Are we truly ever free? And when we choose to actively disengage from everything society dictates, are we not still trapped, but in a different way? Isolation from everything?
Those are just a snippet of the questions that ran through my mind when I heard this song. And true, these questions have always been in me, but they resurfaced yet again, thanks to Katy Perry’s “Chained To The Rhythm”, featuring Skip Marley. So here’s to some pondering.
“Are we crazy / Living our lives through a lens”
This most likely pertains to living through the camera and through digital devices, which is quite common now in this generation. What I mean is that for every single little moment, sometimes we don’t get to savour them anymore in an organic manner due to constantly documenting them, filling up one’s newsfeed with selfies and pictures and giving off this image of a life that is so picturesque. Is it a forged perception of our personal lives or is it actual reality?
It’s like we’re our own paparazzi really…Is it a form of self-worship and obsession in maintaining an image by placing oneself in the limelight of a social media platform? Or it could be that we’re just sharing our lives with those who matter to us with no ulterior motives. It is our right and we have the freedom to do so, after all, but does it not come to a point wherein it seems almost like a trap in its own shape and form?
Social media has become such a huge influencer that I just have to quote yet another song here.
“Wrong information always shown by the media / Negative images is the main criteria / Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria / Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema” (“Where Is The Love?” by Black Eyed Peas)
Information overload. Difficulty in triangulating sources. Fake news. Amorality. Degradation of values. Sex successfully selling. Propagation of the sexual objectification of men, women, and children. Rampant pornographic visuals, cyber-sex and human trafficking…
“Dance, dance, dance to the distortion”
The power media has is scary. While it can inspire, it can also hurt. And that hurt can be so deeply entrenched in society, we can become blind to media’s intoxicating effects, carrying down into history.
Many times I hear of people wanting to remove themselves from societal influences, but can we really say we successfully have done so and aren’t affected by the dictates of what we should all look like? How we should act? Doesn’t the fashion industry control our perception of beauty, what makeup to buy, and what clothes to wear (I will NOT go into consumerism right now)? Don’t magazines and articles and TV shows and music dictate how we should run our lives and relationships?
I could continue on with this point really, citing and adding more onto my EE during IB, wherein I delved deep into fashion magazines via linguistic analysis, but I truly need to study right now…
“Yo’, whatever happened to the values of humanity / Whatever happened to the fairness and equality / Instead of spreading love we’re spreading animosity / Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity” (still “Where Is The Love?” by Black Eyed Peas)
I don’t really intend to put any finality in this directionless post with some huge point, as these were just questions and thoughts floating around in my head that urged me to put them down into words since I need to really study for an upcoming exam (but these said questions and thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone to concentrate on studying), but I do choose to finish this off in an open-ended, inconclusive manner. These are, after all, incomplete thoughts and questions with so many answers, that I doubt I’ve covered everything that needs to be covered here.
How much influence does the media have on you and me? Have your values altered over time because of what it tells you to focus on and what it says is right and wrong? Are you and I hypocrites? How deeply enslaved are we by the system?
Social media and the media truly have made the world smaller, which is truly its strength, I’ll give it that. But at what cost?
Anyhow, “We’re all chained to the rhythm” (unless you disagree).
“So put your rose-colored glasses on / And party on”
P.S. Props to Katy Perry’s new song (that features Skip Marley), as well as to Black Eyed Peas’ classic song
RaMarAl, an overanalysing Mass Communication student