Are You Afraid of the Dark

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Dear Reader,

Welcome to October’s Media Moment! This month, Brianna Munroe, CMCH’s Administrative Associate, shares a story about growing up with a variety of different media (books, TV, movies) and experiencing their ‘magic’! These stories are meant to help create a village square of commiserating and co-celebrating the many ways media intersect with the lives of children. Please comment and even submit your own ‘Moment’ to share with your fellow readers.

Enjoy your media and use them wisely,

The Mediatrician®

Media Moment: My Moment of Media Magic

Growing up the daughter of parents who hold very different beliefs on media (my father is a film buff, while my mother is an avid reader), I believe, allowed me to see the ‘magic’ of media; the ability to be transported to another place and time by either what you are reading or seeing. Looking around our often media-saturated culture, I worry that this quality is slowly diminishing in later generations – instead of seeing the magic, they see an essential part of their day, taking for granted the art and thus losing the enchantment. Like many others in my age group, I enjoyed the many adventures to be had by the seemingly always pant-less, yet always entertaining, Tommy Pickles, the most notable of the Rugrats crew.  I would stay up past my bedtime on a Friday night and, through one closed eye and pint sized fingers spread apart just enough to make out the screen in front of me, I would sit anxiously awaiting what scary tale the Midnight Society had in store for me on that night’s episode of Are You Afraid of The Dark?.

At the same time, I was reading (or at least attempting to read) The House of Seven Gables, a book far beyond my years.  I was taught the importance of feeding your mind outside of digital media sources; to learn not only through experiences, but through the words of great minds such as Harper Lee, John Irving, Tim O’Brien, and many others whose writings changed and broadened my mind in ways that I do not believe television or cinema could have.

A born lover of the written word, I developed a strong appreciation for the art of filmmaking as well. Through my father’s vast knowledge of how much blood, sweat, tears, ingenuity, and a lot of times genius, go into creating films, I learned to value movies that leave a lasting impression on viewers and maintain relevance despite the ever evolving world in which we live.

I remember watching Jurassic Park for the first time; I can still feel the awe and excitement of seeing creatures that, to me, were something solely found in textbooks, bedtime stories, and my imagination.  Perhaps not the best example of upholding the test of time in terms of special effects, it still holds a place in my heart as one of the first times I realized just how cool I thought movies were.  The scene where the audience is first introduced to the park and its mammoth residents is still nostalgic and goose bump inducing for me.

I feel as though everybody has at least one movie like this, whether it be a classic like Singing in the Rain, or one of the many fantastical newer releases that have made it “ok” again to admit, loud and proud, that you are a fan of comic books and you never let go of that childhood desire to be one of the few, the lucky, to wake up one morning with a super power. There is always that movie, for every person I know, that can pluck at your heart strings and create a feeling that rivals those created by a familiar scent, like the molasses cookies your grandmother used to make every time you would visit.  Or a song that, no matter how many times you hear it, still can bring a smile to your face just because of an associated memory or feeling that was so good and so strong even time cannot diminish its effect.

Today, with our world so dependent on the conveniences that media and technology have led us to take for granted, I wonder how many of those in the generations to follow will be able to recognize and appreciate the talent and work that have produced the digital world we enjoy today.  I have found a new appreciation for the “confusion” I experienced as a child, always finding myself thinking I had to choose between personal opinions; eventually learning that there is no right or wrong answer, no black and white decision to make. That movies, books, television, music, it all has a place in our lives, and only we can control how we are influenced.  Hopefully everyone allows themselves  to experience at least one moment of media magic.

~ Brianna Munroe

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