A media commentator offers tips and discussions on how to consume media more consciously.
Kajuth (Spiritual Fitness, 2005) provides analysis and exercises to more consciously “learn from the vast menu of fascinating viewing choices while filtering out messages that hook you into a false decision about life.” She suggests shifting from an unconscious “TV Trance” to a “SpyTV” mentality, investigating and thus becoming more aware of associations being drawn from viewing experiences, then assessing “RxTV” measures to accept, release, or replace those associations. Chapters cover bringing such mindfulness to media coverage of politics (watch without a predetermined point of view), depictions of relationships (question the common pairing of love with longing), and “reality” (watch out even for food shows, which may spur hunger and/or over-competitiveness). Kajuth urges extra care in assessing media with violent themes, and in a sci-fi-focused section, she offers a “Profound or Profane?” quiz to pinpoint one’s true beliefs. The final chapter, “The New Adventures of the Old You,” encourages the transfer of “conscious viewing skills to conscious living skills” and offers a variety of suggestions (exercise, read, reduce overall stress, etc.) and quizzes to map out your “Real Conscious life.” While Kajuth is certainly not the first to point out the dangers of our media-frenzied world, what’s nifty about her book is its alignment with the mindfulness movement and the idea that “your TV viewing habits are metaphors for how you live your life.” Her exercises serve as important reminders to slow down, calm down, examine and focus—in media viewing and in life. She’s upbeat and relatable, acknowledging her own viewing habits and believing that positive role models and ideas can be gleaned from more mindful viewing. The narrative can be a bit challenging to plow through, however, given the array of not-always-revelatory mentions of TV shows and several rather stress-inducing redirects to find “more up-to-date information” on her website. Overall, however, this intriguing self-help guide is highly relevant for modern times.
Helpful “trance-breaking techniques” for a better life in front of and away from the screen.