A Netflix Obsession: Keeping Your Mind Clean

The task of keeping your mind clean in a world where you are constantly barraged with worldly images can feel next to impossible.

A Netflix Obsession: Keeping Your Mind CleanSince I work from home, I have a lot of time in a very quiet house. To combat the sometimes overwhelming silence, I turn on Netflix… a lot. I pull up an episode while I eat breakfast and lunch, while I fold laundry and cook dinner, while I sweep the floor and craft. I go through a lot of episodes, so I go through a lot of series.

My Netflix obsession has lead me to watch everything from West Wing to Merlin, from White Collar to Good Luck Charlie. All four of those are fun and clean, and I would recommend them to anyone without shame. But if I’m being honest, not every show I’ve watched is like that.

I cringe to publicly admit that I’ve recently watched Gossip Girl and The Carrie Diaries. Not because the shows are poorly made, but because the content is not one I’d want teen Christian girls watching. They set a horrible example and strange/impossible standards. Pre-marital sex runs rampant, the language is not clean, drugs are freely used, and lying is rewarded.

Sure. I get my fix of drama, but at what price? Those shows are not keeping my mind clean. After watching, I feel dirty. Have you ever felt like that before? The problem is, a shower won’t fix the filth that has been swept into our minds.

After saying to a friend, “Please don’t tell anyone I’ve watched The Carrie Diaries,” I realized I had a problem. My new rule of thumb: If I’m ashamed to share, I should not be watching it. It’s in those secret corners that we allow the darkness to creep in.

So I am saying “No more!” I am making a commitment to only watch TV shows that I am not ashamed to share. I want what I watch to be a good example to me and to those who know me.

What are your thoughts on how entertainment affects our hearts and minds? Are there any shows you feel you need to give up? Do you have any suggestions of clean programs that I and other readers might enjoy?

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By | 2015-09-08T09:45:48+00:00 August 28th, 2015|Relationships|22 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. I'm crazy for God and want to share his love with awesome girls around the globe.

22 Comments

  1. Rebekah June 6, 2016 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Hi Mrs. Gonzalez! My name is Rebekah and I came here from the In Real Life blog by Nancy Rue. She recommended your blog and I’m so glad she did! I think I’ll be sticking around because this post is SO me! I admit I’ve watched a little bit of The Carrie Diaries and I’m actually on season 2 of Gossip Girl. Yeah, I’m not proud of it. It just seems like there’s NOTHING else to watch! I’m pretty picky when it comes to…well, everything 😛 and I do like Disney Channel shows but they can definitely get a little cheesy. I really don’t know where I stand on what’s appropriate for teen girls (like myself) to watch. Everyone talks about how shows like Pretty Little Liars are so bad, but it seems like a lot of Christians watch them! Anyway, thanks for letting me know I’m not alone. Maybe one of these days Netflix will get rid of some of that junk 🙂

    • Megan Gonzalez June 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      Hi Rebekah! I’m so glad you stopped by! And feel free to call me Megan. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I can be pretty picky too! I’ve found I really like action/crime (not gory or graphic though) TV shows because it focuses more on the adventure than the romantic tension… even though there’s usually still a thread of that :). On Netflix, I really enjoyed Leverage, White Collar, and Flashpoint (I’m on season 2). Period shows are also good because they adhere to a stricter moral standard based on the times–The Paradise and Murdock Mysteries. And I’ve got to make a plug for The West Wing. It was earlier than my time and is way more dated now than when I first watched it, but it’s one incredible show. It’ll make you laugh, cry, and sit on the edge of your seat! …that is, if you can get over how old it is lol. I know I’ve turned down shows for less! The hard thing is, these are all technically adult TV shows… however, their content is less “adult” than what you’d find in Carrie Diaries or Gossip Girl in my opinion. I still can’t promise they’re 100% clean, because I’m not sure that’s possible once you exit the Disney Channel. I hope you can find a show that you enjoy but that doesn’t fill your mind with junk! If you need any other recommendations, or just want to chat, you’re always welcome to reach out 😀

  2. Rachel G August 29, 2015 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    I enjoy tv shows like Psych and Sherlock and Once Upon a Time. I am very much a believer in Jesus’ teaching about how sin/uncleanness doesn’t come from anything on the outside, but comes from our own naturally sinful hearts, which is why I don’t actually believe that I can only watch shows that portray only good things. Christians obviously have very different views on the topic of entertainment–for example, I went to see “Les Mis” when it came out, and found myself in tears multiple times during the movie because of the beauty and truth of the story pitting Law vs. Grace. After the movie I was sobbing to my husband about the redeeming forgiveness that the Priest showed to Jean ValJean. I have some friends who went to see the movie and left before the end, completely disgusted at the ‘filth’ that Hollywood deems at entertainment these days. It is very interesting the different views we have on entertainment within Christianity. For me, I don’t view it as wrong to portray the horror and sin and really bad things that go on in the real world. Some of my friends disapprove, but I have seen “Schindler’s List” and “Slumdog Millionaire”–not enjoyable movies, but movies that portray some horrifying truths of what life has been like and still is like in our world. I live in SE Asia so “Slumdog Millionaire” really hits home.

    I think you mentioned a really good guideline–if you yourself are convicted that you shouldn’t watch a show, or it’s encouraging your mind to go places that you don’t want it to go, or you would be embarrassed to tell others that you enjoy the show–it’s wise to cut it out of your life.

    • Megan Gonzalez August 30, 2015 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      Hi Rachel! Thank you so much for your insightful comment! I agree that we can’t only watch TV shows that portray good things, because honestly that would leave us with nothing to watch! I don’t have a problem with movies portraying the horrors and sins of the real world. I have a problem with shows that glorify the sins.

