“Water, water everywhere and nor any drop to drink,” wrote the 19th century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Just as that ancient mariner was surrounded by undrinkable seawater, a massive body of media, of varying quality, surrounds modern-day mariners navigating the ocean of life.
“From the Inside Out: Healthy Media Guidelines for LDS Families” (Deseret Book, $14.99), a talk on CD by Jill C. Manning, is a resource to help members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints navigate the media waters — from the inside out.
External controls can be helpful, says Manning, but individual internal controls are most effective in making media choices.
Manning makes five points in her well-documented and insightful presentation, including awareness, the role of media, know what types of media is being consumed, discerning the best in media and learning how much is too much. She references scientific studies, as well as the words of LDS prophets and scriptures.
Using stories and personal examples, she encourages families to develop individual media profiles and evaluate their media consumption by considering their answers to questions such as these:
If the only thing someone knew about you was the media you consume, what would they learn about you?
Is there anything about your media profile that would cause you to cringe or feel embarrassed?
How can the 13th Article of Faith help your family with media choices?
How do you know when you have consumed too much media?
Are there other media formats that could be substituted for some of your electronic media time?
Has media use ever negatively affected something important in your life?Comment on this story
Could other activities or projects fill some of your time spent using media?
Included with the CD is an insert containing discussion questions, a media nutrition guide, a family media log and a list of recommended resources that includes “The Clean and Safe Media Pledge for Families."
Manning is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in research and clinical work related to pornography and its impact on marriages and families. A native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Manning currently resides in Denver with her husband and two daughters.
Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.