I question the place of agency in the world of culture-making today. So much noise on freedom to express what exactly?
Social media phenomena are in my mind as I say this…. Have you noticed the recent trend, slapping an infant’s face with a piece of sliced cheese and watching the startle response? In the United States, folks are setting up their phone cameras for this slap-stick comedy and it is trending by the millions. Yes. Imagine. Silly laughter and an unwitting infant blinks at the camera with confusion. These cheap pleasure, spurred by the race for likes and shares, debunking the safety and privacy of a home, comes at what price?
No respect for child, no respect for food, no respect for family, yuck.
The latest in developmental neuroscience tells us that how we are treated, talked to, looked at inform us of our place in the world. Dr. Stephen Porges’s Polyvagal Theory explains this as neuroception. If our space is cared for, safe and respected, we grow up with a sense of goodness and trust in the world. If our space is a matter of mockery and cheap laughs, catering to invisible online masses, it is scary to think what the future outcomes might be.