Day 686: Using The Media Industry to Create Change

Aha, so I found the video on the Blogger YouTube video thingy, glory.

As you see in the Talk by Tori Flower, a lot goes into research and development of products - a lot more than you may have initially thought. As Tori describes, first the company finds out who their target audience is and what they want - this will determine the design of the product that is created, from packaging to colours to texture to price, to exclusivity/availability to the number of products in the range and then of course the way that it is advertised. A lot of time and work goes into this process of creating and marketing products - but most of these products are not actually enhancing our lives. Most of these products are petty, superficial, unnecessary and even ridiculous.

Imagine if we were to put that much time and effort into creating and marketing things, lifestyles or opinions that could actually improve the world. Yes, some people do put a lot of time and effort into doing just that, but not on the same scale as the private, for-profit sector.

Tori asks the question of how do you bridge the gap between what people want and what's good for people, which is a relevant question in this day and age of fast food and following trends. Her organisation has played around a bit with positioning healthier fast food type trucks close to schools to try and encourage children to choose healthy food over fast food and they have seen success in the project. This is only one area of society that can be improved upon, and dare I say that it's not even the most pressing issue that needs attention. When you look at the bigger picture, the fast food industry exists only because of the way the economy functions - meaning that our lives are all about making money and so every industry is trying to make money as opposed to improving life as a whole. Take away the profit motive and many things would change.

So if you take a moment to look at the world, look at all the problems we face that must be improved and all the good things we have or could have that could be increased - what can be done to change the nature of the human to actually care about all life (ie the "collective") and spend a little time outside of the personal bubble called "MY LIFE"?

Using methods and tools that are more commonly used in the profit game to nudge people toward change is a realistic and very achievable goal. At the moment the entire media industry (books, movies, magazines, music, TV series, etc) is focused on making money and therefore on creating products that people will want and so buy. Funnily enough, the media industry is actually a major player in designing and influencing the current wants and needs of people to be what they are, so the industry has in a way created the perfect (consumer) customer. Now don't blame the industry - we were all willing participants. BUT - it is time to change the game. The ideals, opinions, personalities, interests, life goals, relationships, lifestyles and so on that the media promote could be changed to portray a much healthier and functional example for the public (especially children). Imagine if TV shows showed how partners can communicate effectively with each other instead of having big melt downs and explosions (simply because they didn't share themselves openly). Imagine if the focus of the media was less on personal fulfillment of desires and more on contributing to your community. Imagine if the video game industry developed games that show how you can overcome common hurdles in life (which Tori actually does talk about - so, that's pretty awesome).

There are many ways we can change the world, but they all start with change on an individual level. We can demand a media industry that's actually beneficial to us and that teaches our children good principles.