The world is no longer safe for truth. At least according to Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco who just released his newest Media Guy column, “Reality Bytes: Welcome to Our Photoshopped Future.” In it, Dumenco laments that it’s difficult to believe anything you read or hear anymore, and now even with still images, you can’t be 100% certain that what you’re looking at hasn’t been doctored. Granted, that statement is old hat anymore, but being a gifted writer, he turns the idea around a bit and wonders how we got to where we are now and what, in the end, we really have to show for ourselves. It’s an interesting, captivating read.
…In the brief glory days of mass media — when, for instance, the evening news was dominant and Walter Cronkite kept us all more or less on the same page — the static on the line cleared up a bit. But now, increasingly, we’re back to the stutter, the static — and not only because of the atomization of media, and the multiple, opposing worldviews that emanate from major, minor and micro news sources, from Katie Couric to blogs. The confusion is back and, in some ways, worse than ever thanks to pervasive digital technologies that, ironically, were supposed to make us all smarter, more knowledgeable, better informed. Digital, we think, means “sharper”; instead, everything’s just gotten way more fuzzy.