MEDIA DIET FOR SPIRITUAL RICHNESS
As a suitable diet makes our body healthier,
so proper use of media will make our spirit nobler.
Diet has become a favorite word to many people. Following a diet can
develop self-discipline and self-control. But with fast food mentality
and eateries everywhere we can easily buy any of our favorite dish.
A health-conscious person is, however, careful in taking the proper
variety and amount of food needed by the body. The goal of food diet
is good health. A healthy body is the matural consequence of proper
A good health dispose the person to life of the spirit. It prepares
one to get attuned to higher values other than merely physical beauty,
wealth and honor. It conditions the soul to greater sensitivity to
the voice of God manifested in varioes ways.
Diet for spiritual richness
In the world of communication today, mass media and new communication
technology (NCT) overload us with information. Like food that is abundant
we can suffer indigestion of the spirit from over exposure to radio
and television programs, movies, music, newspapers, magazines, books,
Internet websites and text messages. The choices at the click of a
remote control and keyboard are overwhelming. It calss on everyone
to engage in a constant discernment. The values media present must
be evaluated in the light of Christian moral teachings.
How to practice media diet
First, it is recommended that we get to know the type of radio/TV
programs and films that we listen to and watch; newspapers, magazines
and books we read; Internet websites we surf; music we listen to;
and short messagesending (SMS) we engage in. It is not advisable to
indulge in any medium without minimal knowledge of its producer, director,
publisher, author, editor, sender and other media practitioners who
have influence on the production. They control the content with the
biases, their social, economic, political, educational and religious
values. Text analysis in media is the process of interpreting codes,
symbols, signs. Social, economic, political and religious implications
are not easily noticed unless the audience is aware of the signs and
codes used by the producers.
Second, be conscious of the length of time spent with media. Time
management is the key in the use of medi. As overeating can make the
body sick, over exposure in media can distort our values. An increasing
number of broken families, cases of incest, premarital sex, por school
performance can be caused by uncontrolled use of media.
The third strategy in media diet is to observe a regular schedule
in the use of mass medai and NTC so as to have time for the things
of the spirit. A quality time for personal and family prayer and the
desire for knowledge of God is to be given priority.
Media diet leads to wholeness
It is a fact that not all about media is good for the audience. We
need to learn to appreciate radio/TV programs and movies that are
beneficial for human and spiritual development. Discuss them with
family members, friends and peers and evaluate them. It is surprising
to experience how much learning we will have in the process. We will
develop a critical mind toward ideas and ideology that are presented
by media. Discussing media together can make us aware of things perceived
by others that we ourselves failed to see. This is a practice in media
literacy education, which can be done either alone or with others.
Media production has greater impact on the person more than any material
product since they target the mind and heart. The ideas we have, the
ideologies we believe in, and the sentiments that we experience, are
greatly influenced by our exposure to media.