There were three channels, four if you counted public television. And at some point during the night, the screen resembled snow. We couldn’t watch a movie that wasn’t in a theater. We couldn’t listen to our favorite song if we didn’t own it on vinyl or cassette.
There were no tablets, at least not the kind that performed magical feats through a touch screen. On road trips we read books, the kind that have bindings and pages.
If we wanted to buy something, anything, we had to go to a store.
If we wanted to communicate with a friend, we had to talk into a contraption attached to a long cord in a very public part of the house or we could write a note and pass it during class the next day.
With Alexa at our beck and call, ready to play whatever our hearts’ desires, with several tablets within an arms-reach, with a television connected to cable and several streaming services, with iPhones and headphones and apps galore, with Amazon ready to run that credit card bill sky high…
Media is an ever-present reality in modern life. You can’t escape it. It is necessary for work, for ministry, for play, for life.
It is both a blessing and a curse. And it’s easy to be consumed with the attraction, the distraction, and the demands of it all. We don’t live in a little house on the prairie anymore, but we can binge-watch one around the clock if we want.
That’s a good question to ask.
Media is something we must manage well in modern life if we want to remain productive and informed. And it is something we must control if we want to thrive spiritually.
Catherine Segars is an award-winning actress and playwright — turned stay-at-home-mother—turned author, speaker and blogger. She is dedicated to helping other women see their worth in a season when they often feel less-than.
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