“It’s my belief that broadcasters, publishers, brands and media influencers will soon be required by law to be responsible for the words, language and visual stimulus they use to influence millions of people on a daily basis” – Hannah Swanston
Having dedicated most of my life to writing and language, I believe that the right words aren’t just the glue that so often hold a successful brand campaign together, but our lives too. In fact, I view the energy of perfectly combined letters as one of the most powerful forces in the entire world.
Anyone who can speak, or type has experienced the effect of the things they’ve written or said. If you were to try, you could lift someone up or shoot them down in an instant. If you tried, you could recall razor-edged words that ripped you apart. A memory bank of words that made us feel like our little worlds were falling apart.
On the flip-side, we can all recall sugar-coated words of praise, inspiration and love. A supportive text at the right moment. The thoughtful card on your desk. An email of praise from your boss. A surprise letter in the post. In remembering these moments, you can literally feel the effect they have on your body. Remembering an argument reignites anger. Recalling the first time they said: “I love you” can fill you with joy all over again.
Words aren’t just powerful, they’re influential. So when using them in media, we must consider the implications of what we’re saying to who and why through ‘Conscious Language’ and ‘Mindful Media’ – a movement I’m now pushing.
WORDS CAN EITHER HYPNOTISE, BRAINWASH, CONDITION, PROGRAM, DOMINATE AND CONTROL, OR THEY CAN HELP, EMPOWER, UPLIFT, MOTIVATE, ENCOURAGE, ENABLE, EXCITE AND INSPIRE.
The same can be said for the imagery that’s used to support words, or used instead of words. A photo’s worth a thousand words, after all.
Moving forward, it’s our responsibility as influencers to start creating positive change now. Being more mindful in our media also includes imagery, and the overall message being projected.
Whether it’s an advertising campaign using an anorexic white girl, or a TV show projecting an outdated paradigm, everyone must begin to create positive change. Not just to show that they’re ticking that big fat responsibility box, but because it’s the right thing to do.
Gone are the days of hypnotising people.
Today we are waking them up.
To be continued…