Why does shock value work?
Shock value is something that seems to have reached epic proportions in media at the moment. It seems most programs these days are based around people acting out, acting up, plain slapping each other about or being mean and none of us are shocked these days when we see something like that happening on our television screens. The behaviour itself doesn't surprise me but our attention to it has caught me eye. While I totally understand that there are people like this on the planet, why are we all so fascinated by them?
Shock value is short lived but what it cleverly does is MAKE US FEEL. In that moment we are no longer stressed out or sleep walking through our lives. The sheer horror of what we are seeing in a sense wakes us up. The same can be said when we see sheer brilliance in the human potential and that is something I think that lasts longer. In our attention to brilliance instead of horror we open the doors with ourselves to be inspired and that is, I think, the root of all change.
The questions this “shock value” culture we have created about us can be daunting to tackle but they will have to be eventually. Why are we sleep walking through our lives? Why do we need to see others demean themselves in order to feel connected to ourselves? Why do we need to detach from our situation by the means of horrifying ourselves? These are the tough questions that need to be tackled in order for us to transcend what we are currently creating. I don't think horror centred shock value is beneficial, I don't think it helps humanity progress, I don't think it's a good thing that people know the names of reality TV celebrities but not the names of the scientists that are out there right now trying to cure cancer.
Create within you the kind of culture you want to see around you. Think about what you divert your attention to. We create our society by what we pay attention to. Pay attention and be kind to yourself.