I recently read an article written by the world famous author Alex Walker where she mentioned only watching an hour of TV a day (if that) and not reading magazines. When I read this I spent a long time thinking about my own life and the several hours of TV I watch and magazines I read. Walker implied that getting caught up in media was not part of her lifestyle. Now having read a lot of Alex’s work and activism I came to the conclusion that she probably thinks that the media has very unhealthy influences upon individuals. I turned the idea over in my head for ages and then started thinking about how my life would be should I cut out surfing the web for ages, watching TV, and consuming magazine after magazine.
The fact is my lifestyle is very media based. I love finding out about the new trends, watching the latest programs and reality TV series, and although it is not an addiction (I have and can do without), I simply enjoy doing it. However I do remember that when I was a lot younger my dad stopped me from reading magazines because he said that they do not promote good morals. This input from my dad has therefore made me an objective reader of articles and the TV programs I watch, I do not allow myself to get emotionally involved and simply suck up everything that is fed to me without questioning it. For example a lot of magazines have these ‘top ways to get a guy/ girl to notice you’. These articles are the biggest jokes ever simply because were I to follow the majority of what was written I would have shamed myself countless times.
Having said that there are some really great magazines out there who do not just write anything for the sake of filling up pages, but aim to educate and entertain their readers at the same time. For example I simply love Stylist magazine because there is something for literally every type of woman. There are great food, beauty, business, fashion editorials and the way the magazine is put together really speaks to the hearts and minds of the aspiring young – middle aged woman.
So having looked at the good and the bad I think to rebel against media and simply steer clear of everything would be missing out, instead I prefer the selective approach. There is some really great stuff out there that informs and inspires, educates and encourages and generally helps to build the heart and mind. However we constantly have to question what we are taking in and not be passive consumers of everything we are fed.