Media Reformation 2016
I find it to be really problematic that we live in a society in which young people are fed a narrative that places a massive importance on celebrity culture and practically no importance on topics that are the grounds for real intellectual discussion.
The same media outlets that claim to empower young people, especially young women–are those that place this perplexingly large importance on celebrity culture to an extent that it’s downright obsessive. I’d rather young people have a solid foundation about our country’s foreign policies, important scholars and academics, political activists–rather than an understanding of Kylie/Kendall’s new lip look, or how chic Taylor Swift looks after coming out of the gym. I’m sorry, but who. gives. a shit. Young people are our future–we are the next presidents, doctors, educators, scientists, world leaders. So is this honestly the way we are going to invest in our future? The entire concept of the celebrity is entirely socially constructed, and the media is undeniably the main contributor to this construction. Creating and propagating an obsession with celebrity culture doesn’t empower young people in ANY way–power comes from education. Power comes from being informed.
A few weeks ago I was at Zara, and my cashier was a woman in her early twenties, very friendly. She was rambling on about some random celebrity news, and then she asked me where I was from originally. I told her Sri Lanka, and she was like “ummm…you don’t look Sri Lankan. That’s in Europe right? Like near Russia?” She went on to explain that “most Americans” would think the same. Folks, that is SCARY. The prospect of living in a world where our generation is so uninformed and detached from the real world is downright disturbing to me.
I’m tired of not being able to have an engaging intellectual conversation with young people. I’m tired of the youth being uniformed about the important things and overly informed about the wrong things. I’m tired of everyone knowing that yesterday was Justin Bieber’s birthday as if that’s some sort of national holiday, but oblivious to the fact that it was Super Tuesday. The majority of education does NOT happen in schools–we learn from the media and what society tells us is important