William Shakespeare wrote: “All the world’s a stage,” yet in his day the stage was very limited. The only way to see theatrical entertainment or to hear music was to be in person at a live performance. Nowadays, all the world really is a stage and most humans are continually showered with programmed, seductive sounds and scenes.
Shakespeare said that people are actors on the stage of their life, however, nowadays most people are the audience not the actors, passively consuming electronic media messages and then doing many of the things that they see and hear.
So what’s on the modern media stage that fills the world?
* Dysfunction — Rather that focusing on healthy, life-enhancing behaviors, today’s media is full of dysfunctional attitudes and lifestyles.
* Rage on stage — Much of what is broadcast nowadays is full of underlying and/or explicit anger. Violence and political attack ads are examples of media’s rage focus.
* Disrespect — There is little concern or compassion in modern media. Rather it overflows with disrespect. It glorifies self-focus and unkindness. It mocks morality and character. It proclaims vulgarity. Popular media disrespects religion by censoring faith, almost completely leaving it out of its programs, even though faith is an important part of the lives of billions of people.
* Casual sex — Media uses casual sex as a draw, using sex to beef up their audience and their income. However, married sex is almost unknown in popular media. Instead they promote and glorify every twist and variation of sex that they can get by with.
All the world may be a stage for modern media, but you don’t have to be a mindless audience, passively absorbing its negative, self-destructive, and/or meaningless messages. To quote Paul of Tarsus: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” And even contemporary television repeatedly warns “viewer discretion advised.”