Amazingly, unlike machines, we do not have bulky, removable parts which can be periodically replaced by bigger parts - whenever there is a need to expand the body. If we were like that, then human growth would have simply been a matter of swapping
smaller parts, with bigger parts. For example, to make a person taller, we would only have to replace a pair of short legs; with a pair of long legs. On the contrary, humans
progressively become bigger and more powerful; owing to the nutritional value of the food that they consume every day. The body continuously extracts chemical molecules
(e.g. proteins, fats etc..) from what we eat; and uses them to augment the size and
strength of our body tissues, ultimately leading to noticeable changes in height, weight and strength. In essence, all these materials inherently become [part of] us. Normally,
we do not get these materials elsewhere, except the food that we either eat or
So, as a generalisation, we are [materially, made up of] what we eat! Clearly, food and drink are important inputs to the developmental processes. Nevertheless, several
other inputs influence all aspects of human development, beyond mere physical growth.
In fact, food is largely important to physical development. However, human development extends beyond the physical development aspect; and includes other complex areas of development, such as the development of reasoning and social behaviour, which both
require nontangible inputs, due to their intrinsic nature.
The development of reasoning, thinking patterns and social behavioural traits
(development of the mind) has a critical role, in broadly defining: how we conceptualise things, how effectively we interact with other people and how we deal with different situations in life. In fact, it is a type of development that defines who we are, beyond our physical characteristics. However, similar to physical development; such type of development also requires some inputs, which you can regulate, in order to influence development. In the case of physical development, we have already established that you can regulate the inputs, such as food, in order to alter the physical growth outcomes.
In a similar way, you can also regulate your exposure to particular concepts, beliefs,
attitudes and ideological perspectives; if you desire to improve the development of your mind. It is worth noting that, we are particularly exposed to those concepts and ideas in
our daily conversations and the content we consume, whether in the media or in literature
- as affirmed by Owen Marowa, in his Twitter thread. Furthermore, discussions centred
on the effects of entertainment, on the development of the mind, are somewhat
controversial because many people generally turn a blind eye towards the potential
effects of their choice of entertainment. This is quite disturbing, given that formal
inquiries into the matter, have often confirmed that our choices of entertainment, indeed
play significant roles in shaping our attitudes and beliefs.
The effects of media content on your thinking and behaviour
A report in an article by the World Bank relates the conscious and subconscious effects that media content may have on people's beliefs and attitudes, which also happens to relate to the sentiments expressed by Owen Marowa, in his tweet. The article reports that heavy viewers of television may come to believe that the real world is similar to the television world. Additionally, the article reported two other effects that may affect an
individual that is chronically exposed to 'culturally polarised' media content. One of the
effects is called mainstreaming, which happens when heavy users of a certain type of
media (e.g television) begin to lose the attitudes, beliefs or customs of their cultures - in
favour of the ones that they are repetitively exposed to, in the media.
The other effect is called, the mean world syndrome, which develops when media consumers become so overwhelmed by negative portrayals of [disloyalty, injustice,] crime and violence, such that they may begin to form exaggerated views and irrational beliefs of the cruelty which exists in the real world. Moreover, you may have noticed that the
mean world syndrome is in close agreement with what Owen Marowa, mentioned in his
3/4th tweet. Such an agreement, indeed confirms that these effects are real and relatable. Thus, you and I ought to be particular about our choices of entertainment and the amount of time we devote to our entertainment. Better yet, we may even positively
harness media effects, such as the mainstreaming effect, for our own benefit.
Although certain content may have undesirable effects on people, some of it is actually
beneficial to people. In fact, a lot of wholesome content exists out there. Therefore, I
urge you to keenly search for wholesome media content. When you do find it, please try
to leverage the mainstreaming effect, as previously outlined; by harnessing the
wholesome content, as a tool for substituting negative attitudes and thoughts with
uplifting, positive attitudes and ideas, that are expressed by personalities who are
featured in good media programmes.
In particular, I have come to realise that, the effective individuals who are portrayed in good media programmes mostly have characteristic patterns of thinking, behaving and socializing; which lay a foundational framework for their effectiveness. You too can come to internalise and emulate those qualities. This realisation struck me when I discovered a Zimbabwe-based show entitled: In Conversation with Trevor, which unbundles the
experiences of leaders, who have proven to be effective in some aspects of their lives;
mostly their careers. From that show, I was particularly impressed by how relatable their experiences are. Some of the participants had to put up with many failures, but their attitudes toward failure were so remarkable, that they helped me to embrace failure as a
clue to what I still have to learn. In essence, failure presents all of us with the chance to develop ourselves. It was certainly good to get those lessons from that media program.
In a world where technology is at the centre of an information revolution, we can never run short of wholesome content, in the form of books, online articles and movies that are packed with uplifting lessons. Some documentaries from which I drew positive lessons include Ford vs Ferrari, The Men Who Built America and The Good Doctor. This is
merely a small list, from an extensive one; of some of the content from which I drew lessons. I am perpetually in search of good content because it helps me to simultaneously satisfy both my desires to learn and to be entertained.
Speaking of, you are at liberty to suggest some good content, in the comments section.
As stated by Owen in his tweet: if you are looking to regulate your development, you will never go wrong if you regularly consume personal growth content. Fortunately, since you
are reading this article, you are in just the right place because this platform (Inspishare)
aspires to host a great deal of personal growth and 'effectiveness' content.
I sincerely hope that consuming good content will enhance your growth because you are what you eat. Bon appetit!