Voting with our Fingertips: A Movement Against Techno-Trash
Technologies of all sorts are profoundly shaping what we hold in our collective unconscious; that shared subliminal space named by Carl Jung creator of Jungian analysis, that goes beyond Freud’s concept of an individual unconscious.
Whether through TV streaming channels, newsrooms or the internet, technology is inevitably shaping who we are and who we will become. And it can become addictive in which case we’re no longer able to stop, to modulate, to make intelligent decisions about what we’re looking at or participating in. Instead of viewing sites, sites start viewing us; boring cyber holes into our preferences and offering up more. We replace our relationships to people with a relationship to a screen. We’re no longer in charge, they are…and the truth of it is there is no “they”.
What can we do to bridle this incredible power, to have a collective voice in shaping it? Are we merely helpless consumers or can we rethink our role in all of this?
The advent of television in the 1950’s, led to the appearance of perfect families piped daily into the homes of America. Where did post WW11 baby boomers suddenly get the idea that families of four were natural or desirable if not from Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy? Why the indelible image of the working father and the stay at home mom?
Then the war in Vietnam entered the living rooms of young Americans and mobilized a generation. No longer “out there somewhere” the shocking realities of combat were televised on the six o’clock news, horrifying a generation that had not seen war, but grew up in the shadow of WW11; deeply affecting and uniting boomers in a sweeping, anti-war movement.
And fast forward to today and the 24 hour news channels that are inserting a drip, drip, drip feeding tube of fear and anxiety into our collective unconscious. We see news amped up, repeated over and over again and advertised like laundry detergent. These channels have created a phenomenon that has come to have a life of it’s own, blurring the line of what it means to be “well-informed” until it is worthless. We simply do not need to know all of this, it is in fact disturbing our peace and even creating the kind of anxiety that can lead to unrest.
Hollywood which let’s face it has gone its way without a soul, can tear apart the moral fabric of the country and still make billions of dollars calling it “entertainment”. Hollywood has likely been responsible for more violence than can be conceived and many of the new series on pay TV rely on violence to bring viewers, their characters are thin, their scripts are superficial and their nod to good values flimsy, simply scotch taped on for effect.
While there is money to be made, we are in danger of becoming commodities, “eyeballs”, “viewers” and little more.
In the 1950’s TV had a somewhat controlled message, seeking to instill the kinds of post war values that engendered good citizenry and wholesome values. Technology today, for better or worse, has no such oversight.
Too Many Voices: Too Much News
There is much fear from people of conscience about how information of all kinds is being disseminated and concern as to how to put the genie back in the bottle. But can it be?
Can we really look to old models of supervision when, in today’s world, there appears to be none? When each and every person has their finger on the keys and can type messages into social media and respond to them instantaneously? When there is in fact, such a phenomenon as messaging and information “going viral”?
Is this capacity for anyone to enter the conversation just one more thing to fear or could the solution lie in it as well? Could it in fact, be a saving grace? Does the internet the great equalizer, offer a way for ordinary people to enter the conversation and vote with their fingertips in much the same way as we vote with our feet on election day?
Anyone can say anything, any time.
Technology gives our current society, an opportunity to speak up as a collective (beause it’s afterall all about connecting), about what is being sold to our children and grandchildren. A chance to raise awareness about what we’re daily ingesting into our individual and our collective unconscious because make no mistake about it, these little devices we are glued to have just that kind of power. If we do not limit the amount of time we spend mindlessly surfing and staring then these very activities will limit us. They will begin to eat away are our ability to choose what we want to fill our minds with, because these are just the sorts of passive activities that seep into our unconscious and begin to shape us without our conscious awareness.
Maybe it’s time for us to be the oversight, for a users revolution. Why should we rely on large companies and politocos to take responsibility for the values disseminated by our media, when they are profiting from and propogating the outrageous, the alarming and the polarizing?
For starters we have tremendous power in one very important way. We can stop watching. We can turn our TVs off when we see content that is cheap and salacious, content that teaches bad values and trains violence. We can strengthen a conversation that could become a movement. We can vote with our fingertips. And we can make our opinions known through social media of all kinds. We can tweet, respond and write. We can garner the power of the collective both as discriminating consumers and vocal opponents of techno-trash.Time to make our voices on this heard and felt, time to shape the marketplace that’s shaping us.