?The pop culture that shapes our perspective

By Garrick See | 12/1/13 3:58pm


Growing up halfway around the world in Malaysia, I have learned to look at the world from a different perspective. I had the opportunity to look both from the outside and in on things that were going on, but none more so than whatever was happening in America.

As a young, adorable boy growing up with television, I inherited all my life lessons from the countless American shows I watched in the comfort of my home. Everything ranging from MTV to cartoons to sitcoms to pop news; I’ve seen ‘em all. It’s crazy to think that everything I knew about America came from the shows I saw, and it defined how I thought about the people here, mostly on a shallow scale.

It’s no secret that America is the most advertised country in the world, and it paints an image of uncertainty based on where you’re from. All the pop culture references and news segments about the way Americans talk and act represent the many reasons why certain countries love it and others don’t.

I realize that TV does not portray the most accurate image, but it’s the only medium certain people have to witness life outside of their own. Pop culture, to me, is very important in placing where a society stands on the social spectrum. It is a window that shows different sides of culture despite its accuracy so that people can decide for themselves what is real and what’s not.

I always thought that people in high school here only stick with their own cliques like you see on TV, and though it’s not as accurate as it was portrayed, it does shed some truth that there are certain kids that only stick with their own. Girls can be mean sometimes, boys are always stupid, fat people do exist, and sometimes everything is just a little bit bigger in Texas.

Taking from this perspective, Americans tend to look at the outside world with an innocent ignorance derived from what the media conglomerates want you to believe. It actually is a two-way mishap on both parts; America and the rest of the world only see and believe the most outrageous parts of each party. We rarely see normal, average, everyday people on TV because those people are boring and do not make good television. Outsiders are prone to believe that Americans are ignorant, and as far as Americans know, other countries do not matter that much.

The best way to ditch that ignorance is to travel outside the States and meet some actual people, and if that’s not possible, just meet different people here then. America is a melting pot, and it helps when everybody is doing the stirring together. Let’s not be hateful of others and judge them based on shallow qualities. Let’s just be people of the world and throw away the television that’s full of lies and misconceptions. Oh, Walking Dead is on!

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