Last week we started on the journey of how to process media. I offered 2 questions that have been very helpful to me. CLICK HERE for those questions. Another critical element for me has been my attitude. How do I approach TV, movies, music, etc.? When I employ a positive, critical, discerning, teachable attitude, I find I learn exponentially more from that piece of media. When I learn more I experience more. When I experience more I learn more. There is something redeeming to be found in almost everything. It’s like listening to speakers or learning from professors. Whether the speaker or professor is good or bad, we can learn. Even from a terrible speaker we can learn what not to do, or how we don’t want to present.
Now this doesn’t mean we should watch anything and everything. Certain things have no positive value and can actually hurt us. Certain elements of media can have disproportionate effects on us. We each are wired a little different. Some of us have special sensitivities to specific elements (violence, crime, language, sex, etc.) and we should limit our intake of media that include them. Some media’s redemptive value is limited because of how dark they are. The difficult part is to figure out which these are. (I probably err on taking in too much…OK definitely err on that side!) There are some great websites that give info and ratings and include the exact content and why it got its ratings. Here are some of them: Common Sense Media Kids in Mind Movie ratings Plugged In Parent previews
What is the biggest mistake we can make while watching TV? It’s one that I make regularly. (but a little less than I used to) It is taking everything in with no engagement and not involvement and no evaluation. It is using TV as an escape, to numb the mind. When I find myself “deserving” to watch a good chunk I am looking to the TV for something it cannot provide. I also find it way easier to watch questionable stuff when I am looking for comfort and mindless entertainment. Now this is not to say that TV can’t be recreational or relaxing. There is a subtle difference but it’s a big one.
3 more questions that can help in processing a movie or show or entertainment:
- What was your favorite scene/part/song? Why? What do you think was the writer’s, producer’s, composer’s, author’s, etc. favorite part? Why?
- What was this movie’s message/summary in one sentence or less? (what was it trying to communicate?) Why do you think it said this? Do you agree with it?
- What part/character do you most identify with? Why?
Do you have any questions that have been helpful as you watch?