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Is Media Always Bad?

Media is bad—at least, that’s what we hear. What if we focused more on improving our media use rather than reducing it?  

"Media affects our thoughts and can therefore influence our actions." -Aysia Tan

Photo by Ben O’Bro

I remember a specific Sunday that was particularly dim. I was frustrated with my spirituality and couldn’t seem to connect with the teachings I had learned that day at church. After I got home, I went to my room and sat on my bed with the light off, wondering what I could do to feel better. Out of nowhere, a song called “Look Up” from the 2013 Strength of Youth album popped into my head. I pulled up the song on the LDS youth music page and reflected on the words: “You gotta look up. Look higher than before.” Even though the music was upbeat and pop-y, I felt the Holy Ghost touch my heart and brighten my mood.

In “No Neutral Ground: How Media Influences Us,” Aysia Tan says, “Entertainment media can influence our thoughts as we turn to it for relief from the stresses of our everyday lives.” She explains how media can be good for us and how it can also have negative effects. No matter what, media influences us. When choosing media, it’s imperative that we make a conscious effort to take in media that is uplifting. When we mindlessly absorb negative media, we’re in “danger of accepting viewpoints that may not be in harmony with gospel principles.”

Tan encourages us not to avoid media but to surround ourselves with “wholesome and uplifting media.” So when choosing media, don’t forget to seek out what is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (Articles of Faith 1:13).

Read “No Neutral Ground: How Media Influences Us,” by Aysia Tan, to learn how you can choose and integrate positive media into your life.


—Jesse King, Mormon Insights contributor


Find more insights

Read the section titled “Entertainment and Media” in the For the Strength of Youth.

Read about media on this Gospel Topics page.

Learn best practices for using media in the home.

Check out inspiring media on the Church’s website.

Read “Things as They Really Are,” by Elder David A. Bednar, to learn about the impact of media on your life.

Learn about sharing the gospel through social media.

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