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Force Fed Media

No Thanks Grandma, I’m Full.

My grandma doesn’t understand these words.  At 85 years old, her polish style cooking has yielded thousands of pierogies and kielbasas to feed a small country.  Regardless of how many plates you’ve eaten, she only knows to offer you more.    Although a very generous offering, there comes a time when my stomach can’t stretch anymore.  And if I keep eating, it will lead to heartburn, indigestion and a probably a rough night sleep.  My grandma isn’t the only one pushing us to consume more. Modern day media is covered with force feeding tactics.   I’ve identified three force-fed-eating-styles and listed examples in the images below.

Force Fed Eating Styles

  • Binge Eating

    Netflix has this down pact. Good luck trying to get up off the couch when the next episode starts in 12 seconds 🙂

  • Traumatic Eating

    This type of media is emotionally gripping and often leaves you in a state of fear.  Often, it comes in the form of commercials in the middle of a uplifting movie or a TV dinner in the family room.  i.e. Rescue Animals or Poverty Stricken Childern

  • Buffett Eating

    Less is More. Unless you are a major media outlet like ESPN.  Over 6 different things are going on at once during a broadcast.  Talk about ‘all you can eat’!

Binge Eating
Traumatic Eating
Buffett Style Eating

No matter where you turn there is some form of media striving for your consumption.

Where did we go wrong?  Just a mere 70 years ago, there was speculation from scientists and philosophers on the benefits from the advancement of technology.

It was believed that ‘progress’ in technology and innovation would be so far advanced that by 1980, we would have so much free time on our hands we wouldn’t know what to do with it. Talk about progress!  Boy were we way off.   Richard Swenson, a expert on the subject of progress has a lot to say about this. He defines it as follows:

Progress gives us more and more of everything faster and faster.

Swenson states, “For every hour of time technology saves us, it consumes two more hours through it’s consequences, direct or indirect or this activity. Because this fact is counterintuitive and subtle, we don’t notice it happening.   If progress is the train driving us the the land of overload, technology is the engine.  And media overload has exploded precisely because technology has given us a telecommunications revolution that is unprecedented to human history.”

The interesting thing to note, is that this quote from Swenson was from 2003.  Considering the latest consumer trends of ‘wearable technology’ you have to wonder just how unprecedented’ this telecommunications revolution really is.  Check out a few wearable technologies that will be sure to induce ‘media food coma’s’ in the very near future.

Wearable Technology will keep us constantly eating digital calories

wearable tech
Sony's Virtual TV Headset - photo credit: slashgear
Wearable-technology circa 1935!

Do We Really Have a Choice?

When historians look back at this time (2000 to 2020) they will be sure to deem it  the digital invasion.   Unless you are trained in meditation or have an a warriors heart for self-control, it may seem like you don’t have a choice in your consumption of media.   I struggle with my own devotion to media, particularly Netflix, Facebook and my phone. Here are a few things to remember the next time you feel you’re being force-fed by media.

  • You have the power to say no.
  • You have the power to turn it off.
  • You have the power to create a new habit.
I’ll leave you with a funny 15 second video clip of my grandma over Thanksgiving.  Right after she made me eat my 2nd plate of Thanksgiving dinner!

If you enjoyed this, check out some of the other posts.