Tuning into the 9 o’clocknews informs us of the latest car accidents, fatalities, scandals. Switch to the radio and you’ll be lucky to hear last night's sports highlights after another tired Rihanna song. Flip back to tonight’s “must-see” TV; an itching new episode of The Bachelorette awaits. Poor American Idol!
Today’s media outlets often deliver us the transient injection of “new-ness” that we subconsciously crave. Did you hear Celebrity X is pregnant? Oh my gosh, did she really just get rid of Shuan? He was obviously the best guy she could have picked! Current media forms allow news to permeate our brains and escape from our own lives quicker than we can realize. Don’t we have better things to worry about than Snooki’s book?
Perhaps more frightening than Lady Gaga’s stage outfits is this: a mere 6 corporations control 90% of what we read, see, and hear.
Media has tremendous power to influence; it is no secret. But instead of using media to indulge in gluttonous entertainment, or tweet that you just got out of the shower, I advocate the use of media as a way to educate and inspire. If you get your inspiration from 16 and Pregnant, or What Not To Wear, please accept my apologies.
But there is good news, folks. People are harnessing the power of media to encourage what The Office cannot: look inside yourself and search for meaning. There is hope. Here’s my top three people that use media for a purpose:
1. Bruce Springsteen: At a crisp 62 years of age, this rock star refuses to throw in the towel, instead using his popular appeal to inspire political activism. His recent album, Wrecking Ball, features the politically inspired single “We Take Care of Our Own.” Springsteen’s call to action for compassion and unity is a message for politicians and laymen alike. Good ol’ Bruce engages listeners with power: “We yelled 'help' but the cavalry stayed home…where’s the promise, from sea to shining sea?” Springsteen echoes these challenges with resolve, “Wherever this flag is flown, we take care of our own.”
2. Echo: Known on Twitter as @ECHOisthename, this writer-rapper combo uses social media to challenge followers to think deeper. Unafraid of physics and philosophy, Echo uses networking to spread thought-provoking ideas. Tweets such as, “in our brains, our hypothalamus takes peptides (proteins) to make neuro-peptides which are chemicals that cause emotions,” flow from his fingers, followed by “emotions can be like cigarettes.” Echo explores concepts many avoid like the plague.
3. Stacy King: The current Chicago Bulls TV broadcaster and former NBA Champion has exploded on the twittersphere. Attracting a wide fan base, @Sky21King gives his followers daily doses of inspiration. His popular #AttackTheDay tweets lend positive motivation in an easily digestible manner. For example “Remember you might be a work in progress, but every day you get a little bit wiser, a little bit better, a little bit stronger. #AttackTheDay.” It is refreshing to see someone with celebrity-status use social media admirably.
Although only a microcosm these individuals exemplify current media being employed for something greater. There are eons of things we cannot control, but we can control ourselves and our actions. There is more to life than JerseyShore. Check these guys out, if you feel so inclined.