As I participate in Courtney’s series on media and how it affects our lives I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, not just on my life but on society as a whole. Media (I’m including TV & movies in here as well as social media) has had a huge impact on our lives over the last 50-60 years and I think a lot of it has been quite negative.
When I reflect on relationships, the media is doing a grave disservice to the young people who are starting their journeys with the opposite sex.
Out of wedlock pregnancies are encouraged – When I was twenty I found myself pregnant and unmarried so I do understand that these things happen and at that point you have to make the best of it. I was very fortunate that the father and I had been together for a very long time and wanted to be together in the future so marriage wasn’t something we were ‘forced’ into but a path we took joyfully. Since we just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary I would say that it worked out very well. However, it wasn’t an easy road and I’ve been very candid with my children that I hope they choose a different path. My daughter loves the show “16 and Pregnant” and doesn’t understand my aversion to it or why I don’t let her watch it. I’ve tried explaining that by glorifying shows like that on TV it becomes main stream acceptable but it doesn’t mean that it’s right. Raising children in this world is hard enough with two parents, being a single mother (especially a young one) adds so much stress is really hard. I want to be clear, I'm not knocking anyone who has had an out of wedlock pregnancy, I just don't think any of us want to encourage that as a choice for young kids.
Unrealistic expectations about sex – Need I say more? Everywhere you turn it’s implied that the way you thank a date for dinner is to go to bed with them. Pornography is rampant, its putting ideas and expectations into young men’s (and women's) heads that are just not realistic (or desirable) in a marriage. How are today’s young adults suppose to gain an understanding of what the real physical aspect of a marriage looks like when that’s what they are exposed to?
Grass is greener syndrome – Every marriage has its good days and bad days, that’s the fact of life. However when your marriage is going through a particularly troubling time and you read blogs about how wonderful someone else’s life is or your old boyfriend connects up with you it can add additional undue stress to your marriage. When I was a newlywed I heard an older gentleman speaking on Dr. Dobson’s radio program about what made his marriage successful. He said “There were times in our marriage where I didn’t like my wife very much; there were times when she didn’t like me very much. The secret to a successful marriage is to not dislike each other at the same time. The other person can hold on for the both of you.” I have clung to that through the turbulent times in our marriage.
Communication – Many times we are sitting together in the living room each engrossed in our own laptop or cell phone, connecting with everyone but each other. As a couple that hasn’t grown up in the social media culture it’s a little easier for us to disconnect and say ‘enough is enough’ but what about the kids who aren’t learning to work things out with words but over social media websites. I recently saw a young couple who had been dating three years break up over Facebook. The young man found out at work when one of his co-workers asked him about it. How successful are marriages of the future going to be if they can’t talk through their feelings?
I know that there are lots of negatives here. Unfortunately I can’t think of a lot of positives that media brings to a marriage. How about you, are there some positives that I’m missing?