The media has become so oversaturated with sexual imagery, so it’s no wonder why so many people, especially the younger generation, buys into the belief that love equals sex. Sexuality has become so normalised nowadays, that we even find pornographic material accessible even in the movies (hint: 50 Shades of Grey). That’s why a media detox every now and then can cleanse us from all the toxic imagery and ideology we are bombarded with on a daily basis. By taking a media detox, I spring clean all the unhelpful media to prevent myself from relapsing back to my old porn addiction. It may sound like an exaggeration or over-dramatization, but let me tell you: small actions lead to the bigger actions.
You don’t reach the top of the mountain just by going there. You take time to prepare your equipment, then wear the right clothes for the journey. When you begin, you take a first step, then another one and another… finding obstacles along the way and overcome the hurdles that slow down your journey… until you reach the peak. Those little actions are what have led you towards your victory! And in the same way, little actions can lead us to our demise. The way that the media portrays love and sexuality preps us for porn. The normalisation of sex on screen and characters exchange of sexual innuendos on movies, TV shows and especially music videos is feeding into the notion that it is okay to use other people for our own sexual gratification.
So these are the media outlets I spring clean often to become more aware of all the toxic notions of love and sex I am consuming from the media.
In this century we have had the tendency to associate media with technology, but printed magazines are actually also part of the media family. When it comes to magazines, the thing I usually tell myself is NO: no magazine reading! Magazines are full of gossip about celebrities’ love lives. For one, it is none of my business what they do. And secondly, magazine journalists are normalising the notion that love equals sex by the stories they keep sharing: stories about infidelity, fleeting attraction and such.
Music has great power, even though we don’t realise it. It’s because the words in lyrics can truly influence our thoughts and belief systems, and the instrumentals that go along with it can actually make us experience particular feelings. Just think about Hillsong music, their lyrics and instrumentals are absolutely uplifting (don’t deny it, at some point you have raised your hands high along with the music). In the same way that Hillsong can uplift us, Ariana Grande’s Love Me Harder can make us believe that love equals sex.
So when it comes to your favourite songs and artists, pay attention to the lyrics, and if the lyrics don’t align with your values for purity and chastity, then replace that music with motivational and uplifting music like Scars to your beautiful by Alessia Cara!
Look through your stack of DVD’s or through your saved movies and TV shows on your laptop, Netflix or any other place you may own a movie/TV show. The next step will be hard, but GET RID of any of the movies or TV shows that have extensive sexual content.
Yes, the spring clean includes social media! Because in the different platforms we can encounter accounts and pages that may post explicit material. Sometimes these accounts or pages don’t necessarily have explicit material, but they may share content that spread the same toxic beliefs about love and sexuality that the media and society also spread.
To spring clean your social media accounts ask yourself the following questions:
- Is having an account on this social media platform (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc.) useful to my personal growth or to my overall life?
To break this down for you, here are some deeper questions to really reflect on your social media usage:
- Do I need/want this account?
- Is it useful?
- Then, why do I need/want this account?
- Is that going to help me grow as a person?
- Is this person’s account worth following?
- Is it a close friend or a relative?
- Have I met them in real life?
- If I haven’t, then do they add value to my or other people’s lives?
Liked this blog post? Check out our post on How to do a Media Detox