Postmodernism and Hyper-Reality

I enjoyed reading how through technical communications in the form of news media ideals can often be shifted based on perceptions in a process called hyper reality. Chalkley paraphrases the definition of modernism as “the belief in and the pursuit of bigger, better, faster, more. He goes on to imply that modernism differs from post modernism in that modernists believed it was possible to achieve an ideal world or sate through progress while postmodernists have lost faith in that possibility.(Chalkley, 101) In the text Chalkey gives examples of how postmodernist paradigms are important for the formation of ideals. He discusses Hyper reality and presents us with examples of how news media and advertisers use a form of reality that the user takes to a higher extreme when trying to emulate perceived behavior or outcomes. “Hyper reality is more than just exaggerated media images. It’s a process, whereby emphasized or accentuated media is accepted as a true reflection of reality, and behaviors are affected as a result.” (Chalkley, 102) One example is how the news or, movies or other media tend to speed up a story or present the events in an altered manner. When people see events unfold that took a certain amount or of time or process they naturally tend to speed up the process or “one-up” the original event due to their altered perception of the event.  Another example used was the airbrushing or photo-shopping of models in magazines. This is a popular topic where the female body as presented through the media in an altered form is influencing how women view their bodies and encouraging young girls to strive for an often unattainable or even unhealthy goal. This example shows how an altered reality is taken hyper by the actions of the viewers. In this example hyper-reality has deep reaching effects in many ways. Not only are body perceptions influenced but the fitness industry, health food and diet industry, and the fashion industry can all be affected from this form of hyper reality pushed through to and spread by the masses through new mediums of communication.


Chalkley, T., Brown, A., Cinque, T., Warren, B., Hobbs, M., & Finn, M. (2012). Communication, New Media and Everyday Life. (pp. 3-6). Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.


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