Looking Beyond What We See
In today’s society we are constantly exposed to many forms of visual media. From television programming, to online videos, or online show streaming we are exposed to many different types of influence. What purpose does your favorite show serve? Why is it aired on the channel provider that it is on? Why does it come on later in the day rather than earlier? Why does it always feature the same types of commercials, night after night? As Americans we are targeted by big time cable companies and are influenced by the programming they present before us, whether we realize it or not.
For the last week, I have monitored my TV and visual media streaming and recorded what shows or streams that I have watched, for how long I watched them, and what I thought the overall purpose of these shows or streams was. While, I don’t consider myself an avid television viewer, I do watch a good amount of You Tube videos, and use streaming services (Netflix and Hulu).
MY TV VIEWING HABITS
- WatchMojo / 15+ Videos / YouTube
- Monday Night Football/ ESPN
- Workaholics/ Hulu
- Family Guy/ Netflix
- Bad Lip Readings/ YouTube –
It is rare that I sit down and actually turn on my cable to watch some “good ole fashioned” television, whether that be from lack of good TV programming or my hectic lifestyle is up for debate. But I believe that one of the most influential parts of TV is the target audience. Not only do they target specific audiences with the type of programming but also with the advertising displayed. While watching the MNF game this week , every single commercial I saw was geared towards a male audience. Why? Because that’s who ESPN knows will be watching. They show the big trucks, home improvement, and more masculine advertising because they want to appeal to their audience. It is no coincidence.
While that is about the extent of my cable viewing, I do watch a lot of streaming services and online videos. While these often don’t have the same influence of advertisement, they convey some pretty interesting messages if you watch them closely. For example while I was watching an edition of Bad Lip Readings, they targeted the current presidential debates which have been hot topics for all the wrong reasons.
While the famous Bad Lip Readings are famous for being more comical than influential I believe that with the current condition of our presidential election it sort of adds on to the mockery this debate has manifested itself as. Even before I watched the video, a Hilary campaign ad played prior to the video. So maybe the page, used the current election to push a video that is a hot topic that they knew would receive a large amount of views and would spread fairly rapidly. No matter how we look at the videos, ads, TV shows, or any other visual media one thing is for certain. Media is a powerful tool, there is always a hidden agenda and based on what we see it could shape our thoughts and ideas to current events or political issues.