Fever Dreams in Media

Sometimes my interactions with media feel like fever dreams; they’re extremely vivid– it’s like a looking glass into the building blocks that build both my materialistic and psychological preferences. The media I consume reflects my personality, and sometimes it sheds light on parts of me I never knew existed. I’d be lying if I said that media had no effect on my individuality and identity.

Sometimes we like to assume that media is predictive, especially digital media because it’s just our habits and patterns translated into algorithms. We go into these media interfaces knowing what we’re looking for without acknowledging or taking note to the fact that media, although designed to be purposeful, has an everchanging nature. Media has a purpose; it was designed with functionality– whether that purpose was to kill time or to entertain, it satisfied something. Yet for something so clear cut, it has me second guessing. Second guessing myself and where my preferences lie. I find myself falling into rabbit hole after rabbit hole with almost every media I interact with, physical or digital. For example, I see a picture I really like in a magazine, with the photographer credited at the bottom; which makes me look up the photographer and open their website or portfolio. One thing leads to another and I end up discovering a new photographer, new photography techniques, a new art style– things that I grow to like as time passes. Sometimes I also get the bad apples. A hashtag is trending on Twitter– someone is getting cancelled, and all of their attrocities surface online. It’s a display of the other side of a person people sometimes fail to recognize, or forget. The fact that people have the potential to be absolutely horrible members of society.

Nevertheless, each interaction one has with media creates a ripple effect. You’ll eventually find what you’re looking for, but maybe not in the image you expected it to be in. Like a droplet of water that creates ripples. The water started off as a droplet but it came back in the form of a ripple. Same thing– water, different forms– a droplet, and ripples. What you look for on media will come back to you in waves.

This is exactly what makes media so attractive (in my opinion). It’s familiar yet abstract. You know what it is but you can’t put a finger on it. and meaningful design, we have grown to develop a sense of familiarity with our media. Interacting with media is like swimming off the coast of a beach you grew up on. You start off knowing every inch of the terrain and slowly but surely you find yourself in uncharted territory; on the cusp of the unknown. I love the thrill of both knowing and not knowing what you’re gonna get at the same time.

Media offers the perfect playing ground for me to explore my caliber and my identity. It feeds off and builds on the image I have of myself at the same time. It’s like falling in love with an enigma, or someone who you know holds all the aces to win the game, but plays the game acting like they have the losing hand.

Like I said earlier, sometimes media gives you bad apples. It can give you everything and nothing at the same time. Though this may come off unsolicited, I feel that getting to know things you dislike isn’t necessarily ‘nothing’. It’s a part of you that you don’t want to face because it includes all of the things you hate. This is also another reason why I love media; media keeps it real and calls you out on your own personal biases while tending to them at the same time.

In conclusion, I can’t pinpoint or cite one particular reason on why I love my media, because media is ubiquitous and all-encompassing. However, if I had to touch on one reason, it would probably be this one.

Student number: 13923056


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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