Monday, 13 September 2010

Reality Check

Recently, I have been thinking that it's increasingly difficult to separate fiction from reality. I don't mean fiction and non-fiction as in books but in actual, real (?) life. I find that life seems to be more and more subjective. Well, it probably always has been but perhaps I'm just noticing it more.

Everybody sees things differently - the same things are seen differently by everyone who sees them and this is partly due to our personality characteristics that make us see the world how WE are - through our own personal viewing lens.

I have particularly noticed this when people are recounting past events - nobody remembers the same things, in fact different people often remember the same event quite differently which is because they experienced the event in different ways. So, how does this affect word of mouth stories that are passed on down the generations? The final story may be nothing like how it started off so does this mean that a vast amount of history is untrue or unreal or imagined?

My husband was recently telling a friend how he remembered an event (about 20 years ago) very clearly "like it was yesterday". I didn't comment at the time as I couldn’t remember it as HE told it but later checked out the dates and it couldn't possibly have happened - he was confusing two different events at different times. He's also very good at exaggerating but then I suppose most men are.

These days there often seems to be some sort of deliberate deception going on.
There used to be a saying "the camera never lies" - it does now! Even the simplest computer software can radically alter photographs. Most of the photographs on magazine covers and in articles have been “doctored” in some way or other.
When studying, learning and education was confined to books, it was believed that books had been seriously researched and checked for accuracy and rarely was there any doubt that they were correct. The internet has now taken over that role from books to a large extent but there have been inaccuracies found in factual, encyclopedic sites such as Wikipedia which can be edited by almost anyone and in some cases particular pages have been deliberately sabotaged.

I no longer believe what I read in newspapers - actually I don't read them any more. Reporters seem to be able to say or imply whatever they want the reader to read and believe - after all, good or happy news doesn’t sell newspapers as well as upsetting, scandalous or tragic news. One week we are told that some particular activity or foodstuff is good for us and the next week we are told that it's not so good after all. Surveys only tell us what the company doing the survey wants us to be told - the figures can be manipulated to suit.

Adverts (particularly those on TV) are persuasive and misleading at the best and at the worst - a pack of lies although I have to admit that some are very clever which makes it understandable that the gullible are sucked in. Even so-called reality television isn’t REAL at all – it’s just entertainment.

How many emails do we get a day that aren't what they seem? Trying to get our banking details or passwords by pretending to be something they aren't. If we aren't careful with our internet security we can get rogue programmes telling us that our PC is infected so "download this infection remover tool now!"

It can be so difficult to know what is REAL any more – sometimes my dreams seem more real than reality….how does that work?


Vivianne said...

I have found that Ariel adverts are telling the truth. How sad am I LOL

Lori Green said...

Haha...good, but that's only your opinion from your point of view. What about all the other manufacturers' products - they wouldn't agree with you.
Anyway, if it works for you and you are happy with it that's all that matters.
Thanks for commenting. :-)

Ania said...

Lol, the camera has always lied - remember those fairy photos?

Inner Whispers said...

Thing is, though, that even those much researched books back in the day were always someone's opinion, and sometimes as doctored or committeed into inanity as any photo, website or newspaper these days. And that's without going into the bias of the person doing the viewing/reading. If you read something that disagrees with your world view, you'll find some way to discredit it, even if just in your own mind.

For me, it just says beware of who and how your kids are educated, as it'll affect how they perceive everything else for the rest of their life!

Lori Green said...

yes I had forgotten about those photos. I can understand how people were taken in by them.
Thanks :-)

Inner Whispers,
yes I think you're probably right about the books although we were led to believe that they were the absolute truth. It's not until we "awaken" or "open our eyes" that we realise that they are just someone's opinion (well sometimes we do).
For those who believe, no proof is necessary.
For those who don't believe, no proof is possible."

People will only ever believe what they want to believe.
Thanks. :-)