Western Courier

It’s time to slow down Hollywood

John Benedeck, Courier Staff

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Today’s entertainment industry is arguably the driving force of culture.

Hollywood stars have reality shows, bridging the gap between stardom and common life. Competition shows like “America’s Got Talent” reign supreme as the number one watched shows, besides sporting events.

With all this being said, it is safe to say that the hunger for success is stronger than ever. The Internet has set a virtual stage for anyone to perform instantly to the whole world.

This implements a thought into the American mind that anyone who’s anyone can be famous and successful in that respect. Consequentially, the American people are impatient and want gratification immediately.

Let’s slow down. Literally.

Entertainment in media used to be a slow and savory occasion. “Little Orphan Annie” on CBS radio lasted an entire hour with brief commercials of Ovaltine intermittently.

There were no flashes of light and there was no ability to speed it up or slow it down. Most importantly, there was no way to stream and listen on-demand.

Fast forward to the age of sitcom television and long-series programs, shows like “Friends” aired once a week for 20 weeks. Each episode was only 30 minutes and each left the viewers with immense cliffhangers.

This type of viewership is dwindling. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu offer series whose episodes are available at once.

While “Stranger Things”, “Handmaid’s Tale”, and “Orange is the New Black” are all quality shows with A-list actors, where is the hook?

Are the writers afraid that viewers won’t stick around to see what happens next? Do the viewers require instant closure to a situation lasting an entire season?

Well, the writers are certainly justified to think this way.

The average American now spends over eight hours a day in front of a screen. Whether that be TV, a tablet, or a phone, we are constantly connected 100 percent of the time, at our disposal.

This is both a blessing and a curse.

We can find information out instantly at the push of a button. Well, not a button because phones don’t have buttons. The entire world is literally at our fingertips.

Referring to a previous article, we are living in the midst of a technological revolution. We have been exposed to a tsunami of innovations that are available to everyone.

That’s where repercussions appear. We don’t know how to wait anymore.

The American mind has been trained to expect amazing things to appear seemingly as the tides change.

No, instantly learning about a serious event like the Parkland Florida shooting is not a bad thing. That is where technology has prevailed.

However, the freedom and openness of the internet has allowed many people to expect everything to be readily accessible.

It is safe to say that instant gratification, masked by entertainment, is the propulsion of culture. How much faster can we go?

Experts say that we are still in the infancy of the technological revolution and that things will only move faster and become more readily available.

As the famous quote says, “With great power, comes great responsibility”, the literal sense means that with greatness, complacency may come.

We must be careful not to misuse the tools this revolution brings.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
It’s time to slow down Hollywood