Wise Choices in the Media?
I've never blogged before (it sounds so dirty!), but I want to pick your collective brain. If this works out, maybe we will graduate to picking other things as well. Like scabs!
Anyway, I've been asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting in two weeks; the topic is "Making Wise Choices in the Media." This is a challenging subject to address because the church doesn't necessarily put forth many hard and fast rules about media. Obviously, we are counseled to stay away from pornography and sexually explicity media. Extremely violent media too. I suppose the church's admonition toward moderation applies to media intake in general. But when it comes to movies, for example, one person might watch something and glean a valuable lesson from it, while another person can watch the same thing and feel like he's lost the spirit altogether. So, according to Moroni 7:16-17, the same movie could be "of god" for Person #1 and "of the devil" for Person #2. Everyone is different. Also, some people are more impressionable to what they see/hear/read in the media than other people.
Anyway, I'm curious what insights you have about all this. Of course, the media also comprises literature, music, television, magazines, whatever. And I want to talk about these things, but I am especially interested in film. I don't have any particular rules about what I personally will and won't watch, but I don't have a problem walking out of a movie or changing the channel if I think it is chasing the spirit away. Do any scriptures/talks come to mind regarding our relationship to the media? How does free agency fit into this issue? If something has artistic or moral merit, should we avoid it simply because the ratings board gave it an R rating? Should all of our media intake be uplifiting and instructional? What about the need for entertainment? Most people have favorite movies (action flicks, Dumb and Dumber-type movies, what-have-you) that appear to lack any redeeming value whatsoever. Or do they? Let me stir the pot of controversy!