Response to Postmanisms "On the Psychic Cost of Exposure"

Media blog Postmanisms wrote a short article about--basically--the emotional toll of celebrity, especially amongst regular people whose inner lives are put out there in various modes for people to gawk at.


"One question: without some zone of privacy, is there even such a thing as the 'self'? We guarantee that no avenue of media cares for even the length of a split-second edit."

Be careful not to pre-suppose that the human spirit--or, the self-identity portion thereof--is some sort of finite resource. Maybe it is at times. But it doesn't have to be.

For the static intellect (I'm aware of how pretentious that phrase sounds, but I don't mean it as a put-down or an exclusionary device--but simply a label for those folks who don't see their self as a constantly evolving work in progress) I'm sure the reservoir of personal identity seems in danger of depletion when privacy gets violated too extensively.

But something you see when you meet those individuals who embody the essence of generosity… their spirit shines like a flame, and they seem to give of themselves endlessly. Like a candle lighting another wick, nothing is taken away from their source when energy is spread.

Now, I'm aware that this assertion does nothing for the weak-spirited who basically get soul-raped by privacy invasion and self-imposed social media hemorrhage. But these poor folks fall victim too hard to peripheral priorities like reputation and pride, and are probably in need of spiritual exercise--especially now that we're entering the era of 24 hour illumination. I know it's a tall order to prescribe zen-like adjustments of attitude during the adolescence of our collective consciousness. But the "zone of privacy" is essentially antithetical to the forward concept of media.

I guess what I'm saying is that even though the media is seen as a nebulous living entity in itself, it can't be held responsible for it's autonomy--or, at least shouldn't--because we're all gonna feel like pilgrims rubbing two sponges together to spark a fire. Rather, lets try to use media (like you good folks at Postmanisms are doing) to work up the emotional agility of our budding collective psyche to handle the expository circulation of our unraveling zeitgeist.

This is why art is important, because movement yields fertile psychic ground on which to take root. As you know, the etymology of 'inspiration' is 'in spirit'. And when we are inspired by others to attain purchase on new spiritual landings, we are afforded important discovered perspectives from which to lay down tangible creations of our own--and by doing so, hence lighting a path for others still. This continued stimulus of the spiritual economy is the convection furnace which fuels progress of every kind whether it be civil rights, ethics, science, communication, philosophy or the arts.

The beastly juggernaut of media is probably too overwhelming (and, in some respects, important) to attempt to modulate for the emotional health of all post-modern denizens. But perhaps some of you have a calling to beef up the hapless riders of this heaving mechanical bull with widespread education on the pitfalls, the possibilities, the peril and the promise. (And maybe even work on that age-old question: why?)

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