Throughout our lives we go through stages whereby our entertainment preferences can change due to cultural, technological changes or social influence. Growing up I was drawn to television and shows which were funny or had entertaining, educational storylines. Bright colours, funny faces, interactive material and other simple aspects of television shows and movies were my preference. Like any other child, I enjoyed fun entertainment, shows such as the Wiggles, Spongebob and Disney channel etc.
The Wiggles for example, use music and action to promote healthy eating behaviours in young children between the ages of 1-5 years old. They utilise bright colours and fun characters such as Dorothy the dinosaur to highlight the global issue of the unique nutritional needs of young children due to their growth development and daily activity requirements. They express in all of their promotional material the commitment to positive messages regarding food intake and physical activity. These messages reflect the universal concern with the increasing obesity rates and poor nutrition of our young children. As we grow up and our experiences change and our exposure to global issues expand, our content preferences and interests obviously change. This is also highly influenced by the cultures we are surrounded by in both our local communities and global communities.
Cultural changes and broader access to diverse global content have had an influence on what I now access as an adult. Meme culture and dark humour trends have definitely been my preference due increased access and popularity on social media platforms such as Facebook and Netflix. Other trends such as true crime documentaries have also peaked interest in the global community, looking into the darker side of our history as human beings (Cooper, 2019). The common denominator throughout these preferences is dark truth, following real issues, individual stories and human history in a dark fashion, which has been an upcoming cultural trend. Of course we must also take into account personal preference and cultural significance as some people find this form of content disturbing and/or triggering.
Pathak-Shelat (2015, p.537) examines this notion in “Rethinking youth media cultures in the global and digital world”. This academic journal article reworks the idea of connectivity between youth cultures, media, and globalisation, as well as how age differences and development can affect digital networking. This relates back to how personal preferences, cultural development and global views can have an affect on our access to certain content.
Although the above picture is a funny meme someone has created, it also highlights changing cultures which have followed me throughout my life and preference changes. I grew up on high school musical, it was my favourite movie series when I was younger and had quite an innocent, fun nature. However, as new cultural preferences have emerged, Zac Efron, who plays Ted Bundy in a new film ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile’ has also changed his acting preferences. It’s quite ironic that he too has gained interest in global culture phenomenons and has developed his preferences with changing public interests. Knobloch- Westerwick (2015) explores further theories surrounding media preference changes throughout time. Her chapter on ‘New Media Contexts’ explores how new advances in communication technologies such as streaming television shows have dramatically influenced the ways in which ideas are communicated between individuals. Selective exposure measurement and research design also demonstrates how
“The information-entertainment dichotomy can be considered to be the over-arching differentiation of the media’s editorial content and programming. Mood management theory, which can be seen as the key explanation for entertainment-motivated media choices, has also been applied to selective exposure to information versus entertainment content” (Knobloch-Westerwick 2015, p.88)
Knobloch-Westerwick, S 2015, Choice and preference in media use : advances in selective exposure theory and research / Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, Routledge, viewed 31 August 2019, <https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspxdirect=true&db=cat03332a&AN=uow.b2486356&site=eds-live>.
Pathak-Shelat, M 2015, ‘Rethinking youth media cultures in the global and digital world’, Journal of Children and Media, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 536–539, viewed 31 August 2019, <https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=2015-48192-010&site=eds-live>.
Cooper, K 2019, ‘Is our growing obsession with true crime a problem?’, BBC News, 01 April, P. 1-3.