Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Reality Is Boring Media Are Magnetic

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Reality Is Boring Media Are Magnetic

Article excerpt

Reality is boring. Media are magnetic. With this simple formula, we go a long way toward understanding American consciousness in 2013.

Case in point. Walking down a city street. Notice how many people's eyes are looking at a cell phone and not at their surroundings. Notice how many people are listening to headphones and not their environment. Why not just take in all that is happening? Because reality is boring. People would rather be checking twitter or text messages from friends or the latest stock prices.

If you are over 50, you have noticed this. But the younger you are, the more you are pulled into the media universe. Those under 20 have spent their entire lives in this reality. The media are lively, constantly changing. Reality usually moves slowly, if at all. You noticed this in your crib. You have become used to constant stimulation. You seek it out. The absence of media stimulation is painful. If you are over 20 years old, make an effort to observe people under 20 to understand this future.

Another case in point--driving can be very boring. On the interstate, not much happens most of the time. Around town, pretty predictable traffic flows. So. a text message comes in, you answer it. Of course you will talk on the phone. And check your GPS. As more and more electronic gadgets get built into car dashboards, media distractions will multiply. "Distracted driving," already leading to numerous accidents, will balloon. States have already passed laws banning texting while driving and requiring hands-free cell phones. But these restrictions are rarely followed. Because media are magnetic, pulling our attention away from a boring reality. …

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