      Shows like Gossip Girl work because they make you want to be like the characters–the clothes, the wealth, the location. This becomes a problems when they’re spouting casual sex, irresponsible (underage) drinking, and drug use. The show makes it seem as if these are the things to do and they must be done if you ever want to fit in. Now that I’m married and assured of who I am, watching GG doesn’t make me struggle, but I think it could make young and vulnerable viewers desire ungodly things. GG and shows like it set a horrible example for teen Christian girls because of the values they espouse. So I am cutting these shows because I don’t want to seem as if I am endorsing those values.

      And I want to stress that I’m not saying that others have to do what I’m doing. I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on others, but on beginning a discussion on topics like this and offering encouragement!

  3. annabelt August 29, 2015 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    I haven’t seen any of those shows, but I’m more often uncomfortable with TV shows because of violence

  4. Angela @ Setting My Intention August 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    I think these are really wise words. I have started listening to audio books and podcasts. Most of what I listen to is really uplifting and edifying.

    • Megan Gonzalez August 29, 2015 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      That’s great! Keeping your mind in the right place can help lift your mood and your spirit 🙂

  5. Trisha August 29, 2015 at 1:22 am - Reply

    I am on season six of the west wing and I am so sad its almost over! I have watched other political dramas like ‘Scandal’ and “House of Cards’. But the West Wing takes the cake. It cuts out the personal dramas and lets you actually focus on the issues going on in the white house. Real issues that actually mean something to people. I LOVE It.

    • Megan Gonzalez August 29, 2015 at 9:58 am - Reply

      I have watched West Wing I’m not even sure how many times. It is incredible!

  6. Autumn August 28, 2015 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    I completely agree- if you feel the need to hide it, stop it! I struggled with those shows too. I started watching them and was entranced, but there was a point I reached when I realized I had to stop watching them because they were so sexual. Another show I had to turn off was Reign- the costume was great, but the show was just non-stop sex too. It makes me sad because I like watching female-targeted shows, but I had to stop.

    We’ve been watching a lot of Girl Meets World and we loved Good luck, Charlie too (I cried when it ended!!!). We liked The Wonder Years on Netflix a ton too! It can be crass sometimes, but considering the series started in 1988 it is nothing like compared to today. It is really funny too!!

    Autumn @ Stay gold Autumn

    • Megan Gonzalez August 28, 2015 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      I had the same issue with Reign too! And I love period pieces, especially ones with empowered women. And thanks for the suggestions! I look forward to checking them out.

  7. Rachel - À LA MODEST August 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    I used to have no restriction on what I could and couldn’t see when I was a kid. I was hardly supervised, and I wish my parents weren’t so lax about that. They were strict on many other things though but not TV. Fast forward to today, I found myself being busy on things that need to be done or just seeking out things I can learn from, things that will make me a better person. This just came naturally when I found myself not having enough time to spend on doing nothing, so my time had to be extremely intentional. Being put in this situation really helps and forces you to be both active but relaxed (edu-tainment, is the genre I guess!).

    À LA MODEST – Replacing insecurities with inspiration!

    • Megan Gonzalez August 28, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      See I had the opposite experience. My parents were very strict about what we could watch and how much we could watch. So I think when I left the house I went to the opposite extreme a bit. Now I’m trying to find a good balance. Right now I’m at the tail of my off-season for editing so I have more time on my hands than I will at this time next month.

  8. Shann Eva August 28, 2015 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I loved watching White Collar. What about Gilmore Girls? That was one of my favorites. Parenthood is another good one.

    • Megan Gonzalez August 28, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Loved Gilmore Girls! So I tried Parenthood because of Lauren Graham, but I couldn’t handle the crying every episode! It made me feel too sad even after the episode was over lol.

  9. Liz Jo August 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Girlfriend I’ve watched Gossip Girl all of the time. Not ashamed to admit its good for the laundry folding and dish cleaning. I even watch Jersey Shore. We all have different tastes, don’t feel embarrassed 🙂 it’s the same with what we eat, just a preference we have.

    liz jo @ sundays with sophie

  10. Lindsay August 28, 2015 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Good for you for taking a stand against shows you don’t feel proud to watch! I, however, do not have such conviction : )

    • Megan Gonzalez August 28, 2015 at 8:51 am - Reply

      And I completely respect that. Thank you for sharing.

      • Lois August 28, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

        I started watching Orange is the New Black and the first few were not that bad. Then It really started to get to be something I wouldn’t want someone to know I watched. Then God spoke to my heart one day and said “you don’t need this in your life” It was very addicting wanting to see what happens to each person. I am glad to say that God won and I let Him know that He was more important!

        • Megan Gonzalez August 28, 2015 at 9:52 am - Reply

          That’s awesome Lois! I know it’s really hard when you feel the pull to stop watching. I named the post “obsession” for a reason! But that’s so wonderful that you were strong enough to listen to the call and stop watching 🙂

  11. Erica August 28, 2015 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I was an avid Gossip Girl watcher, but I hated the drugs and casual sex. I liked the clothes mostly and I wanted to see Dan get the girl 🙂 I do agree though. I don’t like watching TV shows that proclaim that sex and drugs are okay for young people. They’re not. I also try to watch ‘clean’ shows.

    • Megan Gonzalez August 28, 2015 at 8:51 am - Reply

      It is definitely an addictive show, but I agree with you about the shows that proclaim that sex and drugs are okay for teens. I know it’s hard to find shows that are truly clean, but some set a better example than others.

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