Letting Go of 2010: Thoughts On Media Messaging

Jan 1, 2011 No secret I’ve been challenged in 2010 on various fronts, and I’m trying really hard to ‘let go’ of some of the frustrations knowing there’s no quick fix for some of the blindingly surreal influences and disruptive crapola eroding kids’ psyches.

I’m ‘letting go,’ to try to see past  Nicki Minaj-style hyper-sexualized cues to instead celebrate the pendulum swing crashing through the glass with backlash and reverb at the first ever summit to Spark Change worldwide and reverse the trend toward objectification of tweens and wee ones.

I’m letting go of the devolved media of trash-n-flash new TV offerings that appeal to morbid curiosity, like Bridalplasty which PopWatch skewers nicely here and instead I’m celebrating new books like Jenn Pozner’s Reality Bites Back which sets the alarm for a  sociological wake up call as she asks (and answers with insight) “What has a decade of reality TV taught us about women and men, race and class, love and sex, beauty and violence, advertising and consumption, and more? And, what can you do about it?”

Yep. I’m letting go and trying to focus on the POSITIVE aspects of media in 2010, but I realize it’s a loooooong haul back from the brink…

…As evidenced by this new “Billboard Hot 100 Artists” with Ke$ha lauded, which pretty much sums up my “what’s wrong with this  picture” point of view complete with roll of the eyes for a culture fixated on vapid vixen depictions reaching a tipping point of toxicity for raunchy, attention seeking nonsense…and yes, I’ll include the Katy Perry whipped cream breast protrusions and Lady Gaga meat-wear in that category of influence too.

I’m celebrating that the backlash has begun when it’s led by youth, beginning to deconstruct what’s coming at ’em 24/7.

Example? Rated by Boston Public Health Commission’s Start Strong teen program, the  top ten worst relationship songs depicting domestic violence and abusive social scenarios (yes, Eminem/Rihanna made the cut) sheds light on the objectification and self-worth plunge resulting in stats like “1 in 5 high school girls has reported being physically or sexually abused by a partner,” and studies confirming dating violence permeates with sibling and peer violence as well.

Worthy media literacy conversation. Engaging project. Great way to use media to deconstruct what’s being ‘sold’ as hot.

Here’s the full pdf media literacy tool called ‘True View’ for teens to rate their own impressions of songs…

Another example? PBG (Powered by Girl) Facebook group initiated by Hardy Girls Healthy Women and the Spark Summit crew where girls talk back to the media targeting them with pithy prose, advertising ‘do-overs’ and help Spark A Movement for change.  Proud to be aligned…they’ve ‘let go’ of the negativity and turned it into “let’s go” actions to champion change.

So when I saw this viral ditty making its way around the internet about “letting go” (intended for relationships in various ages and stages) I realized I need to let go of 2010 and focus on the positive innovations more than the damaging drek to keep my spirit alive and beat back ‘founder flameout.’

No, I can’t (won’t) ‘let go’ of the need to shine the spotlight on the harm and health data so kids can develop the critical thinking skills they need to deconstruct some of these searing media messages infiltrating and and imprinting like a deep tissue scar that won’t ever completely go away…But I can “let go” of how it’s landing on me…

Read this poem and see how much you can relate to…

It applies to my thoughts about my work with youth media, teen trauma, and seeding of positivity versus the negative cues painted across kids’ ambient media intake like ugly urban wallpaper…

It resonates with me as a parent of a teen…it helped with a friendship in need of closure, and even soothed me a bit amidst this season’s familial and caregiving challenges (yep, I’m smack dab in the sandwich generation with aging parents/young teens).

I’m letting go, not to ‘give up’ by any means but to self rein and apply this digital “forward to a friend” to my own media literacy mission…

What are YOU letting go of to make room for fresh, new opportunities?

THOUGHTS ON: “LETTING GO” (author unknown)

TO    Let Go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

TO    Let Go is not to cut myself off; it’s the realization that I can’t control another.

TO    Let Go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

TO    Let Go is to admit powerlessness; which means the outcome is not in my hands.

TO    Let Go is not to care for, but to care about.

TO    Let Go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

TO    Let Go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

TO    Let Go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own outcomes.

TO    Let Go is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality.

TO    Let Go is not to deny, but to accept.

TO    Let Go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

TO    Let Go is not to adjust everything to my own desires, but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.

TO    Let Go is not to criticize or regulate anyone, but to try to become whatever I dream I can be.

TO    Let Go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

TO    Let Go is to fear less and love more.

I wish you all a Happy New Year, and the strength to ‘let go’ of some of the angst to ‘let in’ more light and laughter. That’s my resolution for 2011.

Visual Credit: Butterfly: Letting Go post on Coffee Break where 22 year old Benjie thinks aloud with media as his tool for self-expression

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Comments

  1. As much as I agree with everything in this post (and you know I’m all about it, especially around young girls’ imagery) – I really connected with the last part, the thoughts on letting go. I am going to print that out and put up in my home office. I need this reminder on so so so many levels.
    Andre Blackman recently posted..A New Look for the World Health Organization WHOMy Profile

  2. Amy-
    Like Andre, I will be printing out this poem…thank you. I love it’s emphasis on personal accountability.
    As for what will I be letting go of? Letting go of the need for constant technology/contact. My idea is a shift toward what I am allowing in…there are choices regarding what I feed my soul–my intention is to be more deliberate in those choices. Your friendship and blog are without question both rich with nourishment–so thank you!
    Happy New Year and New Decade!
    Elin Stebbins Waldal recently posted..The ExampleMy Profile

  3. @Andre…I know we both need to post that one, for certain…and Elin, I LOVE what you say about “what I am allowing in” that really resonates with me.

    Way too much noise and clutter/exposure lately, to the point that I’m spending my bday tmrw in ‘peace, quiet, solo’ —purposeful respite from chaos of high stim holidays. We need these retreats of the soul.
    Amy Jussel recently posted..Rudolph- A Parable On Bullying- Peer Pressure & Soaring HighMy Profile

  4. I love it’s emphasis on personal accountability.

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