The other day I was evaluating the difference between my self-esteem as a freshman in college before I began watching tv shows and my self-esteem now as a Senior watching tv shows. It can pretty much be summed up in two words: drastic change.
Growing up I saw tv shows as a sinful waste of good time. I wasn’t much affected by peer pressure, I knew what I believed and nobody was going to mess with that. I didn’t care much about style, I thought it silly that everyone want to dresss the same, I prefered my own taste in clothing. When I looked in the mirror my thoughts were (no joke) “how beautiful!” Attractiveness had to do more with personality and character than it did with beauty. Overall, I had good self-esteem…my roommates thought it was too good.
Second semester of my junior year I began watching tv shows. The shows I watched were: NCIS, Bones, Body of Proof, and Off the Map. My original intentions for watching them were for the thrill of the “scientific” and “medical” actions portrayed in the shows but soon I started changing my reasoning to “better understand society” or “to better connect with the youth in my church.”
Shows quickly got a grip on me and before I knew it they began changing my thought process. Most importantly it began changing the way I viewed myself. Suddenly sitting in front of my laptop for two hours wasn’t a waste of time it was “educational”. I also began to let the tv shows and how others interpreted them form my thoughts. I had a conceptualized view of beauty. Beauty was no longer who God had made me to be. Beauty was what the characters on the tv show described as beauty. Instead of being myself I began living every moment to please others.
I started to notice a change in the way I thought, spoke, and dressed. I realized there was a problem. The shows I watched were starting to form my identity, or better said: they were starting to destroy my identity. No matter how hard I try I can’t be who I wasn’t formed to be. Any changes I do make will not fill the void that only God can fulfill. Only God knows who I am and only spending time with him will transform me into the likeness of Christ.
We may argue that we are watching shows to be better informed of the world. But the truth is they will change our world perspective and our view of ourselves if we are not careful. It’s no question that media doesn’t have effect on us, it sucks us in when we’re not even looking.