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Sensational, Sexy, and Violent Media

Today’s video is a break from my usual love-life videos. It’s a topic close to my heart that I’m really hot about right now.

I discuss the extent to which media really does effect our focus, and ask, can we blame the media?

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43 Replies to “Sensational, Sexy, and Violent Media”

  • The media can be a form of subliminal hypnosis and you’re right, being around the right mentors can counteract just mindlessly taking in the content without discretion. It’s like the saying from Socrates (I think): better to give energy to the new rather than fight the old.

  • Mathew Thank you so much for your weekly videos. This is a Fabulous lesson and like all the good lessons it is amazingly simple and real. Thank you

  • Exactly…if movies and media weren’t psychologically powerful these industries wouldn’t be billion dollar and thriving.

    and….Our culture can be toxic…especially for the vulnerable/ young. However, People like Elliot Rogers- an unwell boy with aspergers-are failed by their parents and mental health care providers.

    1. No where has it been confirmed that E.R. had asbergers.
      As for this media debacle: society and media influence each other. I think people are to narcissistic to care about the truths and realities of the world. There is the internet and people also have the options to travel to learn about other “truths.” If people want to be naive to the truths of the world that is only their fault. And it doesnt help when people who openly express their dislike for fakeness and materialism as not being realistic. No realistically the materialism and emphasis of self in America is quite disgusting. Thats all people seem to be about.

      1. My impression has always been that American highschool, American society for that matter, is way more socially brutal than in the U.k. If you are “different”, poor, black, overweight, or socially or mentally hampered by things like Aspergers or poor social skills, or even unusually gifted or smart, then it can be hell.I often think i’ve seen a side to humanity that few have- a privilege of sorts- just by being overweight. We also have this thing in our culture of blaming the victim. And even the word carries with it a sense of shame, lameness and weakness. I’d rather say, survivor of social toxicity. :P

        I’ve always found that people in groups don’t think properly and it’s natural for a few oddballs to be created and marginalized. It’s just how we operate as complex primates…on a very complex scale. I’ve watched people be ostracised and watched people enjoy the playing of that game…and i often think we creat ER’s of this world and then complain when they reflect back the ugliness we help create. That’s why i always try and intervene when i see bullying or group norming going on.

        ER may not have been on the spectrum, but he was disturbed. To be honest, i was horribly bullied and rejected myself, and i think to survive that you do need good nourishing people in your life. ER is the ugly reflection of our culture and it convenient to blame the bad apple, but i think this thing is systemic and we all contribute.

        Mathew is right in saying young people need mentors…i had one in school for a while..assigned to me because i was a truant. For the short time i opened myself up to my mentor and had a positive, nourishing relationship with adult….my grades improved. hmmmm…maybe i should do the mentor thing as an adult? What a clever man you are, M.

        1. In addendum to that, i would like to say that i think family is also very important and grounding. Not everyone has amazingly supportive loving family to balance out the dehumanising aspects of participating in larger society. Also, and i have seen this first hand on my own doorstep: we need to not be afraid to intervene we see a marching band of redflags, when we see unwell people who are alone in the world. I know of a recent suicide that was violent but completely preventable. If only the poor girl had a better support network and the mental health services in my country weren’t so weak, she would be alive today. Okay, finsihed. x

  • I agree 100% with what you say Matthew, but I take responsibility for my thoughts and actions, and sadly not everyone does. Where media is dangerous is when you have young children watching the songs and movies that are sexual and violent and they grow up believing that it is ok to be like that because their parents have not taught them any different. Media has a lot to answer for, but I think the buck stops with parents when it comes to teaching a child what is right and wrong.

  • Hi Matt,

    I agree with many points you made, just putting the blame on others won’t make things better. However this is a rather narrow view of ‘the media’. Take also into account journalism and news reporting on critical international issues. It has ceased to be about telling people the truth; instead it is about creating images and shaping opinions by (purposefully) portraying one ‘truth’ about (political) international events. I would argue that people are susceptible to that because mostly they only have access to content from their own countries (not necessarily their fault). If you’re interested, read some academic work in political science.

    Take care

  • exactly! thank you, matt!

    I’m a teacher working with kids from 6 – 14 and this is a topic that moves me deeply as I have to work with it every day..personally and at work. you can’t prevent someone (not even yourself) from seeing or experiencing certain things and it will get more and more. but you can develop a strong character and get your own tools to deal with them best.

    for me, media is a perfect reason to start TALKING with each other and build relationship. to share opinions and to look behind them.. “to bring the TRUTH” (oh thank you for saying that!!)
    the thing why media work is it touches something in our heart and that’s where we should put the attention first. why CAN it influence me at all? what’s going on inside me and why is that so..? what need do I really have and what is the best way to fulfill it? such a good reason to talk about things that REALLY matter.
    … so much more to say.

    we have to kick our own asses to stop blaming and start building something greater and better! thank you very much, matt, this is what I always say!!

