I do to my part to recycle everything I can. I also drive a hybrid car, which uses less gas. I avoid plastic bottles as best I can. Yes – I care about the environment as many people do. By studying our ecology, we can learn about the relationship between humans and the environment so that we can make better choices to protect the systems that support life, such as air and water.
In media ecology, we study the communication systems around us and the relationship between the media and people. We study how the media impact our lives in ways that we don’t always notice. For example, the constant need to check our smart phones. This is a habit that many of us have developed and we often don’t realize how frequently we do this. It can lead us to be distracted because our attention is never truly on a particular topic because of an underlying need to check our phones.
I have sometimes felt uncomfortable if my phone is not within a few feet. To make space for grace, let us be aware of our media ecology and how our physical, mental and spiritual health are affected by the environment we create. Because we were made for social relationships, how does the media in your life strengthen your relationships or harm them? Just like we are making better choices to protect the earth, let’s make better choices to protect the systems that are in place to support family, friendships and faith, such as prayer, community and authentic human interactions. Our media will give life to these or destroy them.