Been very much off the radar recently as I’ve been putting the finishing touches to my Masters paper, but as part of this, had what I think is a good thought. Well, I like it. It goes something like this:
‘What is reality?’ is a question that’s come up ALOT on the course for me, but I’ve come to realise something quite important about it. ‘Reality’ is what I experience in the moment. It is what is happening right now as I’m tying this and right now as you’re reading it. What happened a minute ago is not reality as it’s the past. What’s going to happen in a minutes time is not reality as that’s the future. The only definite thing I can be sure about; the only reality that is certain is what is happening in this lived moment. This precise moment and only this moment is true and real. As a result I have a responsibility to decide what I want that reality to be. Do I want it be full of interesting things or boring things? Do I want it to be relaxing or stressful? I have to take that responsibility for myself. A large part of the reality I experience is what I can see and what I can hear – what I get from my senses. As a result, my surroundings count for a lot when it comes to my reality. Therefore, what stimulus do I want to be receiving? Do I want to spend more time seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting things that make me feel good, whether they be things of beauty, uplifting people and good food? Is that the reality that I want? Or do I want to spend more time seeing, hearing, smelling and tasting things that make me feel bad? Like ugly things, people that bring me down or poor food? Is that the reality that I want? This is my responsibility.
But more than this, because others affect my reality it is of course true that I affect theirs. So, what reality do I want to create for them and myself? I have that responsibility as well. I believe that everyone has that responsibility. If I am in people’s lives then I am affect their lived experience. So, what way do I want to affect their reality? Do I want to try and make it a more positive experience? Do I want to say things that I think that they will like and appreciate? Or do I want to make it an average experience? Or a negative experience? Every act has an impact so I need to decide what I want to do. This isn’t about buying gifts to make things better, this is about how I converse and ‘am’ in the moment. About being someone I’d want to be around, or someone I might be indifferent to, someone who moans alot or someone that isn’t very pleasant? It’s pretty simple really.
The interesting thing about this comes to TV and advertising. People are exposed to lots of TV and advertising – upwards of 4 hours a day. As a TV company or an advertiser, what is the reality you want to create for people? What is your point of view on what that experience should be? Is it about creating content which presents the viewer with someone you know they will compare themselves to? Is that a good thing? Is it about watching people trying to beat each other in a reality show? Is that a good thing? Is it about people working together to achieve something? Is that a good thing? No content is neutral. Everything affects the nature of people’s reality and so if you’re in the content business you should have an editorial point of view on the nature of reality that you are trying to create. That is the reality.