It's Life, Jim, But Not As We Know It


For this take in the #BATTLEROYALE , I wanted to look at the media portrayal of life and its effect on society. I am reminded of a conversation that my sister and my mother had about my niece going to college three years ago, she was on a course away from the main student block with a few mature students in her class. She didn't like it at first, at the time she acted a bit young for her age but I remember my sister saying to my mother "Don't worry, she (my niece) will get over it, she is just disappointed, she was expecting it to be like college on US TV and in the movies, full of sororities and fraternities".

While thinking about the media portrayal of things, I had a chuckle at @RJGraveyTrain 's hilarious take last week about how the lovemaking scenes were not exactly realistic in most of the mainstream media . We even had a bit of chat about escapism and how realism may not be to the audience liking. Most media in essence is a business and will produce output that gets it the most ratings/marketing.

I was having a think about the word "Media" in relation to the topic of "Entertainment & Arts" when I realised it crossed over into other areas like "Social Media". To clarify it in my mind I looked up the definition of media.

Media - Noun

The main means of mass communication regarded collectively.
"Their demands were publicized by the media".

Based on that wording I felt that "Social Media" should be included in a take about how media portrays society and affects it.

(1) The New Reality:

In my take on Reality TV, I said when I was growing up, most media was drama on the TV, in the movies and books. News programmes and the odd documentary were used to study real life content. Even the newspapers mainly concentrated on news events and current affairs analysis but somewhere along the way since then "Studying Reality" has become a new media platform. As I said in the earlier take, "Reality" is cheaper to produce so it led to people being "Famous For Being Famous". This fascination with celebrity lifestyles and certain realities had to be perpetuated. It still had to be profitable so it became more manufactured to keep a constant appeal to an escapist audience. While this might seem harmless on a surface level, I think it leads to a level of disassociation among today's society.

(2) Disassociation:

I suppose for my own benefit, I better give the definition of disassociation to make sure I am using it correctly.

Disassociation - Noun

The action of disconnecting or separating or the state of being disconnected.
"We in the West honour a long-standing dissociation between church and state"

The reason I am talking about disassociation is that I wanted to give the example of Katie Price, a UK glamour model who had the alter ego Jordan. Katie now in her 30s is no dummy, she has used the money she earned through fame, put it into property investments and is now one of Britain's wealthiest women but I want to go back to the disassociation part. I first noticed it early in her career, she did one of those undercover reality shows, pretending to be a stable girl. During the programme, one of the other stable lads said "She looked like Jordan" and Katie went "Ugh, no way she is so plastic" (it was like she despised Jordan), I thought that was interesting then over the years I saw her in interviews and I said to my friends "Watch, she talks about Jordan in the third person, not in the affected way (the royal we) but she has made Jordan a total different person".

She is Katie, mum, businesswoman but if her fame was slipping (especially in the early days) it would be Jordan who would sleep with someone famous and give the story to the papers, had a sex tape "accidently leak" onto the internet, all to keep her fame going, the ability for Katie to earn money to support her family. She did a lot of celebrity reality shows and when she does them as Katie, she is liked. When she does them as Jordan she gets a hard time.

Katie Price


(3) Society's Relative Disassociation:

I don't know what it is but with the development of the internet and social media, I found people are becoming more forensically aware of themselves but somewhat less interested in what is happening outside their own perceived scope of attention . Is it a good thing or a bad thing , I don't know but with the multiple updates on your accounts and multiple communications with people, you have to provide a lot of new information. When I was a teen, on a normal school day I might regard a half hour conversation with someone as a lot but today with IM etc, you probably have 20 fairly in depth conversations a day with friends. You probably cover a lot of ground with your friends, they know everything about you so you go online to create a new identity. For some it might be quite close to themselves, my own belief is that everyone online tells untruths just at different levels.

I, myself probably exaggerate some of the good points I feel about myself. In the main it is not a bad thing until we move into troll and hater territory. I honestly think that these people have disassociated so much that they don't realise actually when they cross a line. When they are perceived to have done something wrong, they put the blame on their third person false online persona, hopefully my faith in human nature is strong enough to assume that most of them wouldn't do something like this in real life. An example of this behaviour that the trolls don't seem to fathom how cruel it is, was highlighted by @Waffles731 in his question that serves as a timely reminder to our society in general

Unfortunately the nasty online behaviour seems to be creeping into real life a bit as this news story reveals

(4) Why? I Suppose Is The Question:

Why are these people behaving in this way in today's society, to get an audience, that seems to be the goal. We live in a society that rewards bad behaviour, you could act outrageous and get 10,000 hits or write a serious piece getting 10 likes with compliments with many modern young people favouring the former result.

I mean when you think about it, what will people of the future think when they look back at old pictures of this era, what will they think of shots like this which was probably one of the must publicised news photos of 2013.

(5) How Many Hits/Likes/Followers Did I Get?:

I was reminded of this somewhat when I was thinking about this take for the contest by @RainbowFanGirl 's great question

As you can see from her question about Evalion, the jury is out whether she is a whack job, a comic genius satirising the internet or a trolling genius getting attention. It reminds me a bit of the other Youtuber who asks "Do they speak American in Britain?" (Is she for real?). RainbowFanGirl gives two links for Youtuber LeafyIsHere's analysis of Evalion, he gives an excellent critique of Evalion, he seems quite intelligent, giving an excellent commentary on the issue but why does he swear so much? - I wouldn't mind once or twice but it seems like about 50 times in a 10 minute video, it takes away from what he is trying to say. Is he going for shock value to maintain his like/hit level.


We seem to have drifted into a culture where success is tabulated by the amount of attention you get rather than the good things you display. Unfortunately the easiest way to get attention is being outrageous or being controversial. The only thing is that if everyone is being controversial and outrageous, it becomes a bit generic so maybe to stand out people will have to show something more than just that, WELL WE CAN HOPE.

Okay bit of a joke with that last image, I will stick to form and end with some inspirational quotes about my hope for society.

So everyone just be yourself

Thanks for reading.


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  • We are indeed an attention-seeking populace.

    That's not really what bothers me, though. What bothers me is the kinds of things that get the most attention.

  • " LeafyIsHere's analysis of Evalion, he gives an excellent critique of Evalion, he seems quite intelligent, giving an excellent commentary on the issue but why does he swear so much? - I wouldn't mind once or twice but it seems like about 50 times in a 10 minute video, it takes away from what he is trying to say. Is he going for shock value to maintain his like/hit level."
    Its because leafyishere is a comedy channel that merely makes some good points, its for entertainment

    • Now I've got to go watch some leafyishere

    • Thanks for the explanation - Pity though that he feels he needs the swearing to make a point or create comedy - I think it can be done without swearing maybe I am just old fashioned.