Media is wonderful.
It really is. I can’t count the number of times I float off into Analytica-Land thinking about a TV show or movie and piecing it apart, thinking about meaning and looking for connections. Or listening to great music, or podcasts, or reading good blogs. Media is great.
Media is not neutral.
Highly orchestrated media, like popular TV shows, movies, music, books, magazines, and blog posts (gasp!) are definitely not neutral. They aim to do something. The more complicated the media, the more deliberate the aim. Aims vary. Some media wants you to sleep, some to relax, some to bite off your fingertips.
All media is not created equal.
It does not all deserve your attention. By consuming media that matches your preferences, you give media producers feedback on what kind of things you’d put your money into. Encourage the kind of media you like – you don’t need to take whatever’s being advertised five times an hour on TV, unless you’d like to.
Sometimes finding media that you prefer and stays within your values is a challenge.
As a life-long media consumer, I’ve had times where I was more careful and less careful about what I watched, read, listened to. Now I just try to be practical about it. I ask myself questions like:
- What do I want to get out of this media experience?
- Then the corollary is – will this media do the job?
- What do I want to avoid in media experiences?
- Does this media have stuff I avoid?
What changes everything is that I have kids now. I think more carefully (not sure why, must be a side effect of having kids, like deep-socketed eyes) about what I watch and what gets watched as a family. I watch what I feel works for me and avoid what doesn’t, using an ever-evolving framework.
The goal of this blog is to share and explore that framework, equipping you with what you need to navigate an increasingly huge pile of media that demands your attention. DEMANDS. A win would reward you with the spoils – media you like, want to experience again, and enjoy.
A little warning up front – it might take expanding your patience, for example bracing yourself to watch a movie made before 1970 besides It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s true, they made more movies back then. It might mean deciding against consuming media that seems to be right up alley but has juuuuuuuuuust one or two things you don’t like see/hear/read. Or consuming them with a discretionary friend who doens’t mind filtering for you. Sometimes there are ways around things, sometimes there aren’t.
Let’s get started, shall we? That TIVO won’t watch itself. Actually I hear self-watching is coming out in the next software update.
Header image by Rob Hawley.