Is artificial society influencing you?

TV remote © Rogério Bernardo |

This is part of a series – post links at the end.

Aside from the groups of real people we hang with, most of us spend time with various imaginary groups – those found on television, the movies, and other forms of media. I am not saying all entertainment is bad, but we are naive if we do not realise what we watch affects us. What we watch can result in tears, and laughing; we can feel fear, anger, compassion, and joy as well. If our emotions are being touched, how can we claim our minds, attitudes, and opinions are not being touched – and changed?

Studies have shown social influence plays a role in successful advertising; why would entertainment be any different? Does SNI cause us to try to norm ourselves with those we watch? Does the media you consume teach you things that harm you? In particular, does it push messages that hurt your marriage? Does what you watch give you cover for being less than the best husband you could be? Does it make you feel worse about your bride than you otherwise would? Have you ever wished your bride to be more like some fictional woman on TV or in a movie?

I don’t have any specific suggestions here, other than to be aware. Think about what you watch, and about how it might be affecting you. If what you watch lowers the bar for you, or raises it for your wife, you have a problem. If it makes you jealous or dissatisfied, you have a problem. Don’t let your entertainment hurt your marriage!

In this series about how normative influence shapes our lives:

Why we follow the crowd
Letting others influence your actions
The smallest cultural group
Your marriage as a tool to being a better person
Is your social group inbred? 
Is artificial society influencing you? 
The voices in the marriage chamber
Wrap up on social influence 

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Image Credit: © Rogério Bernardo |

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2 Comments on “Is artificial society influencing you?

  1. One thing that burns my butt is how society (and media) says women should look. Skinny, perfect copious makeup,no hair except on your scalp eyelashes, and eyebrows, and perfect teeth, of course. I think it’s analogous to porn, myself. If all a person sees is this model, then from a very early age on, people who don’t fit that model are seen as lacking.
    Don’t follow the crowd, and over time, with enough exposure, the crowd will get used to seeing what a real woman looks like.

    • Kathleen – I agree – it’s a huge problem. Even the models don’t like that way – aside from things they do to their bodies to look that way, pictures we see have been retouched of deeply modified. The “standard” is something impossible for any woman to match.

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