When it comes to what the media focuses on, there are many things that are positive and constructive and then there are also numerous things that are negative and destructive. This is to be expected, as there are pros and cons to most things in this world.
And with that in mind, it is essential that one has the ability to question what they see and hear. Just as one would look at a menu in a restaurant and decide what they wanted and didn’t want; every item on the list would not be selected.
One would use discernment to avoid what was not healthy or the foods they did not enjoy. This filter that one uses when looking at the menu is normal for most people. It doesn’t take much effort and can take place without one needing to be too aware.
However, when it comes to the media, this discernment is not always in place and this means that one can accept and internalise everything they see or hear in the media. And this is not something that one should blame themselves for or come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with them.
Part Of Life
This is because the media is part of life and something that can’t be avoided. What one can do is develop their critical abilities and create strong intellectual boundaries. To live without these things is to be completely vulnerable to everything and anything the media comes up with.
And as a result of the media being part of life, it means that its effects are often invisible and go on unnoticed. Here, one’s self esteem and emotional state can be directly influenced by the media.
When one watches the news, it is inevitably going to have an impact on how they feel. But before long, they are likely to settle back down and return to their normal state of being. Then there can be other times when one is still being affected by the media; even after they have placed their attention elsewhere.
The above relates to how the media can shape ones emotional state in regards to the daily events in the world that they chose to focus on. This is just one consequence of the media and another thing the media has the potential to do, is to define how one perceives themselves.
And this covers a whole range of different aspects of the self. If one feels good or bad, if they feel worthy or unworthy and if they are physically attractive or not, will then be defined by the media. So it won’t be up to oneself to define these things, it will be based on the media granting them permission.
It therefore doesn’t take much reflection to see that this is a very precarious position to be in. And yet if one has lived this way for most of their life, it is not going to be changed overnight. One might not even realise that what the media says is not the truth.
Ideas And Reality
Although what the media sells can appear to be the truth, it is often far from what actually exists in reality. But just because something is an idea and has very little to do with reality itself, it doesn’t mean that this will be realised.
So the media programs peoples mind to see in a certain way. And as the mind only sees what it has been programmed to see and filters everything else out; even though what the media is saying is not always accurate, it no longer matters.
The pressure women face through the media is far worse than what men have to deal with. In recent years, a new market has opened up to make money from men by getting them into products that were only used by women in the past. Such as: moisturisers and grooming products.
But when it comes to women, every part of them is constantly scrutinized and measured up to some ideal that they have invented. And these ideals are in a constant state of flux and so having inner stability is impossible.
Lose Or Lose
So if a woman has what the media has idealised, then they could feel fine. But before long this ideal will change and then they could sink right down, emotionally speaking. It is then not a win win siltation or even win lose, it is simply lose or lose.
And while this is going to have a massive impact on a woman’s self esteem and self worth, it can also shape the kind of career they think they can have and the kind of relationships they deserve to experience.
This is not something they need another human being to validate; the fact the media has conditioned them to believe it is often the only thing that is required. Reality then takes second place and what take first place are the ideas that the media has created in one’s mind.
As the media creates images and ideals that are prefect and don’t reflect human imperfection, they are impossible to live up to. In some cases they are images that have been created by a computer. So through not matching up to these false ideals, one is going to end up feeling less than.
And if perfection is the only thing that is good enough, then being a perfectly imperfect human being is never going to be enough. The contrast can keep one in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction and despair.
To want to look good and to grow is healthy and far from dysfunctional. What leads to problems is when one becomes completely consumed by how they look and neglects what is taking place within them. While the media can lower peoples self esteem, they also prey on people with low self esteem.
And what the media can’t sell is what one has within them. This is not something one can buy and it is not something that can be taken from them. Inherently one is perfect as they are; with it being a case of letting go and not gaining anything.
The challenge is that it takes work for one to realise their inner worth. And as the media is so strong and life offers so many enticing distractions, it can easily be overlooked and neglected.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 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.