Friday, March 09, 2007

Influenced instincts

-By Swetha Amit

It is true that humans evolved out of the animal instinct several years ago. We have come a long way from the dark ages to being considered the most intelligent. Our minds are governed by what are known as “thinking caps”. So what is it that determines our cognitive structuring down the line?

It is a well known fact that media and books largely influence the thought process of individuals. Some make us move to tears, while some make us laugh till our sides ache. Others portray reality or true incidents which tend to leave a large impact, consciously or subconsciously.

Certain films depict the complexity of human relationships. Off late bold themes seem to be the contemporary thing. It is a FACT that east is meeting the west, whether it is done silently or in the open. A large part of the youth is greatly propelled by what is portrayed on the big screen. Subconscious imitation of their favorite celebrity, for fun such as taking a puff or a peg heads towards an addictive behaviour, ultimately leading to a negative result.

Any kind of culture doesn’t advocate rave parties, excessive drinking or smoking. At the end of it all, we are the sufferers for having given in to our evolutionary instincts. It is not wrong to have a liberated thinking. But it certainly matters when it affects one in the long run and others in the process (such as drunken driving cases).Infidelity and immorality destroy us and others as well.

We claim to be mature and aware of numerous things. Knowledge supposedly removes the darkness in the form of ignorance from our minds. Such evils unfortunately prevail despite of our awareness levels being at its peak. Human minds need not fall prey and be misled to what is seen on visual or print media. If only stability and strictness occurs in our thinking, will we not require censorship by other individuals.

At the end of it, in the pretext of giving in to our needs, don’t we feel guilty for having messed up things in our life? We realize our folly before it’s too late. We ruin others life by causing misery and pain only because of our uncontrollable desires.

In what way are we different from animals? With the kind of education that is given to us today, is it that difficult to distinguish between the morally right and wrong? Are we that gullible that we are unable to control our ‘silent needs’ and give way to something that our ‘conscious’ knows the appropriate answer to? Isn’t it a fact that our brain gets colored by what we see, hear, or read? Right from our dress to hairstyles, to food habits vocation and career; is influenced by aping someone or something, be it just cinema or any other media. Juvenile crimes, psychopathic behaviour, adultery, are they a result of our "so called instincts"?

Media does have a crucial role to play in influencing the present and future generation. This realization is what precipitates meaningful movies and documentaries to be made on social issues with a strong message which unfortunately is chosen to be dismissed. Communicating and presenting such thought provoking ideas are aimed to influence the society in a positive manner by removing the misconceptions and stigma correlated with these terms.

However it’s a pity that, instead of learning something from the thought provoking visuals, our wavering minds sway in a different direction. Forbidden fruit is always tempting is the philosophy that we fall prey to. There exists a large part of the population which misinterprets the ‘illegitimate’ issues portrayed and follow it blindly thinking that media advocates such practices as legal. That being the case, it is important not to legitimize what is really not "acceptable" than address the issues arising out of them later, even if it is a make believe world of movies

In short, should we subject ourselves to the “influenced instincts” syndrome?

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