Media Literacy: The New Age Wellness Practice Explained
The media, product marketing , and companies have preyed upon consumers through body image, a false sense of reality and psychology to manipulate our lives and buying patterns. The need for resources and a well versed marketing knowledge has become more apparent in the past few years than ever before.
The term Media Literacy is vocabulary I gained in the study of media. It was my first look at how marketing on both print and digital media translated into my body dysmorphia and was my first take on how my thoughts and feelings about myself could be manipulated by the media into something so controlling as my poor relationship to my health, body, and food choices were at the time… Talk about an awakening!
So, How is this Relevant Today?
The Media landscape has changed. We curate our platforms, choose who we follow, choose what we watch and have freedom….right?
All he more often as the threads of our lives are pushed into an addictive dopamine action oriented digital space; we are force feeding ourselves content that we may not want, subconsciously.
Frankly, content that may be triggering.
Please forgive me if I make this sound like the apps we love and our smartphones need to be manipulated or changes in someway. This is not at all the case.
In fact, you don’t have control over those things. Algorithms chose what content you see, ads are apparent every time your log on, or watch a video. It is the current landscape. So how can you use it more mindfully?
By taking a few steps you can start to become media literate and be sure that what your are consuming feels right to you.
First, Become Aware.
I am not telling you to be the next Instagram Business Coach, but what I’m saying is to read a few books, drop into a few podcasts here and there and generally become aware of the marketing your being feed daily. Get familiar with platform algorithms, and start to recognize when your being sold too. Selling online and buying online is a positive process in my opinion but, I do think that everyone should be aware of when they are being sold too. Sometimes it isn’t so clear cut. There are so many valuable offers floating around on the internet right now, and we should most certainly take advantage of them , but become aware of how you are being influenced and ask yourself if that is something you are ok with?
Then take the following action steps.
Check in with your intuition
How do you feel when using social media and digital platforms? This will tell you a lot about how your relationship to it needs to change or if it is healthy to begin with. If it needs an adjustment, be honest with yourself and talk a step back.
Take regular breaks
Social Media “ Detoxes” are very common right now, and I don’t think they are just a trend. They can do wonders for your mental health or self care routine. They are a wonderful way to reestablish your intentions for using social media, or a great practice for when your feeling overwhelmed by the constant visuals, socializing, or find your self comparing yourself to others or at worst, depending on the feedback from your posts to serve you and uplift you. These are all signals that it may be time for a break. I suggest a weekend away from social media, limiting your screen time with certain apps on a weekly basis ,or even taking a month off. Whatever feels right to you.
Discipline and Mindfulness
Step away when you find yourself getting caught up, irritated, or having that spur of comparison-itis. Create a mindfulness ritual. Before you open an app ask yourself why you are doing so. Mindless consuming? May be time to rethink your decision. Want inspirational content? Probably OK to jump on IG. Just create mindfulness statement or routine around your consuming habits it will do wonders for your mental health.
Mind-Body Wellness depends a lot a lot on how we love, communicate with, and respect our bodies. Social Media poses a threat for our metal health is we are not being conscious of our consuming: media and product.
As a consumer and creator, I urge you to be proactive and take steps to insure your relationship with your social consuming is healthy one and if not to utilize some of the tips I outlined in this post.
One Last and very important tip
Media literacy is a vast and important aspect to my wellness routine. If I leave you with one thing ask yourself: Who I am following and does it give me joy?