Sunday, March 8, 2015

Out of sight, whats in their mind.

I would like to take a few minutes to think about a group that probably nobody else does. Nobody thinks of this group because they pattern their lives specifically so most people don't. Though they are an interesting group because in the last decade or so the advancements in technology have helped them in their lifestyle choice probably more than any other group I've talked about so far. This is the VERY silent sub-culture of recluses.
Like I said, no body reading this would probably even think of recluses as a group, especially since joining together an a group is an experience that makes some of them physically ill. However we have moved into a time when the world is now very recluse friendly. Unless you live under a rock you know that the internet now allows you to do just about anything. People can now make a living by working online, do almost all their shopping online, bank online, even get food online. Not just delivery takeout either, grocery some grocery stores will shop your groceries for you and deliver them. We have reached a point where a person can almost get through their whole adult life without ever having contact with another human outside of delivery people. That is interesting to me because of the extent to which media influences people with regular human interactions. If a person is a recluse I wonder to what extent their reality of the world is based on media. The logical answer should be that their world view is entirely decided by media as they have no personal experiences to view it by.
This idea came to me recently as a result of watching a new Anime by the name of "Watamote: No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys' Fault I’m Not Popular!”, mouthful right. The premise is simple, a girls is kind of a recluse and definitely has some social anxiety issues. So in preparation for entering high school she has done her research, in dating-Sim games. Needless to say she is left ill prepared to navigate high school or even her own issues.,p0,d0
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This made me think about what other recluses think about the world and how they might interact in it if they were put into a situation where they had to. Studies done by researchers like Sut Jhally and Rhonda Hammer suggest that there is always a hidden message in media, and because Media is run by large corporations like Time Warner and Disney these messages often have a distinct direction they try to point people. Researches like this say that television shows have been used by corporations since the early days of TV to influence people to stay on board with them. In older times it was used to make those working in less desirable job seem like they are stuck there either because they want to be or like the ability to do anything else, thus financial security was within everybody’s reach and programs to help people get ahead in life weren’t needed. Nowadays it is used to promote the idea that has be circulating ever since Obamas election, that racism is behind us and we are in a post racial society. Obviously any of us that live in the real world interact with people and can learn that this simply is not true. However if someone were living under a rock, or entirely in their home, and only had what they saw on TV or online then how would they see the world.
I think recluses are a group that would be interesting to study, if someone could find a way to get them to participate. I’m sure researcher like I have mentioned would love to see the affect media has on an individual who has no other context for their perceptions of what they see.


  1. You make a really interesting point... I had never even thought about what it is like for someone with social anxiety to consume media. It made me think about other groups that are underrepresented in the media even more that the common groups that come to mind. Is there a hiarchy of underrepresented groups? If so, is that a problem in itself?

  2. I agree with Alexandra, this is a group of people hardly anyone considers. I recently saw a trailer for a new Disney movie called Inside Out--I'm hoping this movie is about a girl who just moved to San Francisco and she is adjusting to this new environment with the help of her five emotions. These emotions include sadness--perhaps this is a way Disney is taking a step in the right direction by addressing some social and emotional anxieties that are often not represented in media for children.