Raising Media-Savvy Children

February 25, 2007 at 10:29 pm Leave a comment

tv…advertising…..video…playstation…net nanny…palm pilots..DVDs…SMS advertising………OVERLOAD!!!! Our children consume a daily diet fed to them by marketers, advertisers and media designed for the lowest common denominator. How can we, as parents guide them how to ration their daily consumption and teach them how to consume it consciously with awareness and a questioning mind?

“We are all wired. Caught together in a web of resonance… joined to everyone else on the planet by cables, lines, signals and satellites.. the air waves crackle with billions of invisible forms, realities that buzz across the sky..the world mind broadcasts through all of us. The Holy Image Empire programs the common reality. The Revolutionaries are those who are severing themselves from the Imperial circuits.” wrote Scoop Nisker twenty four years ago in an edition of ‘The Coevolution Quarterly’ -(Winter 1977/78). His words are more relevant today than ever.

He describes how while attending a Vispassana meditation course he discovered his true essence “I am a jukebox. My life is measured out in popular songs. ‘I got the music IN me..” The tapes that played over and over on his head gradually revealed themselves to him as he trained his mind to observe the processes of thought that ran continually through his head. As his head became emptier he was able to gain control over the programming ..or to take over his own “internal radio station”.

This is what happens to our children from birth – the recording of the programming of their minds from outside sources- us as their parents, teachers, friends and the images, sounds and messages from the media.

According to Scoop…”You are what you think, and what you think is your programming, your culture, your media. And just as you can begin to deprogram yourself by watching yor own thoughts, you can also begin to deprogram yourself by watching the thoughts of your civilisation.”

So how do we do this? How do we program or deprogram ourselves and our kids?

Following are a few techniques he suggests, “some mental floss to help you prevent media particles from becoming caught in your synapses, causing cavities in your behaviour.”

  • Turn on your TV and count the number of technical events in any given program or ad eg. scene changes, cuts, zooms, changes in camera angles, music intros etc. Kind of like becoming a detached observer from the editor’s perspective… instead of watching TV you are now watching the programming of TV.
  • Watch for the symbolism in media broadcasts and how the symbolism is manipulated. What is THE PROGRAM behind the program? What roles, emotions and ideals are being presented and how are they worked into the show? Who are the archetypes, the heros, the shamans? What imagery is being used? What emotions arise in you as you watch these things or hear certain background music – become aware of your moods and energy as you tune in. It’s like stepping outside of society and becoming aware of the cultural conditioning of your entire society. Instead of watching the TV programming, you are now watching the TV programming of YOU!

As our children grow up in this media saturated environment and learn how our culture’s reality is constructed through the media, watch out for those who are prepared to question the CNN – MacDonalds news. Bill Gates had a taste of the next generation of journalists when he was interviewed recently by 15 year old, Sarah.
Read more here

Related Links
A great resource of articles covering media awareness, elecronic media, violence and advertising.

Adbusters – An organization working against advertisers, as stated in their manifesto: “We will take on the archetypal mind polluters – Marlboro, Budweiser, Benetton, Coke, McDonald’s, Calvin Klein – and beat them at their own game!!


Entry filed under: Children.

The Children’s Voice: Address to the Plenary Session, Earth Summit, Rio Centro, Brazil 1992 The Year of the Fire Pig 2007 By Kristine Gibson

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