The Viewpoint is a weekly roundup of content I have come across throughout the week that is worth reposting. This content will often be an article or a book I’ve recently read, or something else that is of cultural significance.
One of my good friends talks about the word “viewpoint” as nothing more than a view from a point. When we change our point of view (or sometimes the point of our view — which is a different issue altogether), we can see differently. Relationships grow when we are open to changing our view.
Vol 1, Issue 1
- You Are What You Watch?
This article from the NY Times covers several interesting topics about the rise of television consumption. It’s a fascinating read that covers a lot of ground. The two topics of most interest to me were the social science research done about children and Sesame Street, and the affects on someone’s IQ based on the amount of TV watched.
Television has changed dramatically in the last 5 years. On demand content and streaming services have created a massive library of accessible information and entertainment. As with any technological advance, the danger is in the use of the system without boundaries. I’m especially concerned for our kids and their parents marriage. The television (screens) offers the safest place of escape from relational hardships, and what we watch is impacting us far more than we realize.
- Fatal Stabbing Recorded by Dozens of Onlookers.
Sad news this week out of New York about a fight that broke out amongst some High School students one evening that turned into a deadly stabbing. The troubling part of this story comes from the details that “dozens” (from the 50-70 that were present) other kids were watching and video recording the young man bleeding to death in the parking lot. Some of these bystanders live streamed the event, and others posted the video to their social media accounts. Share this story with your age appropriate teenagers (if your child has a smart phone, they are old enough for this story), and talk about what happened.
- Comedian Impersonates Tom Cruise
I’m sure you’ve seen the gifted comedians that impersonate celebrities. It’s awesome to hear them talk like a famous person. What’s not awesome is to watch a video of an impersonation, and their face change to match the person they are impersonating. It took me several times watching this video to figure out what I was seeing was both real, and fake. First, watch this video, then keep reading.
This is a technology that allows faces to be manipulated in a video. Think of it like photoshop for videos. This might not be news to you that something like this can be done, it wasn’t to me. But what was news to me was how subtle and real this appeared. After watching this, I’m really concerned with how this kind of technology can be used (and weaponized).
Our society is losing it’s grasp on what truth it can stand on. There are significant implications now that videos can be manipulated to subtly appear as though “Tom Cruise” is sitting on that couch. With so much of our lives centered around a screen of some kind, how do we know what is real or what is fake? It is becoming increasingly important for real, face to face relationships to be a significant part of our lives. The less real relationship we have, the more we are going to be subjected to on screen manipulations (words, news, videos, etc).
Thanks for reading this week’s version of The Viewpoint. If you’ve read something of interest, please let me know. Thanks and have a great weekend.