Curating Media Consumption
By: Tom Grosh IV, DMin
October 20, 2019
"Either we curate our stories, or the world of media will curate us." — Justin Whitmel Earley, author of The Common Rule: Creating Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction
I pray that over the last week you have pushed against busyness and deepened truth-telling by taking steps toward the weekly habit of a One-hour Conversation with a Friend. Justin Whitmel Earley’s consideration of the practice of intentional media curation opens a surprising window on how much busyness and identity formation stems from media consumption.
- What stories do you regularly “consume” (i.e., watch, tell, create, share) in your personal, community and vocational contexts?
- What significant story (or two) do you regularly return to, enter and/or reflect upon—possibly finding it to be one (or two) which deeply influences, even shapes, your identity?
- How do you articulate the biblical story to friends, family, those in the practice of healthcare and those receiving care?
- How foundational is the biblical story to your daily study, practice and/or imparting of the vision/value of healthcare?
- What is a good amount of time to designate as a limit to media consumption over the course of the coming week?
- Although some of the spheres will overlap, try to distinguish what is truly necessary for your engagement with God, “self,” family, friends, community and vocation.
- Justin Whitmel Earley admits that four hours a week is arbitrary, but he underscores the importance of setting a weekly limit. I recommend tracking your media consumption alongside practicing a weekly limit, then creating a more accurate limit to experiment with as a habit over the course of several weeks. This will help you learn to navigate and curate your media consumption across the various spheres of life and vocation.
Although I concurred with Justin Whitmel Earley’s assertion that the constant stream of media is addictive, the actual tracking of media engagement across platforms brought to my attention more significant media engagement than expected. Furthermore, the media’s shaping of “the consumer,” even one seeking to be intentional, became more apparent than in previous reflections.
Limiting media consumption is important as we seek to love God and neighbor with our whole person. When not curated well, media consumes time, energy, resources and creativity in an unhealthy manner. Justin Whitmel Earley finishes his description of Weekly Habit 2: Curate Media Four Hours by stating, “For better or worse, we will become the stories we give our attention to. In a world of limitless streaming stories, we must set limits that force curation. The weekly habit of curating media helps us cultivate the ability to choose stories well.”
To God be the glory!
Forgive us for our addiction to media amid the call to become more Christ-like and share such transformation through changing hearts in healthcare. Grant us deeper discernment for engaging the variety of platforms of media which not only call for our attention but also seek to shape us. Remind us of, give us a passion for, and shape us by your Word, Spirit and accountability to the Body of Christ. Guide CMDA’s use of media in motivating, educating and equipping Christian healthcare professionals to glorify God by: Serving with professional excellence as witnesses of Christ’s love and compassion to all peoples, and; Advancing biblical principles of healthcare within the Church and to our culture.