Thursday, September 3, 2009

Are We a World Full of Sheeple?

 Media has had a double effect on us, everything is there right in front of us in some perverted version of a consumer peep show. Info on demand, news as it happens, google, twitter, facebook, blackberries, i-phones homes with multiple computers and 100 yard HD televisions has given us a view of the world that our parents never had. A teen in California text messaged of 14000 texts in one month (yes folks not a typo 14k that is close to a average of 450 texts a day) no wonder no one reads books anymore and newspapers are dying. I am a tech geek what some people call an early adopter yet I still love to sit with a real newspaper in my hand with a smoke, a non organic over processed cup of coffee and a lard fried donut.
 The issue is not technology it is what we have allowed it to make us into. I see couples walking down the street holding hands and each listening to their own individual i-pods. Miscreants talking on cell phones while at the counter at the bank. Not to mention texting while driving.
The constant cacophony of media images bombard us like the solar winds. We know more about John and Kate than we do about local government. Photoshop has created a pandemic of false body image ( just look what they did to Kelly Clarkson on the SELF Magazine cover)
She is not that skinny! We believe the Toyota Prius is environmentally better than other cars because they put flowers and deer in their ads when the environmental impact of the prius is huge due to the battery manufacturing / strip mining needed to make them when the lowly VW TDI diesel is actually less polutting and has better mileage.
 We shop at Whole Foods (whole paycheck) because we want to eat healthier when we can source the same healthy food from local growers and butchers. But they don't give us cute shopping bags that let other people know we can afford to shop at whole foods. Not quite as sexy as Fred's Butcher shop or Hung's Grocery bags. Starbucks was the beginning of this food status trend.
So this brings me to another of our modern life social networking. It all started with MySpace a place where bad bands could push their drivel on who ever wandered by, and by 50 year old men pretending to be 14 year old girls. The next evolution is facebook which I am a avid user. It started as a great place to catch up with old friends, market new ideas share news but not anymore. Now it is a bloated tool for marketers who use our addiction to virtual pillow fights, and virtual drinks to data mine us for more targeted ads. I like the surveys and such myself, so i am just as much of a sheep as anyone else. i just miss people  talking about stuff and sharing ideas. Remember when Obama used facebook to help him get elected?
 Now my mistress is Twitter, all you want to or need to say in 6o characters or less. quick easy fast and simple. The student uprising in Iran this year was reported primarily from twitter. You can even interact with Celebrities on twitter I know I do. It helps to bring down the walls of society that the internet started to when it was like the wild west. I fear soon the wal-marts and Starbucks of the world will ruin that as well.
 In some ways the Internet and new media has made us smarter, more connected, and in other ways dumber and lazier. The fact that more people have seen more varieties of LOL cats than Renoir or Gauguin disturbs me to no end or the fact that people watch shows like, American Idol, So you think you can dance, and alot of other dribble when we lack original music, film and culture is just proof that we have become a land of Sheeple being herded around by the border collies of Madison Ave. BAAAAHHHHHHH!

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