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Cowabunga 07-14-2019 02:10 PM

What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
Just wondering. Most people around the world form their view of USA based on what they see in movies, TV shows, cartoons, etc. Even if you don't want to do that, it's inevitable that a lot of what ends up influencing your opinion and view of a foreign country. Just like a lot of Americans and non-Japanese people in general will sub-consciously assume that anime and video games are accurate depictions of Japanese culture and life in Japan, since they've never visited the country and thus that's the main exposure they have to it.

I'd say in Europe we generally view the US as a country of extremes. I feel like a huge chunk of Europeans view Americans as either morbidly obese or super fit and good looking. And also as a place full of adrenaline and excitement for better or worse. I also feel like, to a lot of Europeans, half of USA is full of easy people having sex and a lot of gun violence and the other half is full of super religious nuts and very far-right leaning politicians which make European right-wing politicians seem like left-wingers.

So, since this forum has a lot of Americans and I've never been to your country, I'd like to ask what the biggest differences between life in the US and what you see on TV are. Asides from the obvious things such as not everyone owning a big expensive house, everyone having a very well-paying job and everyone being attractive, of course.

Chris JeriG.O.A.T 07-14-2019 02:41 PM

Re: What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
Well in fiction you see a bunch of wealthy, healthy, happy 'Muricans and that just isn't the reality. 70% of Americans live on such tight means that they couldn't afford a $500 emergency yet most media show Americans living in mansions. Even when they try to show people struggling it's always unrealistic, take Friends for example, non of them would have been able to afford to live in those million dollar apartments in Manhattan, even with roommates, and only Ross and maybe Chandler would've had anything resembling savings. The episode where Joey lost his insurance and got a hernia and had to get another acting job to get his benefits back in reality would've ended up with him with a $100,000 hospital bill because in the 90's his insurance wouldn't have covered the treatment for his preexisting condition.

Berzerker's Beard 07-14-2019 03:17 PM

Re: What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cowabunga (Post 77498602)
Just wondering. Most people around the world form their view of USA based on what they see in movies, TV shows, cartoons, etc. Even if you don't want to do that, it's inevitable that a lot of what ends up influencing your opinion and view of a foreign country. Just like a lot of Americans and non-Japanese people in general will sub-consciously assume that anime and video games are accurate depictions of Japanese culture and life in Japan, since they've never visited the country and thus that's the main exposure they have to it.

I'd say in Europe we generally view the US as a country of extremes. I feel like a huge chunk of Europeans view Americans as either morbidly obese or super fit and good looking. And also as a place full of adrenaline and excitement for better or worse. I also feel like, to a lot of Europeans, half of USA is full of easy people having sex and a lot of gun violence and the other half is full of super religious nuts and very far-right leaning politicians which make European right-wing politicians seem like left-wingers.

So, since this forum has a lot of Americans and I've never been to your country, I'd like to ask what the biggest differences between life in the US and what you see on TV are. Asides from the obvious things such as not everyone owning a big expensive house, everyone having a very well-paying job and everyone being attractive, of course.

Don't worry there are a decent amount of americans here that also shape their opinions of their country based on what they are told by mainstream news and entertainment. (Y)

Cowabunga 07-14-2019 03:45 PM

Re: What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris JeriG.O.A.T (Post 77498652)
Well in fiction you see a bunch of wealthy, healthy, happy 'Muricans and that just isn't the reality. 70% of Americans live on such tight means that they couldn't afford a $500 emergency yet most media show Americans living in mansions. Even when they try to show people struggling it's always unrealistic, take Friends for example, non of them would have been able to afford to live in those million dollar apartments in Manhattan, even with roommates, and only Ross and maybe Chandler would've had anything resembling savings. The episode where Joey lost his insurance and got a hernia and had to get another acting job to get his benefits back in reality would've ended up with him with a $100,000 hospital bill because in the 90's his insurance wouldn't have covered the treatment for his preexisting condition.

