“Mark Sayers is an author and speaker who specializes in interpreting popular culture from a Christian viewpoint. Mark is the founder of Über a ministry that specializes in issues of youth and young adult discipleship. He is also the leader of the Red East church in Melbourne, Australia, an innovative Christian community specifically reaching the young adult demographic. He is a highly sought after speaker, trainer, consultant and thinker in the areas of popular culture and faith”.
“Hyper-reality”” is Mark Sayers’ shorthand description of the society in which he lives and works. “It’s a complex, sociological term,” Sayers explains, “but, put simply, it’s the way that our mediadrenched culture creates false realitiesor realities that seem even better than the real thing.“It’s the ‘Photoshopped’ model who doesn’t actually look like that and never could look like that outside that sort of photo shoot. It’s the brochure that shows you the perfect tropical island that probably is infested with mosquitoes and where it rains three quarters of the year. So I’ve used the term to describe how our culture presents this version of life which is always better than the real thing”.”
While not arguing against consumerism as such, Sayers identifies a kind of hyper-consumerism that so invades our lives today. “”There’s a point where consumerism switches from selling things for their benefit or function to promising all these extra things”,” he says. “”It’s a combination of media and technology it’s being overwhelmed by our entertainment culture that’s absolutely everywhere. Everyday we’re exposed to as many as 5000 marketing messages, which is completely enveloping. It’s a rainstorm and we’re running around trying not to get wet”.
“”Plus in our secular culture where religion’s been taken out of the public arena, there’s a vacuum and advertising, marketing and media have jumped into that vacuum”.”
It’s all interesting stuff – well worth reading and thinking about.
Just in case I’ve sparked some interest, also check out his blog here.