"It is so easy to get sucked into the tv. It is an easy and cheap (free if you don't have cable)babysitter. It is an easy and cheap way to sit back and relax. It is addicting. It is fun. It is an adult voice during the day of a stay-at-home mommy. It is definitely way too much a part of my life. Any kind of noise is way too much a part of my life.
Just today I realized that as soon as I jump in the car with my toddler the radio gets turned on and we don't talk. He sits in the back seat in silence and I sit in mine with a few words sung here and there. So as we were out and about running errands today I turned it off and we talked...you know in the way that a mommy and an almost two year old can. We pointed at things and noticed things along our way. He jabbered and jabbered.
As we kept driving I asked him a question, "Do you want to keep talking or do you want to listen to music?" Now my little boy loves music but he said, "Keep talking." So we continued on our radio-free adventure and enjoyed each other. It was a great teaching moment. Not from me as the parent to my son but from my toddler to his Mommy who needed to be taught.
Finally I wanted to share the quote that we have on top of our tv. It is a great reminder to only watch programs that are good influences so that we don't allow the bad or the temptations of the world to entertain us:
"If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us!"
~Elder Neal A. Maxwell
What a great challenge it would be to turn our tvs off and be more in the here and now rather than sucked into some fantasy world that is, more often than not, of the world."
Her post was great and the conversation that followed in the comments was great as well (If you would like to read her post, click on the link at the top of this post).
One of the quotes she shares in her post is so powerful and so I wanted to share it here:
“Again I say, leave it alone. Turn it off, walk away from it, burn it, erase it, destroy it. I know it is hard counsel we give when we say movies that are R-rated, and many with PG-13 ratings, are produced by satanic influences. Our standards should not be dictated by the rating system. I repeat, because of what they really represent, these types of movies, music, tapes, etc. serve the purposes of the author of all darkness.”
-Elder H. Burke Peterson
What a bold statement that a lot of the media out there is "produced by satanic influences" and "serve the purposes of the author of all darkness". It is scary to think that we often are allowing satan to be our entertainer. We are allowing him to keep us company, to make us laugh, and to fill our minds with his filth. We must be so careful to not allow the rating system to determine our standards but allow our conscience and our personal standards to do so.
In the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet it outlines what our standard concerning media should be:
"Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you...Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable."
What a perfect reminder of what our standard should be.
Here are a few other great talks about the effects and the influence of tv in our homes:
M. Russell Ballard, “The Effects of Television,” Ensign, May 1989, 78 - In this talk Elder Ballard shares alarming findings from research studies of the effects of watching more than two hours of tv a day and the significant changes that would take place if the time spent watching tv was less than two hours daily. It is very interesting and eye-opening.
Controlling the Media’s Influence in Your Home - This is a great article found in the Liahona that shares a list of questions you may want to ask yourselves and/or your children about your television habits.
I am as guilty or more so than most of you. So I challenge you and I to turn off our TVs and do something of greater worth and value. I challenge us to find more worthwhile things to fill our time with and to fill our children's time with. I also challenge us to notice the types of shows we are watching and determine if they truly are uplifting us or not.
Finally, I challenge us to change this stat within the walls of our homes:
"American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV."-- The Kaiser Family Foundation