Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Living in a Daydream

Having recently read a great article that discussed all different forms of reality, it brought forward a little developing thought in my mind: what reality are we living in? Can we still actually distinguish between fact and fiction? This may sounds slightly odd and I know that Google haven’t actually yet launched their ‘augmented reality glasses’ but let me explain…

Take Facebook; the epitome of a ‘virtual’ Internet reality. Although the idea behind it is a personalized profile to communicate with ‘friends,’ this medium allows us to completely construct a (partially) fictional persona. Don’t lie, some of your photos will be edited (and those that aren’t, untagged!). I’m pretty sure that subconsciously we are fully aware that the comments we post on each others walls will be seen by at least 25 others besides the originally intended, and so the pressure to appear witty/effortless/interesting is on. You don’t agree? Come on, everyone knows if a comment really is only intended for the other person’s eyes it does so in the form of a private inbox…
Then there’s the very obvious and ever-present (constructed) reality show. Yes Big Brother was brainless, but at least what we saw was actually occurring in the Big Brother House! As much as I love the likes of Made in Chelsea I put money on the fact that although it’s marketed to us as ‘reality’ the scenes are about as real as my dream last night, in which I finally gave in to Ryan Goslings über persistent begging to go out with me. Shows like the X Factor are no doubt worse and are almost certainly more planned and scammed than anything else!

These shows then provide the opportunity for the rise of the notorious celebrity…in itself an immense facade of planned PR stunts. We think we know Lady Gaga? What’s her real name? And does she really like meat/Kermit dresses or does she know that by wearing them she’ll get press coverage? And you tell me that the delightful Kim Kardashian’s wedding wasn’t a publicity manoeuvre…a fictional fairytale.

Lastly, as much fun as it is to follow, fashion sometimes seems to be one big fictional visual. Most people by now know that pretty much all photographs that we’re presented with of models and celebrities are photoshopped. But what probably most people don’t know is that an H&M scandal was recently uncovered revealing their photo ‘models’ were in fact computer generated bodies with facial images attached. Very real. And let’s not even get started on cosmetic surgery…

In hindsight this article is probably very cynical and I sound like I’m generally very displeased with culture. Far from it! I love Made In Chelsea just as much as the girl next door (if not shamefully more), I think that the H&M models are super sexy and I obviously watch X Factor. (although only at uni. With a big group of people) All in all I just feel that it’s important that our impressionable and naïve juvenile generation with our unquenching thirst for knowledge and culture, remain aware of the broader picture! Even if our access to reality is based on fiction as Deborah Kests says, as long as we’re aware of that it’s all chilled!

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