You are your media

Have you ever thought about your own media consumption?
Where do you get your daily information from?
And what does that do to yourself?

I got inspired to write this article by Seb, who had a brilliant talk about exactly that 2 years or so ago. Human behavior is created by the environment, and if you’ve never heard about that, I would suggest our book about that topic, which goes into detail about that. The book about behavior in general is very relevant as well. So when your environment influences you, what does your environment consist of and how does it shape you? And have you ever thought about that before?

There are many factors that you may have little or no influence at all. You might have to work in a job because you need the money to buy things you need and want or you are in another life situation that might be not changeable at the moment.

But what you can influence and change at any time and relatively easy is the media you consume and that’s what this article is about.

People reflect their environment, therefore also the media they consume on a daily basis. I can tell you a bit from my experience as I mainly consumed media in which I hardly learned anything or basically nothing at all, but rather media that made me want to consume stuff and to be unhappy. This is ultimately the aim of advertising, which is on almost all TV programs, the internet and offline world – to make you really really want this new shiny phone which makes you “happy and satisfied”.

Or the latest clothes and always more of them – consume to be happy. See these pictures of myself when I was about 16 or 17 years old and how “cool” I was, wearing the “new shit” from H&M or Zara:

I used to watch mainly entertainment shows. This started with children’s series from Nickelodeon, Kika and Super RTL, then went on to football, shows and series from ProSieben and movies (action movies, horror movies, comedies, science fiction movies etc.). Galileo from ProSieben and Terra X from ZDF were probably the only programs where I learned a little bit about the world.

Since a while this has changed as I only watch documentaries and science channels.

What? Why? Isn’t that boring?

In the past I would have reacted like that if someone had said that to me, but now it’s the other way around.

If you think about it, Hollywood movies, Netflix series and TV shows are actually fake. These things are not real, they are fiction. The script is fictional (okay, sometimes (very rarely) based on a true story), actors play pretend, and the scenarios are often exaggerated, misrepresented, or not even possible.

And I watched all that, because… Yes, why?

To entertain myself? To distract myself for a short time from my boring everyday life, so that I forget about it and my problems? To waste 90 minutes of my life on a Disney fantasy film that makes the company even richer?

According to that statistic, people in Germany watched an average of 211 minutes of television per day in 2019:

Calculated over a year, this is 77015 minutes and 1284 hours or about 53 days of uninterrupted watching per year. According to this source people from the US watch around the same. And as I wrote in another article, most of what comes on TV is just rubbish.

Have you ever zapped through the channels and wondered what’s on there?

TV channels in german consist of Celebrity dinner, Germany’s next top model, soccer, a ton of other bullshit series like Navy CIS, Love Island, Two and a Half Men, The Simpsons, politics, you name it. Kids probably watch the same channels like me back then + Disney Channel.

Do these programs educate people about the world, draw attention to problems and describe solutions? Do these programs critically examine the world and question things like money, trade, religion, morality & ethics etc.? Or do they deal with different areas of science, report about new discoveries or about what is currently being researched?

Of course not.

Most of it is just complete crap. I guess it’s the same in the US or any other tribe.

Illustration from Steve Cutts

Add the “funny videos” from Facebook, TikTok and YouTube, the “nice” pictures from Instagram and the snaps from your best friends on Snapchat and you’re on a planet where most people are brainless consumers with distorted values, who have no idea about science and don’t even start to think critically, because they can’t. They reflect their environment.

Illustration from Steve Cutts

So the point I want to make is that if you spend your whole life watching Hollywood movies, Netflix series, TV shows and on platforms that promote any kind of moronic content to get as much attention as possible, then that will affect you and shape your values. Your life will be about the same things.

Same with your friends. Do your friends talk about stocks, football and parties? Probably your life will revolve around the same or similar things.

Alternatives

To be honest, the greatest form of “activism” is to educate yourself properly with scientifically based sources.

Jen

So, since many people watch irrelevant, unscientific and often exaggerated news and videos, we need saner alternatives for this and that’s exactly what we offer with our curated tools.

news

The daily news system that consists of various sources to remove click-bait titles and unscientific articles.


goods/services

Here you will find the latest items added to the trade-free directory.


videos

An educational platform consisting of different channels, users and playlists.


podcasts

Dive into hours of interesting material to explore many topics via listening to them.


illustrations

Discover illustrations which express problems or issues of our trade-based society in a visual way.


movies

You’ll find some interesting movies about real and important events.


courses

Detailed and in-length courses about different topics.


documentaries

Amazing and mind blowing documentaries about so many topics.


software

The latest trade-free software curated from the Apps-page of TROM-Jaro.


finteresting

Simply fucking interesting

These tools, together with the curated tools in german, are my main media sources that I read, watch and listen to. Some bs (bullshit/bad science) articles/videos may slip through, but we mention that on the pages, however these curated tools are also constantly maintained to keep them up to date and scientific.

