I was going to call this the cult of trivia but for some reason unknown to myself I honestly believe that trivia has some importance in modern society, however, triviality has become the basis of a lot of media today and also has become the stuff of the mantras of the media gurus both in the commercial and public sector. It’s not certain where this fetish all began but I sense it was in the promotion of reality TV in the 1990’s, where the LCD principle was elevated by many media people as a form of high art. Individuals who pass as your friends and neighbours and colleagues were presented as the new force behind a new kind of thought and speak – the extroverted trivial. Each act that we tend to take for granted is galvanised into a performance, a piece of high art, a theatre piece.Each piece of action we considered just part of day to day activity now resembles a Shakespearian piece of mock tragedy.
If this was not enough this wholesale shift down to basic was accompanied by a hysterical need by media stars to apply (on one level) this style of thought and (on another level) to decry it in mock ironic tone.There was a complete contradiction created for both parties of listeners/viewers – a group that could bark out derision and one that seemed to side with the day-to-day inanity of the so-called “real” world of coached and cosseted ‘actors’.
The success of this double-edged ideology lead to a whole style of broadcasting where the worst one could find in the world was the best in broadcasting and, at the same time, reaffirm a strongly conservative status quo, because there were few who could argue against the poorly trained, poorly based rhetoric of the ‘reality’ driven media.
The problem,moreover, is that this strangely overblown, trivial driven and one-sided approach to the media is now reflected in the management that drives the various mediums.It’s as if a process of osmosis has helped them absorb this culture.However I see a hidden ‘driver’ behind it all – the need to constantly abjure to technology, because technology is good, technology is the future and technology has no argument past the trivial.It does not contain any rhetoric and certainly has no level of opposition beyond the are you for us (technophile) and are you against us (technophobe).
Thus those who are working in the media must bow down before all change(particularly technological change) because change is good (a given) and change is only good if the new technology drives it (a given).If Social Media is the ‘real thing’ then we must all follow Social Media but not too much because that would mean that thought has been brought into the process.I have noticed far too many media people in Social Media who just have the base minimum of participation in order to placate their bosses, who also claim to be actively participating, so long as it doesnt get too critical, personal or affects the status quo of the organistaion.In fact anyone who steps over the line will get the usual “smack on the wrist” that accompanies non status quo behaviour.
The outcome of all this is (as noted before) the media becomes a sort of bland trendoidness of the most hypocritical nature, where like follows like, and no asks the question why?