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Self Censorship Essay

3478 words - 14 pages


During the time of my life age zero to six, I watched television. I listened to music. I watched movies. From a stroller, my mother would push me around the grocery store as she shopped. I would read various signs posted around the store. “Frozen.” “Watermelon.” “Pasta.” Where did I learn to read? Not from books, teachers, or educational toys. I learned to read from a daily diet of “Sesame Street” and “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.”

Individuals who blame media for the downfall of society are shortsighted. The existence of television’s “Power Rangers” or video game consoles' “Grand Theft Auto” does not explicate violence in schools, or on the playground. There are more factors influencing today’s children.

As I came home from preschool to “The Price is Right” to now as I sit in front of my Internet-connected computer and type this paper, screen time has always been a part of my life. Has this given me a distorted view of reality? Has my media use desensitized me, making me prone to committing acts of violence? Do I feel that my sense of self is defined through spending money and purchasing material goods, or that I have distorted views of reality and of the other people in my life? I grew up with media. I was raised in a media-containing environment. Then what sets me apart from the student shooters at Columbine? As our surroundings shape and influence who and what we are, the media in our lives influences and impacts our worldviews. Currently, there is fault on both the "transmitting" and "receiving" ends of today's media. Inappropriate messages are received by the wrong audiences due to inactive parenting and irresponsible media.

Corporations who are driven by profit provide mass media to the American public.
Television, radio, magazines, etc. are available in an effort to get individuals to patronize sponsoring businesses. Like all businesses, media corporations are bound by the economic rules of supply and demand. Today’s media makes material depicting violence, coarse language, and degrading perspectives available to any audience who will “tune in.” What sells, unfortunately, is largely a representation of what has gone wrong in our society; in other words, media is a reflection of society’s ills. Because of the availability of this material combined with the concept of supply and demand, one can correctly deduce that violent and vulgar material is produced and made available because there is a market for it. It exists because people will buy it. Many computer software retailers use the game rating system as a guideline for sales. On two separate occasions in two different stores, I witnessed a store clerk refuse sale of a game rated “M” to individuals under 17 years of age. But who is old enough to provide these games to “underage” children? Who doesn’t watch television with their children and simply puts a set in their child’s room? Who allows their child to...

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