Sobrecarga de información y cultura del entretenimiento
[Tue Nov 29 11:38:34 CST 2022]

Ayer tuve la oportunidad de leer el artículo titulado Still Amusing Ourselves to Death: Information as Cautionary Tale, de Douglas McLennan. Merece la pena leerlo porque ofrece un buen análisis de la sociedad contemporánea y nuestra obsesión con el entretenimiento. A destacar las siguientes reflexiones acerca de un viejo libro de Neil Postman sobre el asunto:

I think the take-home message here is a warning about the trap of feeling informed on a diet of information that does not matter and which we cannot do anything about. Were you outraged during the Trump years and spent hours every day following every little scandal and transgression? For what purpose? After, say, the first dozen or so outrages, did subsequent scandal change your opinion about the man? Did additional information shape new actions, new responses on your part that made a difference in either stopping him or changing the situation? You gave money, sure. You voted, sure. But think about the possibly thousands of hours you wasted in being outraged. And to what purpose?

This was Postman’s point. The “news” as reported on television was about things its viewers would be unable to impact, so why be informed about it? He concludes that it was for entertainment value, as a distraction from having to participate more fully in the world, yet behind an illusion of participating through knowing about it. One can imagine, in a way, this is how fame works. We know about something that others also know so we now feel an investment in and a kinship with our community in the know. This is how we create meaning.

But in the current media universe which has flattened our hierarchies of information, information feeds become more and more deadening, and the sense of boredom that one feels consuming it is not from having nothing to do but being overwhelmed by choices that don’t seem to lead to anything nourishing.

No me cabe duda alguna de que esos párrafos describen la situación en que nos encontramos en estos momentos. Las noticias se han convertido en puro entretenimiento y las redes sociales, lejos de hacernos partícipes de nada, solamente han ahondado el efecto. Cierto, podemos hablar de todo lo que sucede, pero no podemos influir nada, al menos no de manera directa. Ahora, más que nunca, vivimos en una matrix que tiene vida propia. Quizá un retorno a lo local pudiera contribuir a solucionar algo el problema, pero la tendencia que llevamos es precisamente la contraria, hacia un mayor proceso de urbanización y globalización. {enlace a esta entrada}