Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Media Revolution Part 3: Under The Influence

in·flu·ence   [in-floo-uhns]
noun, verb

1. the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.

Note: The first two parts of "The Media Revolution" can be found by clicking on the links for PART 1 and PART 2.

The latest installment of "The Media Revolution" series comes from me being inspired by a short film that I happened to come across entitled "INFLUENCERS" that you can, and I highly recommend, watch HERE. It's a short documentary (roughly 13 minutes long) that interviews a few trend-setters in their own right who give their opinions on what it means to be an influence on people through their creativity. I felt this was a powerful and dope piece of work put together by directors Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson that explains not only how we are influenced by the media, but also how certain influences from our peers could directly effect us. Fashion editor, Josh Peskowitz hit it on the head with a quote from the film stating "The reason why reality TV and blogs, not just style blogs, are so popular is people get great satisfaction of seeing their peers presented in that sort of context." The context he speaks is content of the material being presented to the public. As the audience, we are then supposed to take on whatever the content is and believe this is something we want to do and be part of.

When it comes to being influenced by something it should always come down to how it moves you emotionally and spiritually. It should be something that consumes you naturally instead of you breaking out of who you are and become something different just to "fit in." You have to ask yourself: Is this a positive influence? How is taking on this trend going to better myself? Thing is most people don't take the time to focus on that aspect of how influences can affect you and are too focused on "being cool" and "being part of a cultural phenomenon." No one wants to be left behind on a cultural movement that sweeps the nation and trendsetters know this and play off of this universal truth. Could you imagine being that person who lived during the time of The Beatles and missing that? The pandemonium was second to none during that time. To this day, The Beatles are still by far one of the most influential music groups ever. Which leads to my next point in how the past is more connected to the future than most people realize.

If you look at the current popular trends in the media, do know that what is going on now will influence the future people in their time. So, the ignorance that is being applauded and cheered with trashy reality TV shows that are sprawled out on air, celebrity breakups with their sex tapes and dumbed down lyrics coming from artists such as Gucci Mane that are put in the forefront and reported as "news" and "what's hot in the streets" are going to be people that our children look up to. If they don't already, since it seems no one is really taking a stand against this kind of stuff. It really wouldn't surprise me with the current trends of today will be absorbed in the future.

That's a scary thought isn't it? Really take that in. Paris Hilton is probably going to be one of your daughters' role models. Paris Hilton. In 2020, a nasally, bratty snob is going to be looked at as a cultural icon who hasn't done anything in her life except get drunk, high, yell, scream, fight and get it caught on camera and then write a book about it. And be famous from it. On the flip side look at how one Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has used his Jersey Shore fame to promote his fitness tape, a new vitamin line with GNC, as well as appear in a PSA for The Candie's Foundation that promotes abstinence. So at least the Jersey Shore's popularity may have worked out well for someone. Your child may want to be an aspiring MC. That's cool, but who is he going to look up to? Lupe Fiasco or Wakka Flocka? Who's on your TV screen and on the radio waves right now? Understand it's not necessarily the's also us because we are the consumers who are entertaining. If we weren't, then the aforementioned people wouldn't be as popular as they are now.

If you want to be, or are going to be part of a national craze that will no doubt influence millions in one way or another just take a step back and ask yourself: Is this what I want, do I want to become apart of this movement or against it? And for the record: For those who are against it, you're not doing any justice just talking about it and complaining. Do something about it. Don't just sit back and make snide remarks on how stupid something is and you're not even doing anything yourself. Influence others, but not for your sake, do it for their sake and all will just fall into place. Or so you hope.

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