Apr 28 2010
When I read the prompt for this post, I figured that this would be probably the easiest post of the semester.
As a little background, I love to walk. This should be apparent from the title of the blog if nothing else (a stroll is similar to a walk, but with more swagger I think). I typically don’t stroll, usually just walk though.
Now, when I went for my walk yesterday, with the intent of being influenced by the massive amounts of technology and advertisements and subliminal influences that are obviously going to be present in the world. I looked, and listened, and waited, but went for a 45-minute walk without really having any sort of interaction. Maybe I was oblivious. Maybe Ithaca is stuck in the 1950s. Maybe that was awesome. No matter what it was, I hadn’t really come much closer to being able to effectively write this blog post.
I called my youngest brother, whom I frequently walk with, and asked him to go for a walk, keeping a similar prompt in mind while he did so. He called me back 5 minutes later to tell me that mom said no. Stymied again.
I was running out of options for material for this post, when I decided to go to the kitchen of my fraternity to get a cookie and spark something. I stepped out of my room and saw a giant “Heinekan” poster. I walked down the hall where my brother was sitting on the couch using his ipad. Downstairs, a couple of guys were watching the hockey game, and in the kitchen there was a “study” group watching Youtube videos. I sent a text message to my current hook-up about our cereal selection when I realized that even though we can escape some of it here in relatively rural Ithaca, our homes have become incredibly dominated by technology and advertisements. It is not uncommon in most homes to have someone on the computer at any time or to find those little 3×5 magazine subscription cards in the bathroom. Both are forms of media influence.
I think that due to our location, this is true. If I walked through Times Square in New York, or the Mag Mile in Chicago, I would be bombarded by lights, sounds, and technology to the point where I am oblivious to it. Even in the home, it has become overwhelming to the point where we ignore it. When I am watching a TV show, I could probably not tell you what the commercial was just for, or who halftime was “brought to me” by. Yet it still dominates the space, and in a fraternity house, is almost even cool. The guy uses the Heniekan poster as a status symbol. We love our schwag and the technology around us!