Thursday, September 30, 2004

Images vs. Text

There are a variety of different media that are present throughout our society. Each of them is characteristically unique in the multiple different facets it presents. Each can communicate a similar message yet alter the intent and overall perception of it. A message that is transmitted to an audience through a newspaper is entirely different than one that is portrayed in a picture. Can the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center truly be encompassed in a narrative, or does someone need to see the shocking footage that was televised over and over in the days following the attack? There are certainly times when words are sufficient to reveal a message; however, under many circumstances, images can present and enlist far more emotion. They have the ability to show what is intangible with the use of words.

Essentially, images have an eloquent quality that is not characterized in text. It is an eloquence not in the sense of how one might use the word in conversational contexts, but rather images’ ability to create it. Images have the ability to tap into emotions that society retains but text can not touch. A perfect example is the numerous funds that have ads on television for children in Africa. These organizations are successful in raising money because society’s emotions are enlisted through the pictures and images of these ads. A written article regarding the terrible conditions existing in Africa simply does not possess the bargaining power of actually seeing a dirty child, naked, and hungry in the streets.

It is the images that make reality real. Images leave very little room for interpretation. We see it, and it happened. Instantly, the situation that surrounds us becomes believable. As the saying goes, “You have to see it to believe”. As elementary as that sounds, people are not as likely to believe what they have not seen. The last time we enlisted the draft: Vietnam. While there are certainly many reason why this is the case, it must be considered that Vietnam was the first war that was ever televised. Every night Americans could sit in front of a television and see what their neighbors, friends, and family were experiencing. Before this point, war was not real. We knew it existed, but it was over there. All that we heard of war was in the newspapers without pictures, which assumes that its audience must be able to read. However, images involve minimal intellectual ability. Children can understand images because images are universal. There is no language to translate. It is there, and it is real. Moreover, we hold on to our belief of what we see far longer than we do our belief of what we read. For proof of this, simply compare the number of individuals claiming to have seen UFO’s or believe in them because of some image in a book with those who read and believe. The results are astonishing.

While images and text are both media that convey a message, they do it in two entirely different manners. The information we receive from each is respectively unique. Images have the capability to draw more from an audience and create a belief. Essentially, images are real. Certainly, text is in no means fake, but falsifying an images is much more difficult than writing a lie. We believe most ever image that is ever presented to us; however, we are often skeptical of what we read, saying it is opinionated and propaganda. While images employ the same means of falsification, we as a society refuse to notice. Images create reality: false or true. Images enlist emotions: strong and established. Images speak to the part of us that wants to believe.

2 Comments:

At April 7, 2013 at 2:40 PM, Blogger Saurabh Negi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At April 7, 2013 at 2:40 PM, Blogger Saurabh Negi said...

Dear Matt,

I m doing my research on impact of images over text can u help me get some material on how images affect the human brain and over power the written text.....my email id is saurabh.negi99@gmail.com.

Thanx.

 

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