It doesn’t take too much effort to notice that today’s media outlets have incredible influence over so many people’s lives. And that this influence can result in all kinds of consequences taking place.
Now, some of these are consequences that are clear to see and are highly visible. And others are less clear and more subtle in nature. On one hand is what is happening and the stories that gain exposure.
And on the other hand is what happens as a result of one being engaged in the stories that the media decides to cover. This is a process that can take weeks, months and even years to occur.
So one can hear about something through watching TV or a video on the internet and end up feeling shocked or disturbed by what they are seeing. In the short term this could alter ones mental and emotional position; with a heightened level of stress or anxiety developing for instance.
So this appears during ones exposure and it can still be there even though one has placed their attention somewhere else. But after a while it may start to subside and one will return to their original state of being.
However, this might not happen and one could end up constantly being in this place of heightened arousal. And if one was about to be attacked and their survival was at risk in some way, then this may not be a problem.
But, to be in this place for prolonged periods of time is not beneficial to one’s health and wellbeing.
Due to how the media functions, the general population are constantly kept in a heightened place of arousal. And this arousal is part of our survival instincts, so it has a time and a place. But, when this becomes a common occurrence it is inevitable for one to feel a general sense of stress and tension.
Some people are also going to be more vulnerable to the Medias stories than others. And this can depend on if they are carrying unprocessed trauma or not. If one can regulate their emotions or not, will also be a big factor in how they respond.
The Other Side
So one person could end up being completely controlled by what the media does or doesn’t show; with their emotional, mental and physical health being defined by this external influence. And it is then unlikely that this person is going to have a good experience of life.
For another person, this may result in them cutting down on their exposure to the media. This is not to say they are ignorant of what is taking place in the world, but what is does mean is that they are discerning in what they let into their mind.
So a kind of self monitoring is constantly going on, with one being in tune with their emotional wellbeing. Because, while one may be curious about what’s going on in the world or should I say what the media wants us to believe is going on in the world, it is not worth compromising ones health in the process.
What Can Happen
To be overwhelmed and completely caught up is one choice and another option is to be discerning. And to be self aware and in touch with how one feels and to respond accordingly, is the most functional.
There is another route that one can take here and that is to completely shut down and become numb. This is ultimately the opposite of being overwhelmed and caught up in all of it. One could also switch between these two options depending on different factors.
One will not have used discernment and moderated what they allowed into their inner world, they will have remained engaged in what the media is selling. And as one can become addicted to the media, it is not always east to cut down on ones exposure to it; no matter how much damage it could be doing.
But while the other person is in fear, this person can have no idea what is going on at an emotional level.
So they have become apathetic and this is not much of a surprise. If one has allowed their attention to be consumed by so much stress and negativity and felt overwhelmed by it all - then what other choice is there.
A Constant Process
The Media’s main focus is not in covering events were people are happy, healthy or where justice is taking place. Its primary focus is in covering situations where people are being taken advantage of, compromised and where justice is nowhere to be found.
So if one were to only see the world as having problems and being full of negativity, immorality and injustice, then a feeling of helplessness and powerlessness is surely normal.
There is then too many problems in the world and one can come to believe that they have no ability to make a difference. So giving up and no longer caring about anything can feel like the only option available.
And let’s face it, the less empowered people feel the easier they are to control. While there are a lot of things that are wrong in the world today, there are also a lot of things that are right.
Too much exposure to the mainstream media can give one an unhealthy view of reality. And if one only sees what is wrong, then apathy is a natural consequence. As individuals, we all have a part to play in how the world is. In our own way, we are all role models and examples to others.
This may be something as small as smiling at someone or in having manners; it is often the small things that make the most difference. And one only has to look back on history to see how powerful individuals can be.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.