Get a Diet

Translated By Sayyad Hassan Naqavi
Key Words: media message, audience, media consumption regime, theoretical scientific topic, media saturation, flood of information

It may be difficult to believe this; But a historical comparison shows that the amount of information entered into a modern human mind’s day and night, including textbooks, books, billboards, virtual messages, movies, and videos and hearings, equals the total information received by an eighteenth-century man throughout his life. Is! Messages are delivered continuously everywhere and to anyone. We are so saturated with media messages that communication scientists see today’s human problem not as access to information, but as an “information explosion” and media saturation. The initial view of a society with “media saturation” was that unprecedented access to information and messages would lead to an increase in knowledge and the advancement of education and science. But this view was at best optimistic or simplistic. The main issue is the volume and variety of messages and information to which we are exposed. More than our processing and analysis capacity. The high speed of production and sharing of information does not allow us to be up to date. On the other hand, you can not completely distance yourself from the flood of information, because then we are still exposed to media messages. Under such circumstances, communication scientists have spoken of the need for intelligent media management and the skill of selecting the audience in the face of media messages, and have conceptualized the term “consumption regime”.
Diet is a good word for nutritionists; It is a general health recipe that teaches us how much and how to use each food to maintain our health. Although we need to eat and drink to survive and strengthen ourselves, we do not eat everything, but we already know about the benefits and harms of each food, depending on our age and physical condition. We consider calories, sugar, fat, and 2) for food consumption. Diet is more than just banning and restricting unhealthy foods. Because even if all the foods we eat are healthy and useful, but we do not observe balance in their use, we will suffer from obesity and disease. Media messages can be thought of as soul food. In fact, the smart media consumption regime warns the person what messages are right for him and what are harmful messages, and how much and how well he uses any media. When we are in a state of media saturation, the media consumption regime helps us to conditionally and limitedly receive the information we need from among the information and messages around us, by grading the media around us. We should also recognize which media messages to ignore and avoid confronting them so as not to lose our power of analysis and inference in the face of the sheer volume of information.
Media consumption regime; The only solution!
Currently, a significant portion of students’ leisure time is spent engaging in a wide variety of media (from books and newspapers to computer games and social networks). In a way, the media consumption regime has become subordinate to the leisure regime. The media is now a serious competitor in educating children alongside the family and school, covering everything from public to the most private moments of students. Those in charge of education also have to take a proper position in front of the media, but the way parents and educators deal with this issue is not the same. Some parents and educators are more concerned that the use of the media will lead to a drop in education or moral and sexual problems of their children, so they mainly refer to the negative impact of the media on the physical, mental and social development of children and the media with pessimism. Panic seeks to ban and maximize the use of the media.
On the other hand, some parents and educators are so fascinated by new technologies that, regardless of limitations and problems, they give their children and adolescents unconditional freedom to use the media and their opportunities and benefits in accessing information and increasing communication. Virtual boast. In our opinion, the views of neither of these two groups have been and are not responsive to the current conditions and problems of our children in the face of the media. It seems that the right and – perhaps the only – solution in managing media consumption and actively dealing with media messages is to adopt an appropriate diet. This solution, of course, requires practice and skill. And it varies depending on the age and situation of the student and it is not possible to wrap a single version for it, for all ages and all classes. But for a proper “media consumption regime”, each audience must answer three basic questions: Which media, how and how much should be used?
For a proper answer to any question, it is necessary to pay attention to the following:
1- Which one?
Capacity of each media: It is necessary to pay attention to certain limitations that each media has to convey the message. For example, the visual media can deal less with complex and theoretical scientific topics, but they can convey some scientific rules to the audience with a touch of entertainment. Basically, in virtual social networks, there is less long and scientific content, etc.
B. Functions of the media: The four functions of the media, namely entertainment, information, education, and mobilization, are often inseparable. For example, many educational messages are sent or received during an entertaining program or movie.

  1. How?
    a. Religious domain: Sharia and religious boundaries and rules that are not limited to sexual morality. Matters such as lies, slander, and the rights of the people are among the things that social media generally ignores.
    b. Prioritization: Prioritizing family and human responsibilities over media use.
    c. Pivotal task: Prioritization of academic and professional tasks and duties over the use of media. The media is at the service of doing homework, not a tool for coping with homework.
    d. Growth, promotion and promotion: Exposure to media messages should lead to progress and material and spiritual growth and excellence, not hinder the flourishing of talents.
  2. How much?
    a. Age of development: Depending on the age of the audience and their level of literacy and experience, the use of any media may be restricted or even prohibited for them. Improper use of media at certain ages can have irreversible consequences. For example, watching more than two hours of television a day as a child can cause serious problems in concentration and learning.
    b. Location: Spatial positioning in the use or non-use of media. For example, cell phones should not be used during family interactions, parties or formal meetings.
    c. Time: Regular use of media throughout the day and in proportion to other daily activities. Media messages, even if they are useful and appropriate, reduce their impact and lack of focus if they reach the audience at various and irregular intervals.
    d. Price: Comparing the direct and indirect costs of consuming media messages with the benefits we get.