The Inevitability of Media’s Influence On You
As a person who lived their entire life in the Middle East, specifically in Kuwait, there was and still are so many idealizations towards America from movies, shows and social media. When I was younger I always saw America as more exciting than Kuwait. I was always begging my family to go on a trip to the US for summer break. Most of my family (who studied in the US many years ago) told me that it's not similar to what you’d see in the media. Finally in 2019 I got the opportunity to go on a two-week trip to the US for a conference with two of my friends. I was crazy excited and I was rambling on and on to family and friends about the things I'm going to do and places I'm going to see once I arrive in Washington D.C.. I had a mixed first impression. In my mind, I was over-hyped about America in the aspect that I was gonna have a crazy fun trip similar to the movies with my friends (a bit cliche to think it would happen but the media's influence is pretty strong). Although that movie moment trip didn’t happen that didn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I actually had fun. Let me tell you my experience in brief.
The atmosphere in Washington D.C. was wonderful. You can easily walk to where you wanted to go. There were many different places to visit within Washington D.C. which was great since it filled our days with activities. People were nice and welcoming wherever we went which reminded me so much of Kuwait. The stores in the US are so much better than in Kuwait, as they were very diverse in the items they sold and I was able to find whatever I wanted. It was recommended to me to go to Georgetown for shopping from a couple of friends. I was blown away by the neighborhood; it was so picturesque. Walking down the neighborhood you’d see the most prettiest pink flowers hanging from the lamp posts and the storefront displays were so mesmerizing. All I wanted to do is buy every item they had in each store! I went a bit crazy with shopping that day (totally worth it). We Kuwaitis love food, so when I tried the food in Washington D.C. I found it pretty average compared to Kuwait (except Chick-Fil-a.. I miss their chicken nuggets so much). In Kuwait, no matter where you go if it’s locally owned restaurants or a franchise you would always get the tastiest meals and I feel it has to do with restaurants always bringing authentic ingredients of the highest quality from all over the world for each specific cuisine. Or maybe it's that I’m so used to food in Kuwait. In the end, I’ve realized that the media had an influence on how I saw America and the expectations I had for it. It comes to show that the media always has an influence on how you view things, even the tiniest things, and sometimes you don't realize it.
Washington Monument, Washington D.C