So instead of watching a mindless entertainment show or netflix series about Game of Thrones or whatever else, I rather learn about the most interesting stuff that is out there – reality.

From the book “rethinking education“:

“Movies and tv shows have so much success in the world, but the majority of them are based on fiction and gossip, turning their viewers into beings with little or no grasp of the amazing reality around them.

What if movies were about real scientific events? What if tv shows were more factual than fictional? After all, if you want endless stories and complex ideas, just look at reality. From quarks to quasars; living cells to black holes; Galileo to Einstein, the real world’s story is far beyond any story, movie, book or idea.

Imagine instead of some invented drama movie, we choose to watch a movie about the life of Nikola Tesla, or instead of science fiction movies, we watch movies about the discovery of quarks, atoms and DNA (the building blocks of us and everything around and inside us).

The drama that Galileo lived through to prove that the sky isn’t perfect and the curiosity which led him to first observe a “wandering star” through a telescope and realize it was a world like ours; ancient greeks like Aristotle who tried to figure out the word around them; the life and findings of Copernicus and Kepler; the mind blowing discoveries of Darwin which led to the theory of evolution; Einstein ́s quest to prove that space has a shape; the invention of chemistry and biology; the discovery of tectonic plates and how the Earth moves beneath our feet although we don’t normally feel that; Edward Hubble’s discovery of our galaxy being just one of billions of galaxies out there and that the Universe is continuously expanding at an ever-increasing rate; the existence of so many creatures in the world as well as the ones have become extinct (dinosaurs for instance); the revelation of quantum physics; the discovery of neutrinos; the development of the many amazing technologies which contributed to the human quest of discovering the world…

I bet many people don’t even have the slightest idea of the fascinating complexity of our world; the drama that unfolds behind scientific endeavor; the “out of this world” findings; or the excitement of new discoveries.

I am so curious of how humanity & our surroundings would evolve if exposed to such media materials as much as the fake information we are provided.”

  • THOUGHTS

Just a human being who likes to do trade-free things and to learn about the world we live in 🙂 I manage tromsite.de and translate our materials into german.

  • You are your media

    Have you ever thought about your own media consumption?
    Where do you get your daily information from?
    And what does that do to yourself?

  • I quit Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – here’s why:
  • Working in the Game of Trade

    As almost everybody in this world I have to play the game of trade every now and then. I have to trade my time, energy, skills and attention in a job to get some money which allows me to buy and do things I need and want. A couple weeks ago I finished my latest working experience in Switzerland and I’ll tell you about that plus other experiences.

  • About the german culture

    This article will be about the german culture and my experience growing up in germany. One of the 194 tribes on planet earth which has quiet a good image in this world.

Written by

Aaron

Just a human being who likes to create/share trade-free things :)

14 thoughts on “You are your media

  1. Another great article! It is true, what you consume is what you become. People think that these influences are trivial. They are not. To train an AI you need a lot of data. But if this data is crap, no matter how good the AI software is, the results will be crap. So, if you fill your head with Netflix series, and nonsense media, then whatever you try to mix out of that, will still be a bunch of nonsense.

  2. Dang, Aaron, you’re on a roll! Haha. Another banger of an article! And all very true. I identify very much with what you wrote.

    1. Thank you Jen 🙂 Yeahh basically these are things that should make sense. Like of course, whatever media you consume, that’s the food for your brain. But you never think about that when you grow up. At least I never did… there’s also this thing of redefining relevance – what is relevant and what not? How does a human being know what’s relevant and what not? And in what context? Ohh that could be another article haha I’m just rambling about 😀

      1. For sure 🙂 totally makes sense now but yeah, as a child/teenager/young adult, I never once thought about it. Relevance sounds like an interesting topic for a blog 😀

  3. As someone who really watch quite a lot of stupid shit I still liked this article a lot.

    Good pointers and I really liked the idea of making exiting movies and shows based on real stuff.

    Imagine watching an interactive zombie TV show where you would have to learn all the basic car maintenance to stay alive. To get to the next episode you would have to answer a test correctly or in the future with virtual or augmented reality do a simulated test which would be even better.

    1. Thank you Lasse.

      Yeah or imagine superheroes being elements from the periodic table with their characteristics being the superpower of these superheroes. There are so many possibilities to combine entertainment with education.

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