I was rereading my Sylvia Browne book, The Other Side and Back today, and came across her excellent view of health and how the media sells sickness:
“For a country that prides itself on being health-conscious, we are reminded everywhere we turn that we are actually supposed to be sick. I’ll bet more Americans can name six over-the-counter cold remedies then can name the first six presidents. Flu season is announced with so much media fanfare I’m surprised we haven’t all started exchanging gifts to celebrate it. Word that a virus is going around spreads more quickly than gossip. Not an hour of television goes by without HMO stories, news that some unusual strain of bacteria is popping up all over the country, and a barrage of commercials showing people just like you and me in the throes of everything from heartburn to headaches, constipation, diarrhea, PMS and sinus infections that apparently make little triangles appear between your eyebrows. I’m a big believer in staying well informed on health issues, but I also believe we are programmed every day to think that if there is not something wrong with us, there should be.”
A few of the comments she makes are dated, like HMOs. And there must’ve been a sinus remedy commercial back then with a triangle. But I actually think the media has gotten worse! Now, the commercials sell us prescription drugs, which weren’t allowed on TV back then. You see in her comment how she only mentions over-the-counter products for cold and flu.
The media is super interesting if you look at it from the viewpoint of what are they trying to sell us or convince us of? There is definitely some shady information in national news casts and on social media. Fake news is another part if the media’s negative influence on us, and is a big buzzword today.
Think carefully about what media you let in, because it will influence you.
I personally hit the mute button on my TV remote whenever a prescription drug commercial comes on! This means keeping the remote handy because just about every commercial I see on my local channels is either for Rx drugs or for shady lawyers getting money after car accidents! HIT MUTE.