With the development of the internet and digital media, media has shifted from specific, fixed location devices to instead be woven into the very fabric of everyday life.
Look at pictures from the advent of radio, when it was a massive device in the living room. That device shrank, and the fixed location was replaced with a television. The TV shrank and moved into multiple rooms, and along came computers, then the web, followed by your mobile devices (phones, tablets).
As these devices became ever more connected, media became more accessible, moving from something you have to tune into to something that interrupts your day with near-omnipresent alerts.
Media is everywhere, and the media is angry.
It used to be that “sex sells” in advertising. In the media world, the truth is that “arguments deliver audience.” Most news programs default to hosting two people with diametrically opposing points of view who are effectively seated in a steel cage and deprived of food, water or sleep long enough to make them despise the person on the other side of the table and shoot down their respective point of view.
This cannot be healthy.
I consider myself a semi-intelligent person, but I’m having a very difficult time determining how to think anymore. I know what my values are, and I know what I consider to be right and wrong. I also know from personal experience the truth is rarely found on either opposing extreme of any argument. The truth always lies in the middle.
Today’s challenge is, we can’t find the middle represented in the media anywhere. anymore. I’ve reviewed the charts that depict the bell curve of media outlets who represent various points of view, but I don’t think it is accurate.
I’ve looked at both extremes to try and find both sides of an argument, so I can better understand the point of view that faces mine and it’s hard to understand those views because they are emotional and less logical. I’ve even read the arguments for why I cannot understand the other point of view and they’re even more emotional. There has to be something more to it.
It is almost Election Day, and depending on what you read and where you read it, things will go one of two ways. Either the “blue wave” will run rampant or the “red wave” will come crashing down.
I find myself unsure of what’s going to be happen, but I do understand one thing to be important: The fate of the country should not depend on a vocal minority while disregarding the majority of Americans, whoever they may be and whatever POV they may have.
All the stats I’ve seen suggest less than 50% of U.S. citizens are going to vote. That is unacceptable. The studies say Millennials and Gen Z are disenfranchised, while other studies say some minorities are unhappy and won’t be voting. As far as I can tell, the folks in the middle are tired and therefore may not be getting out of their seats to vote, either.
I have my opinions, and so do you. We may not agree, and that’s OK, but we should both agree that not voting is unacceptable.
I think our extremely influential, truth-challenged, opinion-mired media should all align on a single point: Everyone’s voice should be heard.
The media should, for one week, tone down the anger and try to remove some of the “flame-the-fires” rhetoric to simply motivate the populace to vote. Get people to understand that this is the only way their voice can be heard and if you are in power, or want to be in power, you should want to know whether your message resonates or not with a true majority.
If this were a perfect world (and I know it is not) we would see at least 70% voter turnout. At the least, we should see more than 50%.
Get out and vote.