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Three-year-old upset over pop star

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I know a lot of people look at this as funny, and I even respect that point of view. As I watched this video, though, I became more and more disturbed. It is disturbing on one level that the family recorded it and put in on YouTube–and, of course, I’m contributing to that in a way by posting a link to it, so I have mixed feelings as well. Are you disturbed by it? Or just tickled?

Here’s what I really want to say, though: I also think there must be hundreds, thousands of young children who happened not to be recorded, but who are equally affected by the strong impact of the powerful images to which they are exposed via television, radio, the Internet, etc. Throughout most of human society, you could only be so close to a person in your immediate vicinity. We know, intellectually, that this person is really a stranger, a projection, but gut level the experience now available via mediated communication is almost indistinguishable from face-to-face interaction.

I realize that a three-year-old doesn’t have much by way of filters, and furthermore that she was already tired and cranky at this point, as the text that accompanies the video makes clear. Still: just because us older folks do a better job of covering how deeply media affect us, does that mean we are any less affected? How much of the stress that seems so pervasive in modern society comes from this simple effect? I read somewhere that, as a typical modern American, I meet more strangers in a week than my grandfather did in a lifetime. Add to that the fact that “meeting” someone via high-definition television can feel just as real as meeting all those strangers, and you get an equation for overload.

Written by Donnell

February 28th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Posted in General

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