Quick Hits – Media Impact on Children
Does Media have an impact on our children? This question is no longer a question but something validated through numerous studies over time. Yet why is it that most families continue to allow our children and teens to sit hours on end in front of a TV screen or bother to read up on or screen movies before allowing them to watch? Is it because of the convenience of using the TV as the ultimate babysitter? Is it because we don’t bother to really think about it and assume it our children and teens would know the difference of what is right and wrong? Is it because we have gotten used to the violence and sexual imagery used in almost every single TV show and Movie? Every single one of these points are probably true. We all know how much media affects us, how much more for the internet generation where every piece of media is only a click away?
I had such a fellow in my kindergarten who was very sensitive to television watching. In his play he always identified enemies, be they sharks, monsters or other children, and fortified himself and attacked them. Gradually, as TV was minimized in his life, (unfortunately it was never eliminated), his play became more social and less aggressive. However, several times during the year he visited his grandparents for a week at a time, where the TV was on most of the time. He came back in full attack mode. At such times he would push children down on the playground, and he would say to me, “They were going to hurt me,”
yet I could see no signs of the other children having any such intent. The TV watching itself left him with a strong sense of insecurity and excessive vulnerability. He reacted with aggression, and it is easy to imagine this projected into adolescence as real violence. The problem is compounded for youngsters already under stress because of difficult life situations. They can be pushed right over the edge by the continual bombardment of television images, especially violent ones. – Violence & Media – www.waldorfearlychildhood.com
This excerpt above really captures how quickly and subtly the media impacts the way we think from an early age. Regular consumption of media continues to reinforce such values and worldviews throughout our life. There are plenty of articles and notes about how it affects our children. It will also be very interesting to see how this internet media heavy generation will affect our culture as they enter into the workforce and obtain positions of influence.