Out of the Woods

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The Abundant Life Blog

Toxic Media

Posted by cyndyadeniyi@gmail.com on May 29, 2018 at 7:05 PM

A few years ago I wrote a blog called Toxic Television – my contribution to myriad of voices in the mental health community encouraging folks to turn of the television and to embrace forms of entertainment that were less toxic and less destructive to mental health. One of those recommendations was to get news from the radio instead. The idea was that without the constant, repetitive imagery, the toxic messages would have less effect. Now three years later, I have to take it back.

Television, radio, newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Huffington Post, Yahoo News – it does not matter where you turn in the media the toxicity prevails. It is everywhere. We have to turn it off. Let's talk about how to make the adjustments.

Monitor and Purge Social Media Feeds

Not everyone needs to be a friend. Not everyone needs to be followed. We bring some of the problem on ourselves when we follow people or news outlets that we know full well are up to no good. One of the things I did on Facebook was to pick the persons/organizations that I wanted to be at the top of my feed. I no longer have to flip through everyone's post to see what great things are happening at New Life Ministries for example. Their post are right on top.

Some need to de-friended not just ignored. It's hard to do, especially when the person bringing the toxicity is family. One friend of mind de-friended everyone and started all over. Extreme? Yes, but it did the job.

 

Turn Off Talk Radio

Okay. If you have been in my car, there have been only three things on the radio – Political Talk Radio, Praise and Worship Music, or Adventures in Odyssey (It's a kids program... long story). Most of the time its the first. I am learning though that my need to know what is going on in the world is not worth my own mental health and peace of mind. Yes, I need to know what is going on in the world in order to be an informed voter. I can also research candidates online myself. Yes, knowing all the bad stuff going on allows me to be able to pray about it. However, the Person I am praying to already knows what is going on and I really don't have to tell Him about it. My point is, we don't really have to listen to this stuff.

 

Replace, replace, replace.

One of the joys of not having cable is that we have rediscovered a wide range of retro channels. Our evenings are now peppered with Little House on the Prairie and Super Password. Television shows with real character development and real plots. Game shows that challenge one's knowledge of history and science.

Another joy of not having cable has been the use of our backyard. The children are out there. We are out there. Just now we were enjoying a rainbow that came courtesy of Tropical Storm Alberto. We have so many entertainment opportunities – technology related and otherwise. Perhaps we just need to get back to enjoying the rest of life and getting ourselves away from the media for a while.


Categories: Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety

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