Saturday, March 21, 2015

I Avoid Media: 5 Reasons Why

Media is the route of all evils. Since banning it from our home in November, my perspective on what is out there has changed. We all get desensitized when we are on media-overload. You don't know just how much, until you take a break and "re-sensitize" yourself. Last night we lost a remote. The one that controls Netflix, our DVD player, and Pandora. My husband and I were stuck watching network TV. I was busy with school work and soon my husband was snoring on the couch, yet the TV was still alight.

It wasn't until I closed my computer, done with work, that I realized what was on. It was a "news" program where they focus on one or two "important" news stories, going through every detail. This particular episode focused on a death that occurred during the making of a movie. It was NOT news. It was NOT entertainment. It was horrible.

Watching less than an hour of TV last night, reminded me just why banning it was so important. Avoiding something makes you see it for what it truly is, and media today is garbage. Here is a short list of reasons why our media is ruining us:

1. Death is Not Entertainment: I will admit, before having kids, I loved CSI, Forensic Files, and Criminal Minds-type shows. Since having children, I realize just how messed up that is. Even "news" programs such as Dateline and 20/20 focus on every horrific detail of someone's worst moments. I don't need to see a frame-by-frame from the speeding train's perspective as it hits and kills someone. Why is it interesting to watch stories about people being killed and worse?

2. Culture is Dying: There was a time when people played music, told lesson-teaching stories, played wholesome board games, and were active to entertain themselves. Now, we rely on a screen that plays out our worst fears. No wonder we have all become so cynical.

3. Pitting Us Against One Another: Just about every piece of media imaginable pits people against one another. When every story is written in a "us against them" scenario it only creates hostility, when there shouldn't be any. The media creates fights, arguments, scandal. Stupid.

4. Narcissism: Every article, news program, TV show has a message board. Everyone's opinion is asked and shared. Why does your opinion matter. You know nothing about what happened, other than what the media has chosen to tell you. Why does this make you an expert? Why does that give you the right to share or even have an opinion? I don't care what Eva Mendez said about yoga pants. I have far more important things to worry about. Yet one quote, taken out of millions of words that have come out of her mouth, can generate blogs, "news" articles, opinions, and hours wasted. The media is making us think that our opinion matters far more than it should. It's making us think we all have the right to comment on the lives, words, and beliefs of others. It is creating narcissists.

5. Nothing of Value is Valued: When someone does something amazing and uplifting, if it even makes it to the news, it gets a blurb. Nothing more. Yet Kanye West and his wife create headlines that last for days. I don't want to see your butt, Kim. I don't want to hear your rants, Kanye. It's not just that the media is portraying unrealistic standards as the norm and the goal, but the standard that the goal embodies has nothing to do with someone's true value. It has to do with how much controversy they can cause. Drama does not equal value, success, kindness.

I am not a conspiracy theorist and I'm not saying we don't have screen time on occasion. We do. We just make conscience choices. I'm aware that I participate in Facebook, write a blog, and read articles now and then. There really is no complete escape from media's grasp. I am simply thinking critically about what is obviously being done. My time away from media has given me an objectivity and clearer picture of the facts.

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