“IF YOU'RE OUT ON THE ROAD... FEELING LONELY, AND SO COLD... ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL MY NAME AND I'LL BE THERE, ON THE NEXT TRAIN... WHERE YOU LEAVE, I WILL FOLLOW...
In other words, or at least not in lyrical “quotation”, there’s me insanely belting out the lyrics to the American comedy/drama television series, Gilmore Girls.
But here’s me now, becoming a believer that such content “as unreal, had about as much influence on me as the real” as my professor Sue stated, “a media audience is everyone and anyone” (Sue Turnbull, 2018).
Behind its direct initial purpose to entertain, engage and inspire creativity, it also allows a manipulation to a certain extent of one’s mind, which respectively is always feared amongst elders as a sense of nostalgia causes disbelief in our current generation, and then we’re suddenly hit with the,
“Why do you need to do and watch so much on your phone?”
“Back in my days…“
But back to Gilmore Girls,
Now accordingly George Gerbner (David Gauntlett 1998, article, “Ten things wrong with the media ‘effects’ model”) stated that ‘heavy television viewers had the opposite effect on the weightiness of their brains, whilst consuming media’.
Yes media forms like television have the power to control or manipulate one’s brain to an extent, and I’m no psychologist, but I can understand the less thrilling effects of binge-watching, especially as it wasn’t the best idea to do during my HSC.
Penny > Me during HSC.
But to an extent, I found the show more of a comfort mechanism, a tool that allowed me to flood out my emotions as I could relate to the show, its stories, and most of all the two main characters, the Gilmore girls themselves, also being in a position where I was raised by a single mother.
Overall I could reach out to that one thing whether it’s comical or made up, not so much having ‘the opposite effect on the weightiness of my brain’ (David Gauntlett 1998, article, “Ten things wrong with the media ‘effects’ model”).
‘Meta-emotions: the feelings that we have about certain feelings. Although we’re feeling sadness, the meta-emotion we’re feeling might be something like gratitude that we can feel this wide range of emotional experiences’
‘Barnes’s research suggests that watching fictional TV dramas improves people’s ability to read the thoughts and feelings of other people, a skill known as emotional intelligence.’
( Macmillan, 2017)
Meta-emotions, as Barnes describes. A sensation following me whilst I consumed Gilmore Girls for months on, and in the end, it played a major aspect in my personal life.
The sensations of comfort, joy, sadness and pure satisfaction, allowed me “to feel alive” and despite the many different assumptions of Media and how it truly affects society, and despite forming a ‘parasocial relationship‘ (Macmillan, 2017) with the show, I simply managed to relieve sensations that make humans, humans.
Gauntlett, D 1998, article published as Ten things wrong with the “effects model, <http://www.theory.org.uk/david/effects.htm> viewed 11 March 2018 in Roger Dickinson, Ramaswani Harindranath & Olga Linné, (eds) 1998, Approaches to Audiences – A Reader, published by Arnold, London.
Macmillan, A 2017, ‘Why it’s healthy to cry over Tv shows’, The Time, 23 February, viewed 11 March 2018, <http://time.com/4681115/crying-television-this-is-us/>
Turnbull, S 2018, ‘Media Audiences’, lecture, BCM110, University of Wollongong, delievered 6 March.