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Are We Losing Ourselves in Entertainment?

It's easy to be seduced by the allure of entertainment. We pour our talents and energies into creating and consuming media, entrapped in an infinite loop. As the late cultural critic Neil Postman noted, why is entertainment the sole addiction of our age? We are continuously developing our technology and culture within this endless cycle, valuing attention above all else.

Attention has become the new currency, one that we pursue at any cost. Once captured, this attention can be sold to the highest bidder. Influencers and content creators build their followings to push products and services, transforming initial interactions into a kind of modern serfdom. Fans enter an unspoken contract: "Entertain me, and in exchange, you can profit from my engagement." This exchange often occurs without moral consideration or respect, as entities scramble to program our minds with their messages: "Buy this, vote that."

We live in a golden age of consumption, with entities constantly extracting value from us at every turn. Our thoughts and perspectives are shaped by an ever-changing series of lenses, distorting our vision of reality. This curated representation of the world often bears little resemblance to the truth. Consider the vast array of concepts you hold in your mind—how many of them are based on real, experiential knowledge?

Modern people "know" much more about the world than our predecessors, but how much of this knowledge is authentic? In the past, people may have known less, but what they did know was often more accurate. This is not an attack on science or data—I am a firm believer in numbers and empirical evidence. Rather, I am critiquing our cultural understanding, the ideas we have about how the world works.

Do you personally know someone who survives on minimum wage, or have you only read about them or seen their stories portrayed in movies? Have you experienced a lifelong friendship, or are your ideas of relationships shaped by critics and opinion experts? Are your definitions of love and family based on personal experience or on what TV and Hollywood have told you?

The biases of creators—whether racial, cultural, or personal—inevitably seep into their work. This isn't a new concept. However, the sheer volume of biased information we now have access to is staggering. How much of what we "know" is based on genuine experience, and how much is filtered through the lens of others'


As we navigate this landscape, it's crucial to discern the difference between what is real and what is merely a curated version of reality. We must strive to learn from our communities and our own experiences, not just from the mediated messages we consume. Only then can we begin to reclaim our attention and our understanding of the world.

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