Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Beauty that is Blogging

Many years ago I made a decision to stop reading newspapers and stop watching television. It seemed to me that there were too many depressing stories, too many scary stories and too many negative stereotypes being portrayed. Is the world really that bad? I think not. There are many good and happy stories that never get told.

In the UK, we have a lot of 'soaps' for instance. Programs such as 'Eastenders', 'Coronation Street' and 'Hollyoaks' and in these shows there are common themes: everyone is depressed, relationships are doomed to fail (usually through infidelity), people are miserable and bad things happen ALL the time.

Sure, you could say that these are only fiction but I happen to think that watching these sorts of shows affects people. I often see young people arguing and shouting at each other, seemingly emulating the sort of behaviour they see on the television. Who knows? Maybe I am wrong but I do often wonder, "What if these shows showed people being happy, successful and in loving lasting relationships?" How would the world change as a result of seeing positive uplifting messages consistently, rather than negative depressing messages that are so often promoted in the media?

This is my opinion on the media and it is why I have decided to be (as much as possible) media free. I say as much as possible, because every where I go I see advertisements - on buses, on posters, at train stations, even recently on the pavements! I imagine some people may laugh at my views and not see the damage media can do, but I see it. I see it very clearly when I walk into a newsagents shop and see magazines with women exposing themselves not just on the top shelves but in the daily newspapers. Young children walk into the shop and are exposed to this type of 'message' from their earliest age. If normal everyday women do not walk around with everything exposed, why is it acceptable to be bombarded (and where I live we are bombarded) with images of women in this way.

I'm not a prude. I think normal loving relationships are good and healthy but I would object to any woman walking into my home with everything on show. I'd ask her to have some respect and cover herself up - so why should I also not have concerns for the sorts of images you see regarding women in the media?

This is a large topic, too large to go into here but suffice to say, I believe that the media is very controlled and generally portrays some very negative messages regarding the world and people. At the very least, the media is very limited in its scope of the human experience.

Which is one of the reasons I love blogging. Blogging is a freedom. It allows individuals a voice. It allows individuals to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences with each other. I would much rather read about the life story of a real person in another country, than read about the latest bomb attack. I would much rather read a true story of someone's success over adversity than be 'encouraged' to buy the latest women's razor or perfume.

Blogging to me is a much needed antidote to the highly-controlled media world of information. I think I have already learned so much more from reading other bloggers' posts than I could ever hope to gain from reading the latest copy of 'Hello Magazine'.

So I'd just like to say thank you. Thank you to everyone that shares their thoughts, their feelings, their experiences and their stories. It enriches my life and my understanding.

I have a problem leaving comments on blogger sites. It simply won't let me leave comments, unless they are in 'pop-up' mode so although I am delighted to be in such good company here, I haven't been able to comment for this reason.



I agree with you, especially being as 'media free' as possible.

My son in law tried to stop watching TV and only lasted a couple of weeks.
Many forms of entertainment can be as addicting as drugs.

You should write a blog about 'How to be Media Free"
and ask your readers if they have ever tried to stay "media Free' for any length of time.

I'll be sure to look for it on my Google Reader.

God bless you, Ron

Katherine Jenkins said...

Hi Jacqui-Yes I think it's important that we create our own sub culture of what we want in the world..our own media so to speak. I think that's what many of us are doing here. @ old geezer, I went for 45 days without touching anything electronic. I also didn't speak. It was challenging, but I had support because I was in a meditation course.
@ Jacqui-pop up window is now in place! ^_^

Marilyn said...

Jacqui -

An excellent post! The manipulation of Madison Ave is maddening. Women being told they are too fat...have too many of this or that or not enough 'assets'. Men get preyed upon in similar ways.

It is about time we quit listening to the expectations of others and make our own!


If no one watched television...would it still exist? If no one read the news...would it still matter?

An interesting thought - an e-revolution.

I kind of like it!

marcime said...

Jaqui - such a fantastic point about how blogging is about real people telling real stories - and I too would much rather read blogs than tv, in fact I don't really watch tv - we don't have "cable" as they call it here in North America - which somehow comes up when people introduce me - my most prominent feature? I don't even choose not to watch, I simply find myself not watching - too many blogs and books to read!

Tony Anders said...

I much prefer my comfy little spot with you all more so than the couch with a remote. I do however like some visual connection and stimulation. I enjoy the History Channel, Food Network mainly. I prefer things that build my mind as opposed to gelatinize it. I find TV, as well as blogging like part of a diet. I need more of the good stuff than the bad, to push away from the table when I have had too much, it always is enjoyable with friends, and if something is more harmful than good, time to stop or find an alternative. Thanks as always for sharing!

Healing Morning said...

Wonderful post, my friend! I'm having a bit of trouble clicking to follow you here, so will look you up in Networked Blogs and follow there.

I'm of similar mindset w/ Tony, in that I tend to have the TV on the History Channel, Food Network or TLC. I admit to watching some mainstream television as well, but I'm particular about the content I choose to watch.

And yes, indeed, blogging is such a freeing format for we creative types to give voice to such a broad range of topics, thoughts and emotions! Keep writing, my friend!

~ Dawn

Janie said...

I couldn't agree with you more on every topic you touched on. As you probably know I live with my daughter and her family-3 children under the age of 7. They are only allowed to watch some P.B.S. programs and their T.V. watching is very limited. I for one do not watch the news or read the newspaper. I do admit I have a couple of programs I watch, but find myself moving away from that. Give me Anne of Green Gables everyday, or how about Secret Garden? Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie....all of the mysteries on P.B.S. Something that needed to be blogged about...glad u did!

Earthula said...

Wonderful. I love this view of blogging.
As social beings we are profoundly affected by the images that repeat around us, the sounds, the style of life. There is so much noise that the idea of just shutting it off is lost in the mesmerizing confusion.

I enjoyed your words!

Pamela Bousquet said...

SO true, Jaqui!
Our family has gotten SO much more selective in what we view on television now - simply because there is very little that interests us. I've gotten to the point now where I'm usually turning OFF the news because I can't take the same old stuff any more! I feel your views echo most of us!


Thanks Old Geezer (I love that name!) - I might just do that, write a post on being media-free. Thanks! Great idea.

Kathy - thanks for changing to 'pop-up'. :) That must have been quite an experience. Also, probably made you really appreciate modern-day comforts!

Marilyn - I like it! An e-revolution! Yes, I really think it is time to stop listening to all those imposed expectations. HEAR HEAR!

Marcime - that's funny that you get introduced on that basis, as if it's somehow odd or wrong! I love being media-free - I feel like it helped me reclaim my thoughts.

Tony: I used to love watching the history channel and documentaries but I don't miss them at all. They were the last part of my 'weaning'. :)

Janie - the Secret Garden was one of my favourite books and films. I think I preferred the book though. And the old movies are wonderful - much better messages in them.

Earthula - thank you. It is very nice and peaceful to be without the 'noise'.

Hi Pamela, I'm glad you enjoyed the post - and nice to meet you on here.