Get Reel: Produce Your Own Life!
Nancy Mramor Kajuth, Ph.D. is a health and media psychologist and is the author of the award-winning book, Get Reel: Produce Your Own Life.
What is Conscious Living?
In a world where Real Conscious Living is one of our most cherished goals, the question of the role of the media comes into play. It is apart of life, from TV and movies to the Internet and social networking. And media is one of the most powerful influences in our lives because it connects to us at the subconscious level. We know from social learning theories that you learn from and become what you see. So it is important to understand that TV and Internet are still the main influencers among the media vehicles. You can view TV on the Internet, your phone, in your car, your office; just about anywhere at any time, you can be under its influence. And the result can be that you become a reel person, influenced by media messages, instead of a real one.
Why? Because when you bring media characters or fictional characters into your viewing experience on a regular basis you begin to feel that you know them, that they are like you or someone that you know and you begin to care about them. The power of TV and the media to influence is seen in this affection. When people feel like family to you, you’re more forgiving of them and overlook many of their faults because of their strengths and their importance in your lives. The buzz around the release of the new 2015 Star Wars film is a reminder that we often choose our heroes from fictional characters. Supernatural beings have strength, magic, talent, superpowers and histories that would dwarf the greatest athletes, futurists and inventors of our world. Superheroes who can make or break anyone or anything with their supernatural gifts, and you may wish you had their skills. If you had a Superman or Wonder Woman suit for any Halloween of your life or were ever a Star Trekkie, you know what I mean.
The challenge is to begin raising your viewing experience to a conscious level to sort out what you have learned and how you can learn from the vast menu of fascinating viewing choices while filtering out messages that will hook you into a false decision about life. You get to become the decision maker, and determine what you want to absorb and what you could do without. As a wise consumer you are less likely to absorb messages unconsciously that you don’t need.
Tips for Becoming a Conscious Viewer
- Be your own hero. Mindfully notice your personal strengths and accept your weaknesses. Live a real life driven by your own goals, not the ones that politics, romantic comedies or advertising impose on you
- Notice how you feel when viewing. Trust your intuition and the feeling in your gut that occurs as you watch anything in any type of media, from billboards and magazines to the big screen. If it doesn’t feel right to you, tune out.
- If something feels positive to you at the gut level continue to view, but with awareness; view consciously by sitting back away from the messages so that you can observe them, and then choose them, if they support the real you!