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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

u r kewl

For some reason I've been on a roll recently with my comments about current western culture.....Today in a theology class our professor mentioned how he was interacting with a college student who had multiple cell phones. He gives this student a hard time because she has two cell phones for no conceivable reason at all. Well, actually there is a reason. After all, one of her cell phones is old (1 year) and the new one is cool - it's pink!

We are a very conservative college here at Grace, but nonetheless there are still many students grabbing up blackberrys and other cell phones of which they only actually need about 5% of the features. Why do they buy them if they don't need the features?

I think we live in a unique and fascinating culture where much of how we find meaning in life is dictated by our response to the media. I use the term "media" very, very broadly. Media is the targeted marketing and advertising that happens in our culture, which is huge but it isn't the whole story. Media is also journals and internet and television shows and movies and radio and the books we buy and whatever else. We are absorbed in media and it defines us. That's why students and kids buy things. It's not just about "being cool." I think that's too simplistic. It is about happiness and meaning and purpose in our lives. In churches we might tell our kids that they should find meaning and purpose in God/Bible/etc. however I submit that we are fooling ourselves. After all, most of these same parents are telling their kids not to believe the media because they heard something like it from a Dobson radio show or read it in a "Christian" book/magazine, etc. News flash: Dobson=media. And your kids know that you are influenced by the media just as much as they are. What you are really telling them is that there is "good" media (Dobson, "Christian" publishers, etc.) and there is "bad" media, which happens to be most of what the kids want to absorb.

It is too late! We are past the point of no return. Not only the kids, but we all define ourselves by media. No one escapes!


Melody said...

I think that's been true for most of history...we just have alot more media to be defined by at this point.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Yes! That's my point. We are saturated with media. I don't think there has ever been a period in history where we have been more submerged in media.