Drawing the line in mass communications and media

On Monday’s class we discussed the effects of mass media on our worldviews and assumptions. Along with this, we discussed how media has eroded our moral compass. We were asked to write a very subjective respone titled, “Where Do You Draw the Line?” Here is my response:

Where do I Draw the Line?

I draw the line when there seems to no longer be a coherent line. What that line is I hope to explain throughout this reflection. But grounding myself in the belief of absolute truth and the respect and dignity of humanity, I believe there is a line of decency, a line of truth, and a line of fairness.

It seems that in today’s media-driven world, the need for consumption is not quenched with our insatiable desire for more entertainment. While at the same time, our capacity and high level of communication does not follow through on the promises it gives of contentment and a 24 hour companion. Though we have more variety in media, we are now more alone than ever in our feelings. I find it rather brilliant on the part of the producer that by and large, the same show can be produced but in a different package. Having said that, I find it rather degrading with America’s incapacity to seek newer and creative (and God forbid, wholesome) entertainment. I probably should not make generalizations like I am going to do right now, but if we looked back over the last fifty years in America, could we honestly say that much has improved (with exceptions to our high levels of technology) in regards to our higher levels of technology, communication, and media yet we have statistically lower self-esteem, a lower view of morals, and the ubiquitous message of essential bodily perfection.

I draw the line when inanimate objects (TV) sitting in a room can incapacitate us to levels that can only contribute to America’s lessened attention span. I draw the line when parents trade in their responsibilities for TV’s instruction on children. I draw the line when children are being medicated at such high levels all because the relaxed atmosphere of a classroom cannot keep their attention as well as the newest cartoon. I draw the line when objects and subjective emotionalism replace truth and objectivity. As said in class, I draw the line when we “accept reality as it is solely presented” through the means of mass communication. I draw the line when the need for reflective contemplation is sought, but the opportunity cannot arise because of the bombardment of distractions. I draw the line when image takes substance captive in hopes of appealing to a larger, more degenerative audience. I draw the line when means of communication (TV, movies, news) replace the need for human dependency and community. When the medium of communications replaces the essence of the message of communications; that is when I draw the line.

I draw the line when mass media/communications frustrates a marriage because of its “necessary” and accidental addictions. I draw the line when our ability to critically think is overcome by the habitual Saved by the Bell rerun. I draw the line when a newly married couple are not enjoying themselves sexually because the husband would prefer to catch the last few minutes of Sports Center while the wife, feeling unpursued and unsought-after quietly falls asleep. I draw the line when communication turns people into objects of ridicule and carnality and when these objects become the fleeting hope and hollow ideals that we faultily lust after.

My line is not a line that requires a large leap to cross, but my line is a line that is best drawn with caution. My line does have elasticity because truth is found in many arenas; not solely evangelical-condoned media.

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