Effect of the media on our happiness (1)
The turn the media is taking is really disturbing me. The advertising and commercials, the violence, the bad behavior. I don't even know where to start.
For start, we all spend too much time with the media.TV, Internet, Radio...
We have a TV ( No cable) and we are not planing to get rid of it. But i truly believe we need to limit the use and the time we spend on it.
There are many good movies and programs that are really good to watch and be informed, but we have to be very selective to be able to locate those programs.
The problems I see with our TV time is:
The amount of violence showed on the media is just incredible. The violence has become so normal to our kids and even to us that we don't even know how much of it is OK and what is not OK. Unfortunately, many people learn the bad acts and wrong ways from TV. Kids think it is cool to fight. It is normal to act aggressive towards each other. Heroes are always fighters, not lovers. being smart and loving is called Nerd or Naive.
Another problem I see with the media is that people are just disrespectful, rude and negative,specially kids and teenagers and this is becoming the norm. I clearly see the change in behavior in my own kids when they watch too much TV. The problem with these movies is that the character lies , is rude, mean and hateful the whole movie, then at the end, they apologize and everything is good. Happy ending. But in reality, it does not work like that. It is not OK to act like that, it is not OK to lie, to hurt some one's feelings. It is not OK to be so negative and rude. Imagine, if you watch two hours of the bad parts and only 5 minutes of the loving sweet part, how will your brain be wired?
We are simply over stimulated. Our brains are overwhelmed by all the noises, all the colors, all the quick change of the scenes, all the decisions. It is just too much for a human brain. It is just not natural. The studied actually showed that on little kids, the TV could cause permanent damage on the brain and kids that watch too much TV, have a lot higher chance of Attention deficit disorder. The speed that the scenes change is putting too much pressure on brain to catch up. Not to mention the noise. The media is causing us to become addicted to noise and quick changing scenes. We are so used to it that normal natural life without it, is becoming too boring. Specially to kids, every thing else is boring but media.
In a world that nobody has time for anything, unfortunately every body makes time for media and TV. When i look at data, i see that an average American spends hours and hours on TV, it makes me think. I think about all of us trying so hard to live longer, to do things faster and faster to have more time. But then we spend our valuable precious time watching some family fighting on TV. The families spend less time together as a family and more time on TV. The parents don't have time to notice if their kids are suffering, if their teenager are in trouble, but always make time for their favorite TV show. I remember, as a kid, i used to think a lot and wonder a lot about many things in life. I notice now that when i watch TV, i don't have time to think!!!
The greener grass syndrome
Specially for our kids, every thing is so much more colorful on TV. Every body looks like having the time of their lives. What we see on TV, is perfect bodies, beautiful faces, supper powers, big spenders, none stop having fun and sophisticated lives. Looks like every body else lives a perfect life, but us. Once, when one of my kids told me that how come they all have fun in TV, i told her that their secret is, that "They never watch TV in TV". I was just joking, but later on i thought about how true that statement could be.
Image of men
I specially don't like the image of men in the media. On TV programs, men are shown mostly as losers that are not too smart, are usually out of shape and all they care about is beer and football and BBQ in their man cave and they are the main trouble makers.what happened to the manly men who protected their families, were strong, respectful, gentlemen, smart, charismatic and brave? There are still everywhere, but not in regular TV. I believe this is a very bad message for our kids (and their dads)
Racism is seen every where in the US' media. It always made me think, why they do not show inter racial attractions? Even though in real life there are so many interracial happy marriages, in TV you almost always see people get attracted and marry within their own race, only. I have been paying special attention to this matter and see it way too often. On Disney channel,this is also noticeable. You barely see a black person falling for a none black person. Only very very rarely you see any kind of inter racial relationships. I see a lot more of that on the UK media. I like my kids to be color blind when it comes to people, but unfortunately the US media goes against this believe.
The commercials are attacking us from every direction and sneaking their way in to our subconscious minds. Then we feel that if we have that face lotion, we will look like that model and if we have that certain cereal, we will be as happy as the fake family on TV. Then we start not being happy with our own life, our own face, our own car, our own body, even our own family.Then we buy more to get happier. Then we become more unhappy due to debt. Then we have to work harder to pay for the debt. Then we become too tired from working hard. Then we watch TV to rest and forget about our problems. Then we get more brainwashed and unhappy. Then we buy more to get happier. The circle continues and the companies get richer and richer.We become poorer and poorer. The advertising companies win. The Media can also manipulate how we think. We have the tendency to believe every thing we see on TV without any questions and research.
Last but not least is the expense. The money we spend on Cable, latest TV and media set, DVD and Blue rays, CD's and CD players, I Pods, Stereo system, ... can add up to become huge. It is interesting that we are reluctant to buy Organic food or at least Organic Milk that is significantly healthier, due to expense, but have no problem spending hundred and even thousands of dollars on our Entertainment center, Cable , Cartoons for our kids, .... The TV is becoming more important to us Americans than our health.
How much TV are you NOT watching?