“You are what you consume” takes on a whole new meaning in stream culture, and no, “Squid Game” is not an octopus eating contest.
What is all the craze around the Korean produced Netflix series anyways?
- Debt trapped gambling addict discovers a get-rich-quick opportunity right as he’s informed his daughter –of whom he no longer has custody– will be relocated to the United States with her mother, his ex-wife.
- In a (far more violent) Hunger Games-esque psychological allegory for modern day social, economic, and family dynamics, he, along with hundreds of debt-ridden game contestants, enter into a 6-part contest. Winner receives a lot of money, and loser gets eliminated from the competition (read: killed on the spot).
The show is getting very, very popular all over the world, and is on its way to becoming Netflix’s most watched show ever.
Here’s a graph showing how viral Squid Game is in comparison to Tiger King last year (there really is no comparison…).
Key Christian Takeaways
Debt, poverty, and gambling are a pervasive part of society. In Squid Game, the indebted went so far as competing to the death in a series of competitions for the chance to no longer have debt.
Here are some quick debt stats from the real world.
- 40% of church members say they overspend monthly and pay more than $2,000 a year in loan interest, not including their mortgage.
- 33% of U.S. born-again Christians say it is impossible for them to get ahead in life because of the financial debt they have incurred.
- The US carries $80,885 debt per capita (2020) with the average American debt among consumers at $92,727.
With shows like Squid Game going viral in a few short days, it’s safe to say Christians in our churches are consuming the content, some of which is incredibly violent and explicit.
Nowadays, we all have access to the internet at our fingertips. Much like drug addictions, recent studies show that a single “touch” of your smartphone can set off a series of reactions which lead to overuse, sometimes totaling as much as 5-10 hours per day scrolling.
- PC Mag said the average Netflix subscriber watches 3.2 hours per day, and that number went up dramatically during COVID lockdown.
- Amount consumed isn’t the only factor to consider. What is being consumed canalso affect mental health, ability to regulate emotions, and at the worst failure to understand the suffering of others.
- The increased viewership of borderline pornographic, explicit sexual material in streaming shows and on apps like TikTok beg the question: Is my faith paradigm shaped by the media I consume or by the Bible I read?
This is a classic example of what Paul was addressing in Romans 14:3. In his day people were arguing about whether or not eating meat was acceptable to do as a follower of Jesus. In short, he says whoever eats meat shouldn’t look down on the person who doesn’t, and whoever doesn’t eat it shouldn’t look down on the person who does.
While some people may have a looser conscience for what they’re comfortable viewing, two important questions for Christian to ask themselves are:
- Should I be watching this?
- Do I spent too much time consuming this (Netflix, social media, etc.)
Those question may spark a great enough reflection for you to consider changing your approach to the amount and/or type of regular media consumption in your life.
For all the movie and TV buffs out there that want the story without the sex scenes or violence, check out VidAngel. They stream popular content and give you the ability to filter out Sex, Violence, Language, and other types of content from all types of streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness—how deep is that darkness!”Matthew 6:22-23