First of all, 100,000? A hundred thousand?! O_o

I've never liked Friends. Watched like two episodes and couldn't laugh one single time. So I don't even remember what jobs the characters had or what their homes looked like. But yes, often in American TV shows young professionals live in big stylish condos in NYC or LA even though they seem to work really average jobs. Like, in Sex and the City the main character seems to be pretty wealthy when all she does for a living is writing a newspaper or magazine column or whatever. Hardly a glamorous job that can support such lifestyle.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Berzerker's Beard (Post 77498732)
Don't worry there are a decent amount of americans here that also shape their opinions of their country based on what they are told by mainstream news and entertainment. (Y)

Yeah, that's something humans do everywhere. And tbh, you can't really blame them. Most people are too busy with their own lives, so it's not like it's important for them to know what life is like on the other side of the globe. Everyone is ignorant to some degree, and there's nothing wrong with someone not knowing much or anything as long as they're not malicious about it and are willing to listen and learn.

The mass media is very powerful and influential when it comes to shaping people's minds. Hence why it's such a great propaganda tool and why people in general absorb a lot that they're fed by it.

virus21 07-14-2019 04:03 PM

Re: What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
Most shows are about upper class people with mundane problems. The only time you see people in shows who aren't upper class is when the show takes place after the Apocalypse.

Even people that should be living a lot poorer are shown to be rather well off.

Chris JeriG.O.A.T 07-14-2019 04:04 PM

Re: What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cowabunga (Post 77498816)
First of all, 100,000? A hundred thousand?! O_o

I've never liked Friends. Watched like two episodes and couldn't laugh one single time. So I don't even remember what jobs the characters had or what their homes looked like. But yes, often in American TV shows young professionals live in big stylish condos in NYC or LA even though they seem to work really average jobs. Like, in Sex and the City the main character seems to be pretty wealthy when all she does for a living is writing a newspaper or magazine column or whatever. Hardly a glamorous job that can support such lifestyle.


Yeah, that's something humans do everywhere. And tbh, you can't really blame them. Most people are too busy with their own lives, so it's not like it's important for them to know what life is like on the other side of the globe. Everyone is ignorant to some degree, and there's nothing wrong with someone not knowing much or anything as long as they're not malicious about it and are willing to listen and learn.

The mass media is very powerful and influential when it comes to shaping people's minds. Hence why it's such a great propaganda tool and why people in general absorb a lot that they're fed by it.

A single ER visit could run you several thousand dollars, hell it costs $3K just to get an ambulance ride, surgery would be multiple 10s of thousands of dollars, plus you have to pay the ER doctor, surgeon and anesthesiologist separately and pay for the hospital stay, so yea. Being uninsured or underinsured will bankrupt you in America, if you're not familiar with the concept of underinsured it's when you have insurance that will only cover your medical costs up to a certain amount, or they won't cover certain treatments that they deem experimental, low efficacy, or unnecessary.

Right wing Americans are frightened of socialized medicine because they believe in "death panels" but don't realize their insurance company can deny them that $300K experimental procedure to treat their rare and aggressive bone cancer, which is the real death panel.

the44boz 07-14-2019 04:07 PM

Re: What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
From televisions shows and movies you'd think most Americans are in great shape and eat healthy. Far from the truth when you consider that the US has the highest obesity rates in the world.

Berzerker's Beard 07-14-2019 04:11 PM

Re: What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cowabunga (Post 77498816)
The mass media is very powerful and influential when it comes to shaping people's minds. Hence why it's such a great propaganda tool and why people in general absorb a lot that they're fed by it.



(Y)

UniversalGleam 07-14-2019 04:11 PM

Re: What are the biggest differences between the US you see in fiction and the real life US?
 
Ive heard a fair amount of comments about americans being arrogant and not that pleasant (your women's football team at the world cup certainly fitted this) but I have been to america and met a few americans in this country and never had a problem with them. They seemed like very nice and friendly people who had enthusiasm for life in general.

Thing I generally love about other countries (america being one of them) if that their people generally seem alot more friendly and willing to talk to anyone from my experience. People here generally keep their head to the floor and scowl at strangers. The amount of times Ive said hello or evening to a person walking by and had no response at all, they just don't care to be pleasant. Yet you go to somewhere like france and they are just lovely.

Blissed Phenomenon 07-14-2019 05:02 PM

Yeah i've met a few Americans who came to New Zealand for touring purposes and were shockingly more friendly than your average Nz'er, And we have a false reputation of being the most down to earth people in the world or at least something close to that.

Good and bad everywhere I know but some places get a bad rap just because one person being unpleasant sets a precedent for the rest of their country to some bitter people.


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