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Daily Leadership Thought #115 – What Are You Watching and Reading?

March 30, 2011

Free Man using stylus pen for touching the digital tablet screen Stock Photo

Be mindful of what you are watching and reading.

How are you spending your free time?  Hopefully, some time is spent enjoying your family and friends, exercising and on volunteering or charitable activities.  Most of us, however, spend a significant amount of time in front of the TV or to a lesser degree reading.  What fascinates and depresses me is what people decide to watch and read.

There is so much trash out there.  We are bombarded with mindless entertainment that does nothing to bolster the soul or educate the mind.  It increasingly feels like we are becoming victims of lowest common denominator television production and book publishing.  Ironically, as the number of choices continues to increase, it seems like the quality diminishes as well.  At a time where we need Public Television now more than ever, our politicians in their infinite wisdom are attempting to defund it.

I understand the need for people to take a mental break, but this shouldn’t be a lifestyle choice.  When media programming preys on your vulnerabilities, stokes your fears, and deliberately misinforms you and/or distorts the facts, there is something wrong.  Even worse (in my humble opinion), is when what you are watching or reading “dumbs down” your perspective on things and acts more like “brain candy” (which is defined by the Urban Dictionary as an experience that is enjoyable because it stimulates the mind pleasantly, but doesn’t actually make it work) you run the risk of becoming less intelligent and more narrow minded if you are not careful.