Impact Of Television Shows On Children

1139 words - 5 pages

The Saturday Morning MassacresSaturday mornings have become a popular day for crimes. Last Saturday a boy named Kenny died, a coyote tried to kill a roadrunner, and an inspector blew up his boss. These Saturday morning massacres are not taking place on the streets, but in our television sets. It is called entertainment for young children. Many shows, especially cartoons, geared towards children center around violence. "The Simpsons," "South Park," "Power Rangers," and "X-Men" all glorify violence. Even simple shows such as "Bugs Bunny," and "Tom and Jerry" center around violence. America's best babysitter is becoming a place for children to learn about the thrill of violence rather than the consequences of it. Ironically, violence seems to be diminishing on primetime television. According to the Federal Trade Commission, "5-6 violent acts occur per hour on prime time, with 20-25 acts an hour on children's programming" ("Tune Out the Violence" 2). Today, cartoons have become thirty-minute violence segments on television. This causes children to take violence lightly, and it misleads children about true heroes. This violence should not exist in the great extent that it does.The recent explosion of violence in cartoons causes children to believe violence is not harmful. Cartoons with much violence can cause children to misunderstand the consequences of their actions. The Federal Trade Commission reported, "73% of violence on television is rewarded or unpunished, and 58% of violent acts show no pain to victims" (Tune Out the Violence" 2). When Wiley Coyote accidentally blows himself up, instead of the Roadrunner, he just has to dust the soot off of him and pick himself up off the ground. He, as many other cartoon characters, will never die. Though children do know that if this happened in real life they would get hurt, but when they see these cartoon characters go unharmed repeatedly they may forget. Even the show "Inspector Gadget" causes children to become careless in their actions. For instance, when Inspector Gadget gets a new assignment it always says it will self-destruct. He always reads this notice, but never pays it much attention. He carelessly tosses it behind him, where it explodes on his boss. Inspector Gadget's carelessness teaches children that they should take warnings lightly. They also become confused again about danger, because his boss never gets hurt he just turns black from the smoke. I witnessed this first-hand when I babysat two young boys. We watched an episode of the "Ninja Turtles," and then the boys decided they wanted to play. They raced to put on their ninja headbands and pulled out their toy guns, chains and other weapons. They began shooting at each other, trying to "kill the bad guy." I told them to stop because they might hurt each other. They shrugged their shoulders and said they would not hurt for long, because they are tough like Wiley Coyote. They said they wanted to "kill" each other because that is what the...

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