Michael S. Earl
10 March 2011
Gitlin’s View Todd Gitlin is a notable author born in New York City. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a PhD in sociology and was heavily involved in the Students for a Democratic Society group. Gitlin is now a professor at New York University where he teaches culture, journalism, and sociology. Gitlin’s selection, Supersaturation, or, The Media Torrent and Disposable Feeling, comes from his book Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives (2001). In this selection, Gitlin describes how private lives and domestic spaces have evolved from the seventeenth-century until now. He feels as though our once
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The media surrounds our world in every aspect of society. Gitlin notes in his writings that the statistics referenced “don’t take into account the billboards, the TV’s at bars and on planes, the Muzak in restaurants and shops . . . and logos whizzing by on the sides of buses and taxis, climbing the walls of buildings, making announcements from caps, bags, T-shirts, and sneakers” (Gitlin 563). Thanks to all of the latest technology and communication systems people are able to connect to the outside world whenever we like. In Gitlin’s conclusion he goes on to explain that our personal opinion is no longer important to the world. People of our time are followers rather than leaders, and are consistently being sucked in to how the media says we should live our lives. Gitlin feels that the way we live our lives, “or spend it,” (563) determines who we are. Our lives have become completely consumed with technology and the latest electronics. Gitlin argues that even in our most private times we cannot bring ourselves to stay clear of the media. “[Our] life experience has become an experience in the presence of media” (Gitlin 563). In seventeenth-century time this degree of media dependence would be unthinkable.
Earls View In my reading of Todd Gitlin’s Supersaturation, or, the Media Torrent and Disposable Feeling, I have come to the conclusion that I agree with Gitlin on the matter of an overwhelming