How Does The Overconsumption Of Media Impact Us?
We live today in a world where the media is all around us. Virtually everyone has a TV, iPad, or other means of easily accessing the media. Many people truly need to consume the media for work or otherwise learn about what’s happening globally; however, issues can arise when consumption turns into overconsumption.
Ultimately, the overconsumption of media can be harmful; it can significantly warp how we view the world and color our perceptions. It can also create unnecessary distractions from things happening in our day-to-day lives and other matters of importance.
Overconsumption Of Media
Much of the media is largely framed in a way to promote overconsumption. So many “breaking news” headlines are sensational and meant to elicit emotional responses from viewers. This is why it can be so tough for people to genuinely shut the media off or stop thinking about what they see in the media.
There are endless means of reaching media. Many news apps on mobile phones come with alerts when “breaking news” arrives. It’s also easy to scroll through sites like Twitter and Facebook to get an idea of what is happening in the world.
All in all, the overconsumption of media can be dangerous for a litany of reasons. For starters, it can create a worldview or opinions that are not always grounded in truth. Many media sources bend the truth (if not outright lie) for clicks, views, and otherwise create a loyal following base.
The overconsumption of media can also harm certain personal relationships, particularly those with different views on heated matters such as politics. It is not uncommon for the media to intentionally rile people up; at the end of the day, strong emotionalism also means viewers likely keep coming back for more.
The overconsumption of media can have serious ramifications on mental health and emotional health. It matters what someone consistently ingests, whether it’s food, music, or media. What we expose ourselves to makes a difference, particularly when this exposure happens on an ongoing basis.
How Can Therapy Help With Overconsumption Of Media?
In recent years, the prevalence and ease of media overconsumption has certainly increased. The media knows which hot buttons to push and how to frame certain stories to create a narrative and capture attention. Unfortunately, when done in excess, this level of overconsumption can be detrimental to viewers who are frequently tuning in.
One of the best ways to face and counter the overconsumption of media is to face it head on. Many people aren’t even aware of the reality that they’re overconsuming media; some people know they’re tuning in more often than not, yet aren’t aware of why this is problematic.
Therapy can help with the overconsumption of media in multiple ways.
Regaining Balance And Perspective
One major upside of therapy is the ability to talk with a professional who has a neutral perspective on your situation. Therapists are trained to listen, communicate with people who have a tough time, and otherwise pick up on cues that others would miss.
When someone is overconsuming media and coping with the adverse impacts, a therapist will likely be able to spot that. Because of their professional background, a therapist will also suggest healthy ways of limiting media consumption. There are also ways in which a professional can help someone who is overconsuming media regain perspective and balance.
Therapy isn’t about controlling a narrative or being told what to think. It’s about helping people to arrive at their conclusions and free themselves from the slog of influences with self-serving agendas.
There’s no denying that with all that’s happening in the world, the overconsumption of media can lead to considerable mental and emotional stress. This, again, is an area where therapy can be of value.
Therapy can help people get to the underlying causes of stress, including any past trauma or experiences. Therapists can work with each person individually, helping them ascertain which healthy coping mechanisms are most suitable for them.
Mental Health Solutions Outside Of Therapy
While therapy can be a great asset to people wrestling with media overconsumption, it’s also a reality that not everyone is always in a position to begin therapy. Other people simply may not feel ready for therapy and that’s okay, too.
Exercise comes with a plethora of mental, physical, and emotional health benefits. It also comes with the upside of allowing one to get a healthy and constructive release from sitting in front of a phone, tablet, or television. When engaged in physical exercise, the body also releases hormones that make the mind feel good.
s Your Phone The First Thing You Reach For In The Morning?
Like exercise, journaling is another great mental health solution that can be of value to people struggling with media overconsumption. Keeping a journal provides a constructive positive outlet to release personal emotions; it also comes with the added benefit of allowing you to reflect on previous thoughts and experiences.
BetterHelp’s Commitment To Combating The Overconsumption Of Media
BetterHelp recognizes the mental and emotional strains that can occur along with the overconsumption of media, especially as time passes. Likewise, BetterHelp proudly and unapologetically supports those who have struggled with the overconsumption of media and other issues that can take a toll.
