you can but it’s likely to mostly just skirt around you and you’ll really just get some rain and wind… nothing major. Sure, it doesn’t make for as interesting of a TV spot… but it’s much less likely to have people freaking out and expecting the worst from every possible situation.

Things were much more peaceful in our world when we didn’t have every possible negative impact for every possible event going on everywhere in the world thrown in our faces every second of every day. Again, it’s GREAT to know what’s going on in the world… but the current media plan focuses way more on the bad things in the world and the things that can scare and harm humanity than they EVER do on the joyful and peaceful and FUN things going on in the world that could bring some light back into our society. We should be able to focus on living our lives… not always running around scared waiting on the next ‘big bad’ being blasted on every media channel there is.

Ok…that’s my two cents done.

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August 29, 2011 - Posted by | Personal Theories, Random | , , , ,

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