Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The influence of media

I have been without the internet for almost a month and a half. Wow-a very different world for sure, lol. Since I knew there was such a thing as the internet that's the longest I've been without it. I'm sure it's been good for me. In all honesty I've had kind of a hard time getting back into doing things on the internet, blogging and checking e-mails and such. It has got me to thinking about how I relate to the media around me. You may have heard me mention or read here that we don't have television at home. We own a lot of movies and enjoy netflix, but we don't do TV. But I have been watching a LOT of TV recently. I've had access to it while house sitting and such. I have one of those personalities where I have enough self control to not buy all the sugary foods, but I don't have enough self control to buy them and not eat them all the time. And that's the main reason I got rid of television; it turns me into a drooling lazy zombie. I know that not all people have the self control issues I have with television but I think there are several good reasons for you to consider pulling the plug yourself.
  • Advertising is purposely designed to make you discontent. Sure you can TiVo it and watch just the show, but some of the best and most expensive advertising happens during your favorite show. Sure HDTV is pretty clean, but I'd be willing to bet it doesn't help you cultivate a contented heart. Personally, I think magazines hit me even harder in this area.
  • Advertising is designed to manipulate YOUR CHILDREN. Just stop and really think about this for a minute. Do you really want someone you don't know to use psychological manipulation on your kids to get to you, for their own greedy ends? Do you think your kids are happier if their lives are full of flashy plastic toys and sugar cereal because they have been duped into begging for these things? How would you feel if someone came to your house and tried to do this in person?
  • Almost all television is in direct conflict with the command of Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
  • Television is a tool for social warfare. If you are a christian your calling is to show the world that there is another way to live. This is the war we are fighting. Look at the social difference between 1930 and 1960. What other time period has seen as much social change? I believe mass media like radio and television played a huge roll in this dramatic change. If we can't be a holy people set apart for God's use in the way we relax then how can we work for him?
  • If your like me and don't know when to shut the TV off it steals your time and possibly your motivation to do better things with your time and your life."Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15 & 16 This is not to say I don't believe in rest and relaxation. God is Lord of the sabbath, remember? In the old law He sets aside one whole day a week for rest. There are other options for rest besides TV, and most of them are healthier.
  • It helps make sin and evil seem not so bad.
  • It teaches people to sin. Don't be so naive as to think that you are above it, and it doesn't affect you.
I truly believe that if Christians in America don't learn to stand up and live what we claim we believe the cause of Christ will be lost here...and I believe the hearts of our children will often be lost in the process. So I want to issue a challenge. Would you be willing to go a month without television? Spend the time you would normally devote to TV seeking God's face and ask him to show you ways this media may have been holding you back and consider doing away with it for good. I was amazed at the things I found in my heart and my life that changed after I got rid of TV (one of which was I lost weight almost instantly from being more physically active...just a little perk), but it took my much longer than a month to "detox" from television. You may say it would be no big deal to give it up, and that's great! So do it then. Even if it's no big deal to give it up there may be unknown blessings in it for you. Or it might be a really big deal...and I do feel compelled to add a little side note here. I know that most of the people reading this are women, and that tv often has a very strong hold on guys in the form of sports. So let me just say to you married women that this issue is NOT worth a divorce or marital strife. Thankfully The Man and I are in agreement on this issue (but it was something I started while I was single and something I looked for in a husband). But if we weren't my answer to the situation would be to put the TV in a cabinet with a lock, and let him keep the key. Yep, my self control on this issue is THAT bad. Pretty sad I know. I've also heard of a family who kept their tv in the closet, and would only get the TV out to watch something if they really deemed it worth the trouble. I also understand that you can watch any sports event on the internet, so there are lots of ways around this issue with some creativity. If you are willing to step up and take this challenge either personally or as a family, would you drop me a note and tell me about it? Blessings!c

1 comment:

  1. We haven't had any TV service for seven years. Not only do we not miss it, but we also have no desire to get it back! I don't know how I ever finished any housework before. We must have been unproductive slobs...now we're productive slobs :D The kids wish we had it, but they wish we had lots of things that we don't! We feel like the devil will try to sneak into our home in subtle ways, but we're not going to send him an invitation!