Online therapy can be especially useful for people who live in areas of the country where there is limited access to mental health services. As long as you have a safe internet connection, you can meet with your therapist or text them at a time that works for you, and you can do so from the concealment of your own home. Once you complete the initial questionnaire, you’ll be matched with a licensed therapist within 48 hours who is uniquely qualified to support you in addressing your concerns regarding media consumption.
The effectiveness of online therapy as a treatment for media consumption and other technological addictions has been published in various recent studies. In one such example, 128 clients were evaluated for internet addiction using the IAT – Internet Addiction Test – then treated using CBT-IA (cognitive behavioral therapy for internet addiction). This online intervention was effective in mitigating symptoms of internet addiction after 12 weekly sessions and results were maintained after one month, three months, and six months post-treatment. Therapists were able to address denial and rationalizations participants used to justify their excessive online engagement. Additionally, they were able to pinpoint maladaptive thoughts that act as triggers initiating binging behavior online.
The plight of media overconsumption is not talked about nearly as often as it should be. However, this doesn’t make the issue any less real or pressing for people who are struggling. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp therapists, from people experiencing similar issues.
“I can hardly believe how quickly Mary was able to connect with me and ultimately turn me around. My outlook went from bleak to hopefully and now to confident. Mary offers timely wisdom, kindness, safety, and true things and she generously and carefully infuses into me somehow. There is still a pandemic, still all kinds of scary news, but I feel much better about everything. I feel better. Thank you Mary”
“I cannot express how immensely beneficial each and every session with Tony has been to the rest of my week. We have spokes on a myriad of concerns and Tony has had insight on everything, from mindfulness to adapting during our current pandemic to leadership to finding shows and news that does not increase my anxiety, even rearing my 2 year old!! What I enjoy most is discussing logical reasoning and the psychology about everything . My mornings are atrocious! I awake with such a foreboding sense of doom and gloom and I am astounded that I have begun to feel better. Thank you so very much Tony!!! I would highly recommend him for not only relationships and trauma but virtually anything you encounter in your life.”
Learn More About Anthony Lamouria
In a world where clicks, ratings, and views are what so many media outlets seek, it’s important for everyone to be mindful. In many cases, scandal, anger, and outrage sells; it can also come to the detriment of people who find themselves completely consumed within this cycle.
Despite the insidious impacts of media overconsumption, there are support resources available. Anyone interested in therapy, mental health, or someone to talk with can reach out to BetterHelp here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Consuming So Much Media Do To Us?
According to USC News, the heavy consumption of media impacts people’s time in their homes and leads to an abundance of smartphone usage. This directly correlates with the fact that just about every media outlet has an app that can readily view content.
Consuming so much media ultimately impacts the way people live, interact with others, spend their time, and view the world. This is why the overconsumption of media can be so dangerous.
How Do I Stop Consuming So Much Media?
Cornell Tech points out the extent to which fan engagement and content tailored towards certain audiences plays a role in media consumption. The overlapping theme in this form of consumption, however, is the use of technology.
Technology is a driving factor in media consumption. Therefore, it stands to reason that cutting back on technology is a great way to stop consuming so much media. This doesn’t mean that people should throw all their technological devices in the trash. However, it does mean that there’s a healthy balance that can be had.
Media should not and does not have to control the lives that we live.
How Is Media Consumed Today?
According to Statista, media is primarily consumed today via radio, TV, and social media. There are other forms of consumption; however, these are the leading three. Many people also stream media online, another service that’s risen in popularity over several years.
Media is easily consumed today because there’s so much open reach to it. It’s much more difficult to avoid or limit media consumption than it is to even accidentally come across media. This, too, plays a role in why the overconsumption of media is a very real issue that so many people are facing today.
Is Media Consumption Good Or Bad?
BBC News notes that media consumption can be bad when it absorbs too much time. To some extent, the consumption of media is necessary. People often feel a need to be aware of what’s happening in the world and not live in a bubble. However, when consumption becomes overconsumption, that’s when issues and problems can arise. Media consumption is good when done in balance and moderation.
How Much Media Do We Consume Daily?
Figures from Statista says that people, on average, spend 7.5 hours of their time consuming media on a daily basis. This speaks volumes and truly shows the extent to which media consumption has become so prevalent in society. There’s no denying that ease of reach plays a role in the hours per day that people spend consuming media in one form or another.
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