Christine Garvin, a writer for Brave New Traveler, recently wrote the article “Does Hollywood Influence Your Perception Of Religions Worldwide?” She asked readers, “Does learning about other cultures, faiths, and people firsthand make a person less influenced by Hollywood’s interpretation of different religions?” My response was “…it’s a scary thought that people look to Hollywood to enlighten them.”
As a travel writer, it’s a good idea to travel with an open mind and be objective. It’s good to open yourself to new ideas. You don’t have to accept them, but be willing to listen to other perspectives. Expand your horizons and go beyond your current beliefs. You never know, you may learn something new!
Here’s an excerpt from Christine’s article,
“…Why are people so affected by what Hollywood has to say? It seems to be how many people learn about other religions and cultures: “The entertainment industry does a particularly terrible job depicting other countries and cultures…the people who say “why are you taking this so seriously?” have been brainwashed to the point where they don’t see why (making fun of other cultures) is wrong…this has been done so much, that people just overlook it.”
Don’t look to outsiders such as the Hollywood community to influence your views. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions. Remember, you can’t always believe what you hear and read. Try to be a traveler and not a tourist. The difference is that a tourist sees only the facade – that which a [destination/culture/society] wants you to see, whereas a traveler gets to know the destination or culture as it really is, by immersion and education. You can just be a visitor or you can become a student of the world – it’s your choice.
When you write, it’s okay to express an opinion, just be sure that your opinion is based on your own research and experiences. By keeping your writing objective and based on facts and personal experience, you’ll sound more knowledgeable, and your articles will appeal to a broader audience.
Do you have preconceived notions before you visit a foreign country? Do you research your travel destinations before you leave? Does Hollywood or the news influence your beliefs?
Very interesting article – thanks for the link.
I caught myself forming an opinion on somewhere just the other night while I was watching something on TV, then today I saw this post (and read Christine’s article) and realized that what I saw on TV was more than likely fictionalized, and my opinion could be based on something entirely inaccurate, or even downright false. I’m going to make more of an effort to watch out for that, and be sure that unfounded opinions don’t creep into my writing.
Christine’s article was interesting. I do my best to stay “neutral.” I do like to have the facts, which is why I’ll do research. It’s good to listen to others opinions, but it’s up to you to define what you believe to be true.
Unfortunately, many people are BLINDED by the BLING of Hollywood. They’ll listen and hang on every celebrity’s word even if the celebrity doesn’t make sense or doesn’t know what he’s speaking about. I mean, dude, are you going to be influenced by these plastic surgery crazed people?
I mean, Slumdog Millionaire was a great movie, but you could visit India and draw your own conclusions. See things for yourself versus listening to others in LaLa Land.
You are the one to influence you. Think for yourself, seek wise council, and make your own decisions. Don’t listen to a bunch of people who “churn” out remakes of movies like “17 Again” just to make money!
Ugh! Don’t know why people would be influenced by Hollywood. Seriously? I wouldn’t take what Hollywood says to heart. Do your own research and draw you own conclusions. Just because you watch a movie about a place in this world doesn’t mean the interpretation is correct. We draw our own conclusions.