No role models for sensorial growth
All this toxicity and our disembodied cultural values, suggest that space has been striped of its sensorial essence, in the process, leaving highly sensitive children with no sense of embodied self. Our mythology has taken children away from practices that could help them connect and learn to hone their senses in meaningful ways. And mainstream media, our contemporary myths, present disembodied role models and lives. As Mcluhan explained, media affect the senses and simulate the senses at the same time (McLuhan & Fiore, 1967)[i]. McLuhan used the term “massage” to denote the effect each medium has on the human sensorium, implying numerous media “massage” the senses. But unlike nature and spatial embodied knowledge, mass media messages tend to hypnotize, simulating sensations while dulling the senses.
This dulling of the senses in media is being challenged by some 21st century technologies, sensor based gaming technologies are now allowing to move the body as much as stimulate the mind as we will see in chapter 9. But the nature of most games being sold however promote violence mental and physical without guidance on how to incorporate these attributes of ourselves in our lives in a healthy way.
As Campbell points out, myths have as part of their function the role of guiding different generation on how to deal with killing and violence that is inherent to our nature. As we saw in chapter 1, myths not only serve a social and cultural role, as he explained they have a psychological function as well. Myths he described serve to guide and help a person understand how to be within a given cultural context. So what do current media promote?
Mass media, more often than not promote fear instead of curiosity, a disembodied sensorium, voyeurism instead of developing self-awareness, negative news instead of a search for enquiry. Feeding negative emotions such as anger, instead of soothing, addictions instead of learning to self regulate. The dissemination of these values is a choice, and just like cultural learning, designers of media can choose to promote different values and notions of what it is to be human. Media makers shape what our children view by the choices they make. Social media has opened the door for changes in values in media as we saw in chapter 1. Luckily, we live at a time where media can be re-harnessed to retrain the mind and body instead of numbing them, as we will see in chapter 9.
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[i] Mcluhan, Marshall and Fiore, Quentin (1967). The Medium is The Massage. Gingko Pr Inc; New edition edition (Aug. 1 2001)