For more than a century, man has been experiencing a proliferation, not only of technology, but also of information. It is not merely that we have so much more information today than we did in the past (though, we certainly do: it is estimated that every few days the amount of information human beings generate increases the total by as much as the total amount of information all of humanity had created up until the year 2003), but also in terms of how that information is shared. We have gone from a society with only a few outlets for expression (written works, live events, and physical objects like art and historical artifacts) to one with many (radio, television, video games, podcasts, internet forums and videos, and on and on). We have developed the ability to transfer information across the world almost instantly, created new forms of entertainment, and have, in so doing, changed the world.
When I think about the media, Spiritualist International’s theme for August, this is where I begin. I think about the fact that so much of what we take for granted as ordinary modes of communication are new inventions, barely out of their infancy. But it is not these technologies themselves that I am thinking of, but instead it is how we use them. Looking at our culture, it is clear that so much of what obsesses each of us in our individual lives is a reflection of images and ideas we’ve absorbed from the various streams of information that we encounter daily. Consider just how many ads you have seen today. Can you even guess at a number? This is not, of course, to say that advertising is inherently wrong; indeed it is not a judgment at all. Instead, I offer it just to make you consider how often you are exposed to messages in the media that are intended to influence you. Of course, advertising is not the only place we see this, but it is the central purpose, and thus illustrates the point well.
I love media. I’m often watching television shows (though often online), I check out web series regularly, I read all the time (even, still, the daily newspaper), and I actually saw two movies in the theaters over the past week. I’m not saying anything here to make a statement that we shouldn’t be involved with culture on this level, and, while I don’t like everything that I see in the media, my goal here is not to attack. In many ways, I am merely asking questions that I do not know the answers to. The thing is, media can be something that takes us out of living our own life. It can be an escapist fantasy. It can also be a way to learn something new, or to explore ideas we have not thought about before, or even a way to get closer to those we love. However, more and more, our culture is one in which the media is constant, and even more so, we are consuming it individually.
These changes are one’s that have come about, as mentioned above, rapidly. As a species, we are making incredible changes to our world, and to how we experience it. The role of media in this change is pivotal, arguably, it is the most important element, for it is what we use, collectively, to interpret, express, and disseminate ideas and understandings. As such, it seems quite obvious that the role media is playing in our world is one that is worth understanding and exploring. For us at Spiritualist International, that exploration is about understanding how the ideas and methods utilized by the media are creating our culture even as they are being changed by it. We are interested in understand what our cultural obsessions say about mankind today, just as we wonder what it is that our media is doing to create the future. So too, we wonder, how can we, as individuals in a world so saturated with new information, develop a healthy relationship to the media? We even wonder, how has the media influenced the current renaissance of interest in spirituality? Of course, the topic of the media is one that cannot be summed up by our little magazine, but, perhaps, we can begin to think about the right questions.
Three Quick Important Messages From The Magazine!
1. Your comments really matter in this community, so speak your mind below.
2. Should any ad above or beside this article authentically catch your attention, be sure to click and explore it. Our partners and affiliates through Google are placed here for your benefit and convenience. Looking into these ads is a wonderful way to keep the lights on at Spiritualists International Magazine.
3. We invite you to look deeper, and peruse what the L*B*T offers its Advanced and Unlimited Members by clicking the “Join Us” tab, or right here!