zegotita response - Kelly Mahoney Engulfed by the Wave of...

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Kelly Mahoney Engulfed by the Wave of Virtuality In Zengotita’s essay, he argues that people have become to numb to society, and that nothing fazes us anymore. He begins by stating that after the events of September 11, we were supposed to take on a new air of seriousness. However, we as a society have moved in the opposite direction. We have become nonchalant and apathetic. It is hard to impress us. In “The Information Revolution”, as Zengotita puts it, an almost futuristic era of technology is becoming the norm in the world we live in (Zengotita 341). In this new age, we are unfazed by cloning, artificial intelligence and robots. One would think this would fascinate us, or stir something in us but it does not. In our fast-paced society, our perception of reality is blurred by the constant interruption of media in our everyday lives. We adapt to this glamorized version of reality by evolving as a culture to move on as a coping mechanism. Our daily lives are filled with experiences and images we see that are staged, exaggerated or unrealistic. We have become used to reality television shows that are embellished by the producers to make the show more interesting. How can we tell when something is completely spur of the moment or if it is made up? The evolution of the media and its far reaches into our lives make it difficult for us to distinguish what is genuine and what is false. Zengotita states “everything has that edgeless quality, like the lobby of a high-end Marriott/Ramada/Sheraton” (Zengotita 345). This can be used as a metaphor for our society’s phenomenon of the blur between real and unreal. Everything is interchangeable, mixed up, smudged and hazy. Just as it is impossible to tell an airbrushed photograph from a real one, it is impossible to tell the difference “between a chemical a pill introduces and one your body produces” (Zengotita 342). If you look at the history of reality shows, they have become more staged and scripted as time goes on. When the concept of “reality” shows was introduced, they still had some element of grittiness and authenticity. Today shows like “The Real World” and “Laguna Beach” are not even close to the reality most of us experience every day. If you ever watch the behind the scenes editions of these shows, you can see the producers intervening and
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egging on fights to liven up the episode. Clearly, these so called reality shows are scripted and given some direction from production. Technological advances in the medical and technological fields, the media and the advertising industry have further blurred the edges of reality. Since the media is increasingly impacting on our everyday lives, television and movies have raised our standards for what entertains us. We expect special effects and editing to make life more interesting. When we are actually exposed to real, up close and personal experiences, we compare them to what is produced by the entertainment industry. Zengotita states that “a couple weeks out in Nature doesn’t make it anymore”
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2008 for the course ENGWRIT 112 taught by Professor Mason during the Fall '07 term at UMass (Amherst).

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zegotita response - Kelly Mahoney Engulfed by the Wave of...

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