When you think of aliens, what do you think of? Do you think of green bald humanoids? As the history of entertain and television evolved, this stereotypical image of aliens has been a staple of our perception for years. These depictions have appeared in multiple fictional productions such as Star Trek, Toy Story, ET, and Star Wars. Interestingly, despite the widespread trope in many media accounts, in reality it is unknown if aliens exist.
Over the 100 years that television has been around, we as humans have been exposed and conditioned to believing unrealistic expectations of reality. Our beliefs and attitudes are altered extremely by what we view on the internet and television for long periods of time. This type of exposure is called the Cultivation theory. By “living in the TV world” (Davis, 2021), our cultural conception of reality is effected over time.
From birth, we are born with a blank slate. Our perception of reality is nothing; until we become influenced by social interactions and institutions. However, is not only these interactions that influence our beliefs unknowingly parts of our reality is shaped and based off television. Unfortunately, TV reality is not always truthful (Davis, 2021).
In this case, the portrayal of these so-called green beings have been mainstreamed amongst society. In Cultivation Theory: Idea, Topical Fields, and Methodology, describes mainstreaming as viewing television collectively and creating similar beliefs and attitudes all together. This idea of aliens has been cultivate all across media and society has come to accept this depiction.
In all actuality, if aliens were ever to take over our world, I do not believe they will look like green bald humanoids, but one can only they are as cute as baby Yoda.
Lectures by Warren Davis
Cultivation theory idea, topical fields, and methodology