Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How can we even fathom all this television "hyper-reality?" (Loose response to Kelynne's post)

A concept that is constantly on my mind as I watch television and as technology develops is the actual reality of how we can even begin to picture ourselves in the hyper reality that is showcased throughout most television today. I noticed in Kelynne's post that she touched on hyper realism and the show "The Bachelor." Many of the activities and traveling the participants on the show experience are all experiences I would love to have, but it's just not fathomable! Yes, I would love to travel around the world, riding elephants, and flying via helicopter to my very own island, but where do finances and resources come into play? Never in my life will I be able to experience the things I see on television simply because it's not reality and the resources just aren't there. Is the fact that these activities and destinations are unattainable what makes people engage in them and come back each week to watch the show? Do we get pleasure out of watching other people pursue these extravagant "reality's" and does it make us feel happy for the actors/participants (though we might be bitter watching it because we know it's not a reality for us?)

This got me thinking about commercial content, and, advertisements in general as it pertains to technological developments. Whenever I see a new commercial for a smart phone or an Ipad, I can't help but think about how I wish I could experience all these fancy new machines, but it is simply not realistic for me. Now, I know this might just be because I am a student living off of loan money, and maybe "someday" I'll be able to use or at least experience some of these devices, but how can anyone ever keep up with the constant changes on any budget? Is this hyper-reality someone out there's actual reality? (Aside from millionaires and zillionaires, etc. of course) Does this make the advertising less affective for us and draw our attention away from the ads because we know it's unattainable and there is no way we could ever keep up anyways? How do companies keep consumers coming back? How much is materialism affecting what we consider reality and how much does it blur the lines between our reality and the hyper-reality of all the media we absorb?

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