All of these examples of entertainment engage us in way that captures our full attention. This is something we pay for because we want to be engaged in a way that pleases our senses. Notice what you spend your time and money on. Notice what videos and articles you decide to click on.
Entertainment is universal. Regardless of age, creed, or ethnicity, everyone wants to be entertained. In fact, we spend most of our discretionary income on entertainment. This comes in the form of hobbies, sports, travel, movies, etc.
First, let’s deconstruct what entertainment is. The formal definition is “the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment,” but this doesn’t quite get us far enough. We are still left with the question of what makes something entertaining, which is important to understand if we are going to leverage it to our advantage like I will be advocating for in a bit.
If we believe we have an important message, we should look to add entertainment to everything we do in order to fully engage the audience. A fully engaged audience is an audience ready to be imprinted with something permanent. This is where your information can convert to true transformation.
Globally, we are po i sed to drop $2 trillion on entertainment in 2016 . That’s a load. It’s also interesting to observe that some of the highest paid people in the world are entertainers.
This ideology is prevalent in Christian circles. There are those that would discount entertainment because they do not perceive entertainment’s role in making an eternal impact. The consequence is missing an opportunity to utilize entertainment to engage the whole person. An emotionally, mentally, and spiritually engaged person will always receive a message deeper into their soul and mind than someone that is uninterested, bored, or disconnected in any way.
Children’s books have pictures. Why? It’s not because children are incapable of reading. They may not be proficient, but they can read. The reason is because they don’t have an interest in the information itself so the authors add pictures as entertainment to entice readership.
Why do we binge-watch sitcoms or “reality” TV on Netflix? Because the stories being depicted are uncommon . And anything uncommon is entertaining. You don’t see the situations or circumstances on screen play out in ordinary, everyday life. Drama is shocking, emotional, and exciting. All because it’s uncommon to our present reality.
I hate click-bait, but I wanted to use the title to prove a point. What expectation did the title give you that made you want to read the article? If I was to guess, the word “entertaining” enticed you. Have you considered why that is?
Hear are the ingredients to capture people’s attention:
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Why do we subject ourself to all the craziness of headline news for entertainment? Because the stories are unthinkable . They are unthinkable in that the reported things people do and say would have literally never crossed our mind otherwise. And that entertainingly captures our attention. We’re surprised by what never occurred to us before and it interests us.
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Adding pictures and a fun story about a cute mouse functions as needed entertainment to capture a child’s full attention in order to deliver the message.
The more of the whole person you can engage the more potent your message will become. Full engagement opens the greatest opportunity to make an impression. If you can engage somebody mentally, emotionally, and spiritually you will leave a greater impact than appealing to intellect alone. Here is where the value and power of entertainment lies. entertainment articles examples It’s a tool.
This is where some come to denounce entertainment in whole because of its abuse in part. Because entertainment has no value in itself, they believe the fallacy that it has no value at all. Don’t join this camp!
Entertainment’s use in this way is a form of escapism and it is dangerous. The trap is to flee to mindless spiritualness in order to experience an alternate reality for a moment and forget the responsibilities and circumstances of life. And we pay high dollar to do just that. Once the temporal entertainment ceases we are no further ahead. Rather, it becomes an impediment and procrastination to addressing the real issues. This can also kickstart a cycle of escapism where we make money for the sole purpose of buying more entertainment to medicate our life by distracting us from our pains. “If only we could save enough for one more vacation or go to the next newest movie.” Neither of those examples are bad unless our motive to escape reality perverts their function.
If we take a natural interest in something, we require less entertainment because we are able to fully engage with the topic effortlessly. But that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s rarely the case. Often we are enticed to engage with something we would have otherwise not have merely because entertainment is attached it.
Is this inherently good, bad, or indifferent? And why should you care? I want to offer some thoughts. And no, this won’t be a righteous bashing of entertainment. Quite the opposite.
Anything you’re entertained by most likely will fall into one or more of those categories.
Laura Numeroff, the author in this example, wanted to communicate a message of cautioning against a parasitic relationship with no boundaries. But eight-year-olds don’t care about learning about parasitic relationships with no boundaries. They haven’t seen the negative affects of them in their lives yet.
Where it becomes problematic is when entertainment is given exclusively for entertainment’s sake without coupling it with anything of true value. The result in those instances is an euphoric experience with no permanent impartation. After the entertainment exchange there is nothing left in its wake.
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie was one of the stories I grew up with. It was a colorful and fun read. I can still tell you what it’s about to this day: a needy rat that keeps asking for more and more every time you oblige its request.
Entertainment can be leveraged as one of your most powerful tools. Information and entertainment are not mutually exclusively. Nobody is forcing you to choose to either offer entertainment or offer something of value. The beautiful discovery is that you can have both harmoniously cooperate to a constructive end. Entertainment can become a layer added to a message to enhance its impact.
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Why do we spend hundreds of dollars and entire weekends to file into huge football stadiums in blistering heat? Because sports are unpredictable . And unpredictability is entertaining. You never know what the next snap, drive, or throw will hold. The anticipation captures your attention and stimulates our emotions.
How can we add entertainment as the skin our message is delivered in?
If you answer those questions and implement each element, you will literally be creating entertainment. Your audience will then be presented with an experience they are invited to fully engage with. As simply as that, you can now elevate your impact in a transformative way.
Be intentional. Don’t just be a speaker, be an entertaining speaker. Don’t just be a preacher, being entertaining preacher. Don’t just organize an event, organize an entertaining event. Notice entertainment isn’t substituted, it’s added. Instead of diminishing, it enhances.
The pictures and story itself weren’t valuable. The message that the vehicle of entertainment carried is what’s valuable.
In simplest terms, something is entertaining if it captures people’s attention.
Here is where we can infuse our deconstructed ingredients of unpredictable, uncommon, and unthinkable. It makes it pretty simple.
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