Individuality

Sorry for posting so late, I got completely mixed up on my date and thought my post was supposed to be next tuesday.

I loved “Flatness” and “The Fifth Dimension” from Unflattening.  They are such well written and illustrated commentary on the common battle of individuality, and confidence.  I believe this was the perfect time to be experiencing this graphic novel because of my current age.  I have lived long enough to have felt how the world can try to influence you in the ways described in Unflattening.  I have also been raised to be proud of who I am and unafraid to be different than everybody else if need be, so I understood the message that was relayed through this story clearly.

As a person trying to make a career in the creative field of design, This story had a heavy impact on me.  The point of designing anything is to innovate and inspire people, so if everybody is built in the same factory (as shown in one of the drawings) and fitted with the same exact mind, nobody would ever inspire anybody.  It is our unique ingredients and experience that catches people’s eyes and sometimes their minds.  It is our diversity in every way that keeps our species fresh and curious about each other.  It is our curiousity about eachother that pushes human beings even farther than we have already come.

On page 10, the description and image of these cookie-cut people being taught the same thing reminded me of our first readings and discussions about education.  Do giant, uninspired lectures approach what is going on in this panel?  If anything is done without emotion or passion (teaching or learning) it is not human, helping us become more like these cloned people in Unflattening.  We can all appreciate when we see somebody doing something they love.  Even if we have no interest in the actual activity being performed, it is always a joy to watch somebody do something that makes them happy.  It does not matter what the game is, for it reminds us of what we, ourselves, do for happiness, and immediately makes anything more interesting.

This comic is not a realistic representation of our world today, but there are some things I see today that make me think we could slip and end up like it.  The amount of digital media that we consume everyday now has control over us.  It affects our body language, most people walking by are looking down at their phone, unavailable for interaction.  It affects our focus, everything online is lightning fast and immediately available, holding our attention effortlessly.  It affects how we are influenced by the rest of society, for we are able to see how just about everybody around the world is living and behaving, not just those around us.  Since just about everybody in the United States is either watching TV, on their phone, or on a computer for a good chunk of their day, I’m not surprised when I see or hear a lot of people acting the same as the next person.

Have you noticed anything that makes a lot of people act alike?

Are you aware of your own personality and ideas and do you find it important to preserve them?

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