How Much Does Media Affect You

Epistemic status: just brainstorming, no conclusions even

Here are some things I believe:

Anyway, interesting ACX post about how, maybe when you’re sad, listening to sad music doesn’t actually help and you should just get yourself to listen to happy music. Experimental History continued speculation about set points. … Sounds like, if I may continue speculating, it’s not about the action you take, it’s about where your set point is. So like, if you want some adrenaline, you watch a scary movie, fine. You want more adrenaline, you watch a gruesome serial killer movie, you go “glad I’m not in their shoes”, your body regulates itself. The problem is if your set point for “amount of gruesome serial killers you want to watch” is too high?

But man, I don’t know; how does that explain Social Media and The News3? People have a need to get angry, The News offers them this? What happened before say 1900? Did people just get mad in public more?

Back to the core question: how much does media affect you? Maybe we can look at it in layers; imagine we’re all a cognitive, emotional, and archetypal layer (among others, I guess). Media can definitely throw your cognitive layer way off; read stories of crime every day and you think it’s everywhere. Media can sort of affect your emotional layer; certainly short term, at least. If you have to go console a friend at a funeral, maybe don’t watch Saving Private Ryan first (or Looney Tunes, for that matter). But it’s not likely to affect your long-term emotional set points. And media can’t really, hopefully, affect your really deep-seated stuff, your basic person-ness. (just walk away from the screen, like close your eyes)

  1. ok I gotta admit, I actually kinda liked Saw. I think it gets a bad rap; most of the movie is about trying to find the killer, and the weird dilemma of: “what if he almost kills someone, but they’re grateful for it?” It’s not mostly about the killer doing gruesome things to his victims! (though there is that.) It sounds like some of the other films are much more pure torture-porn than Saw. But I gotta use it as the example here because it was kinda the biggest name in the whole 2000s torture-porn wave. ↩︎

  2. Though maybe that was a wave that came and went? wp describes how it was mostly 2000s-early 2010s - though CW: even reading wikipedia descriptions of these films is pretty troubling ↩︎

  3. the band was never the same after Huey Lewis left ↩︎

blog 2024 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010