Media’s Influence on our Spiritual Journey

“The mass media, their influence is everywhere. They tell us what to do, what to think, and they tell us to think about ourselves all the time.” -Tricia Harris

“they tell us to think about ourselves all the time”

Do I really have to point out the wrong in that?

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Two nights ago my husband, Cole, and I decided to sit down and watch a movie. We had just recently moved into our new apartment and it was the first night that we really had the chance to sit down and rest, so why not just cuddle up and watch a movie? We had decided on this comedy called “The Internship.” It was a movie I recall seeing once before but never really paid much attention to the first time. I am assuming I didn’t because I didn’t remember much about it. The movie is about two middle aged men who recently find themselves unemployed so they take on an internship at Google with a bunch of young adults. About halfway through the movie, there is this scene that involves these men taking this younger group to a club. It was your typical American Pie, every party movie in America scene. There was nudity, cursing, and all the drunk behavior you could think of and for some reason, two nights ago, it bothered me. I mean, it should, right? Here’s the thing though, I have watched scenes like this 1000 times before and its almost like during all those times I had watched it in a trance truly unaware of what was happening on the screen before me. This time, I saw everything, and it bothered me. I don’t know what I hated more, the fact that my whole life I was so unaware of the media I was engulfed in or if now the fact that I was SO aware. Then, my anxiety, being the dumbest ever because it always is, jumped up and said “Does this mean you’re prune who can’t find the humor in things now?”

Yeah, dumb. BUT, then I remembered something my church Pastor had said this past Sunday. “If there is no change, there is no Jesus.” Maybe this new development was good news! So last night, after Cole and I climbed in bed, I asked him if he had noticed any changes in me.

Cole: “Yeah, you notice things more. Like earlier when I was watching that Bo Burnham clip and you asked how his nonstop cussing didn’t bother me. Honestly, I barely noticed it until you pointed it out and before you wouldn’t have cared much about it.”

Me: “Does it bother you that I notice it so much now?”

Cole: “No, why would it?”

So, great! God IS working on me AND my husband doesn’t think I’m a prune! Win Win!

Well, not really, because I still woke up this morning with this subject in my brain. Now I feel like we are all in the Spongebob movie and everyone is walking around with their brain washing metal buckets on their head and I now feel the need to go find me a guitar to break out in a rock solo with so I can break the spell. (If you don’t understand this reference, ask anyone between the ages of 8-20.) (Yes, I know I’m 22 and not in that age range but we won’t talk about that.)

Nevertheless, what I am saying is, that media, in any form, is kind of like the metal buckets on our heads, our hypnosis. And that guitar solo is God’s truth.

“Oh, it doesn’t really affect you. You are your own person, you are in control over what you say or do.” 

Yes, this is true. However, haven’t you ever caught yourself saying the same catch phrases as someone you hang around a lot even though you may have never used it before? Ever wonder how weird trends like planking get started? Planking is quite literally just laying down and that trend spread like wildfire because our species is so easily influenced. The only reason we post selfies is for the acknowledgement of others, because media has changed our way of thinking. Media tells us our value comes from whatever number someone associates with our face. Whatever is normalized in television/movies, we begin to normalize that same behavior in our everyday life. It is nearly impossible to follow a righteous pass and not discern between what you choose to allow into your everyday life.

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” Philippians 1:9-10

“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.” Hosea 14:9

Guys, I am guilty of this too. I will still post an occasional selfie seeking approval. Heck, I almost do the same thing every time I post this blog. This writing is my selfie. I have my guilty pleasure shows and we all LOVE social media. My hope is that I continue noticing where media is flawed and influencing my life, maybe getting to the point the behavior can be stopped altogether. My hope is that others open their eyes as well. The devil came to deceive, and he is not going to tell you a blatant lie that you can easily see the evil intent behind. He is going to sugar coat it. He will make you believe that certain behavior is okay because everyone else is doing it. Remember that media, in all its forms, is more concerned with business, the money they are making from you. You’re spiritual well being is the last of their concerns. It is your duty to take care of your spiritual well being. When that day comes, God is not going to blame them for your actions, he will ask you why you chose what you chose.  Be wise. Practice Discernment.

“He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.” Isaiah 7:15

Now, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you can easily take this weapon that is mostly used for destruction and have it work for you and not against you. Use social media to spread love, kindness, and truth. God has given us the ability to reach out to others all around the world, let’s tell the world about how great our God is!!

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’” Mark 16:15

How do you feel about media and its affect on everyday life and decision making? Let me know!

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**This blog is all personal opinion of the author and in no way represents or is affiliated with parties mentioned. (Bo Burnham, Google, "The Internship")**

 

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