Testing the Message

Either to my detriment or to my benefit (depending on whether you think it would be good or bad for me to watch TV and movies desensitized to the messages being given), I've noticed that over the past several months I've been watching the tube a bit more closely. Not more frequently. Definitely not that. Just more closely. To see what messages are really being given.

This morning, while doing some stretching after a short bike ride, I turned on Today, clearly the best morning show even w/o Katie. A minute in, the commercials started, this one for Botox Cosmetics:

"I did it just for me."

"It's time. I've waited long enough."

After the commercials, the first segment investigated a woman's midlife crisis and its difference from the traditional man's midlife crisis (does this happen all over the world or just in the West?). They called it an awakening for women as opposed to a midlife crisis for men, because they do more introspection through the process or something like that. Matt was interviewing some "expert" on midlife crises:

"It's a good time in your life to allow for spiritual growth."

So, what do you think? Do these message affect us? Do we test them?

6 comments:

o2thoughtful said...

Of course they do. If they didn't affect us then the messages wouldn't be on TV. It's all carefully monitored, surveyed, focus grouped and polled. However, if you're not their target market for the message then it shouldn't affect you. So the question really is, are you in the market for Botox?? :-)

Segmentation and targeting is clever, but pushing a subliminal message is a bit more dodgy IMHO.

Jonathan King said...

Thankfully, I'm not in the target market for Botox and I don't ever want to be :) Mainly just rhetorical questions to get folks thinking at a deeper level about the messages we are bombarded with daily!

o2thoughtful@yahoo.co.uk said...

true. What message are you sending out with your blog name?

Jonathan King said...

great question. matthew 6:22 is certainly the inspiration, but obviously there are many (most) who first read the name of my blog, disconnected from that verse. so knowing that, my hope was just that "wide-eyed" would convey imagery along the lines of "amazement", "wonder", "openness", but nevertheless there are some less unfortunate connotations which may cause the receiver to think of me as just some blithering naive chap. but, in the end, Jesus said we need to come to him with childlike faith. i like this dictionary definition of "wide-eyed": exhibiting childlike simplicity and credulity; "childlike trust"

o2thoughtful@yahoo.co.uk said...

how can you have childlike faith and yet test the message, grow up in your faith and no longer take milk? It must be possible because they are all there but I've never quite got my head around it.

Jonathan King said...

great thought. well, when we say "childlike" faith, perhaps we shouldn't think in terms of maturity. in fact, i think that is exactly what Jesus was saying. look at these little children. they don't second guess. they don't get lost in their intellectualism. they trust. so maybe we shouldn't think of it as "growing up" in our faith (many people use the word "faith" to describe their system of beliefs, their worldview, but often has little to do with actual faith). i believe we can embrace childlike wonder, amazement and trust--faith as small as a mustard seed--and see God do wondrous things on account of it. paul says that faith comes through obedience and i think it is obedience (which flows from love for our Lord) takes us deeper and into a more mature diet of the richer things of making Jesus Lord of our entire lives.

wow. that was too long.