Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just sit back and consume media and culture and not think beyond simple enjoyment? But when we do that, do we turn a blind eye to larger problems in the world? Media and culture reflect how a person sees the world. When we create something we are putting our view into what we create. Thus, by examining the media and culture we can explore how others view the world or at least certain aspects of the world.
Now, maybe I should have started this out a little differently. In college I got my degree in Media Studies, which as it turns out is exploring representation and themes in media. I think it is important to think critically about the media that we consume. It is the same as when people think about what they put into their bodies in terms of food. If we do not think critically about what we consume we are nothing better than mindless drones repeating whatever the latest fad is.
Now I know that this is not a popular topic for people to discuss. No one wants to hear that the representation or world view in a game, movie, tv show, etc, is skewed. Look at how vehemently people defend their news outlet of choice, even when they are more than a little skewed at times. The important thing to remember is that thinking critically about something does not mean you cannot still enjoy it – it just means that you are asking questions about how that media / culture is shaping a world view.
What is great is there are a lot of people out there who are taking the time to try and have a conversation about media. They are consuming media, but at the same time thinking critically about the media that they consume. Now at times I have seen some go too far, they decide that their opinion / interpretation is right and that if you disagree with it then you are somehow bad. But many of them are doing good things. Continue reading