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What We See: Cultural Influence of the Image

            What comes to mind when you hear the words Crest, Tide, or Mustang? More than likely, you thought of toothpaste, laundry detergent, and a muscle car. The image-based culture that we all live in, and fall victim to is to blame. Companies and organizations have done such an extensive job with marketing and forcing imagery on society that they have completely changed crest from meaning the top of something, to a toothpaste brand. They have changed the word tide, a word used to describe the motion of the ocean, to a laundry detergent. They have changed the idea of a horse into a car. This proves how easily the culture of media and images can affect the way we see and understand things. The image is a powerful yet easily manipulated tool that is used to put ideas into our heads with out us even realizing it.
             Everyone is familiar with the phrase "Seeing is Believing." Sight is our most powerful sense, much more dominant in translating experience than touch, taste, hearing, or smell. It is the easiest way to take in the most amount of information that is trusted by our minds. Seeing and experiencing through sight is entertaining for humans. It is something that we crave. Images appeal to emotion and claim our attention without uttering a word. They persuade, repulse, and charm us and can instantly and easily be absorbed by anyone who can see. Our minds get satisfaction from seeing an image and believing that all the information contained in that image is right in front of us, and is clear and true. However, an image only truly entertains the mind on a shallow level and contains only the information that the creator of the image wishes to present.
             A brutally obvious example of the way that we are easy influenced by images occurred in the early stages of the image culture's development. The first televised presidential debate between Massachusetts' Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy and Republican Vice President Richard M.

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