Television: A violent Baby-sitter
It often seems like everywhere one looks, violence is there rearing its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys, school, and even at home. The last of these is a major source of violence. In many peoples’ living rooms there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television, and many parents use it as a cheap babysitter for their children when there are busy doing chores or out running errands.Children who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violence scenes with sometimes devastating results.
Much research has gone into showing why children are so mesmerized by this big glowing box and the action that takes place within it. Research shows that it is definitely a major source of violent behavior in children. The research proves time and time again that aggression and television viewing do go hand in hand. The truth about television
violence and children has been shown. Some are trying to fight this problem. Others ignore it and hope that it will go away. However, the facts are undeniable. The studies have been carried out and all the results point to one conclusion: Television violence causes children to be violent and the effects can last forever.
The information can not be ignored. Violent television viewing does affect children. The effects have been seen in a number of cases. In New York, a 16-year-old boy broke into a cellar. When the police caught him and asked him why he was wearing gloves he replied that he had learned to not leave fingerprints from television programs. In Alabama, a nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher. He suggested sending the teacher poisoned candy as revenge as he had seen on television the night before. In California, a seven-year-old boy sprinkled ground-up glass into the lamb stew his family was to eat for dinner. When asked why he did it he replied that he wanted to see if the results would be the same in real life as they were on television (Howe, 72). These are certainly startling examples of how television can affect the child. It must be pointed out that all of these situations were directly caused by children watching violent television.
Not only does television violence affect the child’s youth, but it can also affect his or her adulthood. Some psychologists and psychiatrists feel that continued exposure to such violence might unnaturally speed up the impact of the adult world on the child. This can force the child into a kind of premature maturity. As the child matures into an adult, he can become bewildered, have a greater distrust towards others, a superficial approach to adult problems, and even an unwillingness to become an adult (Carter, 14).
Television violence can destroy a young child’s mind. The effects of this violence can last deep into a childs life, if not never-ending. For some, television at its worst, is an assault on a child’s mind. It is an insidious influence that upsets moral balance and makes a child prone to aggressive behavior as it warps his or her perception of the real world. Other see television as an unhealthy intrusion into a child’s learning process, substituting easy pictures for the discipline of reading and concentrating and transforming the young viewer into a hypnotized non-thinker (Langone, 48). As you can see, television violence can disrupt a child’s learning and thinking ability which will cause life long problems. If a child cannot do well in school, his or her whole future is at stake.
Why do children like the violence that they see on television? “Since media violence is much more vicious than that which children normally experience, real-life aggression appears bland by comparison (Dorr, 127). The violence on television is able to be more exciting and enthralling than the violence that is normally viewed on the streets.Instead of just seeing a police officer handing a ticket to a speeding violator, he can beat the offender bloody on television. However, children do not always realize that this is not the way things are handled in real life. They come to expect it, and when