Over the last few days I have been reflecting upon how our human reasoning has evolved or has been effected by the technical advancements in image making. From the advent of the camera, to the digital age we have seen a revolution in images to express ideas and communicate with each other. In the old cartoon, the Jetsons, there was the phone where one saw the person that you were talking with and it was way-out future thinking. Now with Skype that is in the present and an everyday experience.
A friend was reflecting on reading the original text of Frankenstein and how the language and writing style was so far advanced from our present time. Young people used to get lost more often in books, now it is more common to get lost in one’s phone, tablet or computer. Movies tell the stories now, or television, not as often books. There are series that captivate our imaginations in books, like the Harry Potter series, but even there, they are soon made into movies and the actors become the images of the characters we once only imagined in our mind.
The use of images has especially effected our understanding of sexuality, as images of pretty women are used to sell everything. The advent of photoshop has made an unrealistic perception of beauty now the norm. Simply looking at modes of 100 years ago to the present will show how images and thinness has become the new norm for beauty, and even an unnatural thinness at that – all this at the time we are actually getting bigger. There is something connected in this paradox. It profoundly effects women and their self-perception and much has been written about this.
I have been recently thinking how this ideal female beauty and very limited male images has perhaps also led to an effect upon men, one where they perhaps do not have an honest awareness of their own bodies. The constant images of women, of beauty and of others has led to a lack of involvement actually with others and as a result, perhaps, a greater lack in connectivity in any meaningful way to the male’s own self or body. Men then act out, or behave in a disconnected way from their bodies from this slow evolution from actual relations to relations via images. These are initial thoughts that I have been having as part of a larger reflection upon the growing use of images over words within our society.