  • Think these comments are good but maybe a bit simplistic. There needs to be more in society to support emotional intelligence and good communications/ relationships. It’s also good to see the media being questioned within the media.

  • Hi Matt,

    I agree largely with what you say, however (slightly off tangent) it IS the case that the media orchestrates to manipulate our political views both in the USA and the UK. Those who run the news channels for example wield a great deal of hidden power, (the BBC or Brussels Broadcasting Corporation – funded by the EU over here).

    I have studied Steven Pinker’s theory that world violence has declined. I see his point that there is media overload of information we would not have received previously, (while I remain undecided of much of his claims).

    I agree with you massively that censorship of entertainment media risks controlling what we would choose to see. My argument is that news media DOES have too much control and increasingly so. The UK media reacts crazily to what ‘he said, she said’ on Twitter and so forth. What next, the ‘thought control police’….

  • In a global world where we have access to media from all parts of the world, we can actually be more informed than ever. Why should we be so frightened about this for ourselves and our young. Not only do we underestimate adults ability to be reasoning leading to an opinion, not a ‘truth’. We underestimate the young. Yes they are growing up in a society different from the one we did and are probably exposed at an earlier age. Is this a bad thing? As you say, if handled well it need not be viewed as a problem.
    It also struck me recently how important mentors are. In my life they were key. We adults should not feel burdened but want to do this. There are great young undergraduates in British universities in mentorship schemes at the moment helping school age children set up businesses and helping some to have better education access. I could go on, they are doing great things, achieving great results, all in their own time for free.
    The media are doing what they do well, selling and making money. Look how people in France supposedly didn’t want the intrusion of their leaders affair being made public, when they just couldn’t print enough of the magazine that had brought it to attention!
    Have a great Sunday Matt and keep doing what you are doing.
    Kathryn x

    1. I’m a late adopter, only on season four. Have taken to wearing shirt dresses and a slight wave in my hair, much to the amusement of the guy in HMV who normally helps me to find something with Optimus Prime in it!

  • Mass media in the USA is not produced everywhere. Most of it is produced in LA and NYC. That’s about it. The industry produces a lot of knock-offs of knock-offs of knock-offs, that present a point of view of the world that is very narrow and provincial. The problem with the media isn’t that it’s all bad, but that it is uniformly boring, and lacks a diversity of viewpoints. People are tired of living with a lack of real choice, which you can see by how many people contributed recently to the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, and the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter.

  • Hey there :) I just wanted to drop in a little idea for the next video:

    Self-discovery seems to be the big key to self-love, so the question that arises is if there are any ways to actively find oneself…
    See, it is not that I am not meeting people, nor that I don’t have any hobbies to get busy with.
    However, there are often dilemmas in our lives in which we have to decide between family or love life… things like that :D pretty tough, I know ^^

    1. I’m talking about these moments of big decisions in which you really, really need to know who you are, what you want for your future and what you are willing to risk.
      In my case it’s either family and living in harmony or independence (which sounds like freedom, yet could feel like torture)…

  • Couldn’t agree more. People need to be educated to think and to have perspectives different to what they are being fed. And they need people close to them to show them that it is possible and that they should question everything; to form their own system of beliefs.

  • I appreciate this video so much. We’re in a society that is rushing children to growup and not taking the time to nuture their world view education. Each element has a responsibility-media, society, individual and I think more and more children are growing up lacking the understanding of accountability and seek to put all the blame elsewhere. So videos like this are important!

  • It is fake, a movie, art, advertising, a dream, if you don’t understand this, then there is something wrong with YOU.

    Everyone is crazy nowadays. And there are a lot of psychopaths.

    I am soo glad that there are people like Matthew. I consider him like a dad. He is a role model.

    But Matthew, the thing is, you don’t want to teach people nowadays, grown-ups or not, they are too arrogant to think deep about life-issues and problems or life-values.

    People don’t want to reflect on their behaviour or their thinking.

  • Interestingly, I think it’s not just about mentoring kids…but “mentoring” adults too! I’ve recently read more and more about feminism and had some deep realizations about just what it’s like being a woman in this culture – most importantly the feeling of perpetual vulnerability. The fact that it’s perfectly normal to expect to be assaulted in some way in certain environments. And how unsafe it can feel to speak up. And as a result I’ve had many conversations with men in my life about the issue – and bringing their awareness to it has helped them understand what they weren’t conscious of before.
    I don’t think that society reflects the media so much as the media reflects society. So really, if we want the media to change than it starts with personal attitudes shifting.

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