Clearly, there is a huge investment being made in the beauty industry and one of the dividends is that it makes us feel insecure, self-conscious enough to want to buy all that make-up.
Yet, here is the irony. What we see in those ads is not what we will get from those products because all of those after photos aren’t just after the product has been used. They are after the lighting has been done up, after the model has been handled by professionals, after the picture has been photoshopped. Infinite afters that we don’t get in life.
But print media isn’t the only medium that makes us feel adequate. There’s television and movies where women have been styled and prepped by experts once again (and aided by professionals outside of their screen time to keep them physically maintained for what has been deemed screen time acceptable). Heck, we can feel bad about ourselves by surfing the internet, by reading someone’s blog post or Facebook update and interpreting it to mean that her life is perfect compared to ours.
Sometimes, all of our access to information really isn’t the best thing in the world. And yet it is so hard to moderate it without being deliberate.
Today, we are going for a little moderation. For twelve hours, I want you go to go on a media diet. This is the only time I am willing to suggest a diet, and I do more than just suggest one for my students every semester. I insist. For 3 days, they record absolutely everything they take in via media– from Twitter to Facebook, video games to reality tv, music to movies. Then for 3 days, they go cold turkey. They can email. They can text their family and friends. But they cannot take in media. It is so hard for them, media has become such a necessity to them, that very few of them are able to go 72 hours without media. Yet, when they write their follow-up papers, they are struck by how much more time they have than they thought they did. They are startled by how the media they take in really stresses and negatively influences them. They are struck by the racket media brings into their life and how it quiets when they quiet the media. They sleep better. They talk to people more directly. They get their work done for school. They go outside more. Obviously, these are all good things. I try now to go as unwired as possible every single weekend, and it is so restorative. I am such a believer in unwired time, that I am suggesting a media fast to you.
Go ahead and unplug from all media (anything that gives you messages about who/ how you should be- even if the messages are in your interpretation. ) for twelve hours today and give yourself the challenge and gift of that experience.
1. How did your media fast go? Were you able to do the whole 12 hours? How long were you able to go?
2. What was the hardest thing to go without (for my students, it is always music)?
3. What did you discover during or after the fast?
4. In what ways do your media choices influence you? How can you moderate that?
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