Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Have you thought much about media? What about its impact? I don’t know if you are from my generation, but when I graduated high school in 1975, we only had a handful of broadcast television networks. There was no cable television or VCRs to record TV programs. But in just a few short years, everything changed. Technology has brought us cable and satellite television, and now we can see any movie we want thanks to our DVD and Blu-ray players. It has been amazing to see the changes that have occurred in media in the last 30 years.
But here’s what I think we have not caught up with. How has all of this media and technology impacted our lives, our values, and our belief systems? Can anybody tell me what the truth is today? Is it being defined by the video images we see before us? And, why do we believe what we believe? Can we give a rational and logical explanation? Or, perhaps, it is a product of the mass media culture that we find ourselves immersed in. We seem to be too busy today to give any of this any serious consideration.
It’s time to start thinking for ourselves, and the way to do that is through Media Literacy. Media literacy is just like reading and writing. It offers us basic skills in being able to decipher and understand how media is constructed. It has four parts. (1) Define what message is being communicated. (2) What is the purpose behind the message? (3) Look at how it is impacting us individually. (4) How does it impact culture and society.
But, as Christians, we need to be the most media-savvy people on the planet. I want to be able to think for myself. Then I can make informed decisions based on the facts, not on what I see and hear in the media. I know what I believe. Do you?