Television as We Know it Today
The Power Rangers, RoadRunner, Bugs Bunny and Yo Sammity Sam. What do all of these have in common? They are all shows upon which we build our child’s playtime. You sit your child in front of the television for hours at a time. They stair at the screen with glossy eyes and total amazement. Yet what is it that they are learning from these shows? It is the hidden message of violence and dysfunction, which keeps children entertained. If you look at all of the shows, which I have mentioned above, they seem to have a common theme. Violence.
Whether this message is intended or not is another issue, however, the violence is there. The Power Rangers for example, their mission is to save the planet from evil space monsters. How do they achieve this? By killing the monsters, thus becoming heroes. The RoadRunner, every week he tries to kill Wielly Coyote. He instead gets killed each time, but it is only temporary. Finally we come to Bugs Bunny and Yo Sammity Sam. Each time, Yo Sammity Sam, tries to kill Bugs Bunny, chasing after him with a shotgun. What type of message is this sending to our youth?
Children see violence as their entertainment. As adults we know the difference between what is real and what isn’t. Do children know this difference as well? When a character dies but only for a second, do children know this is not how it really is?
In one study by a scientist named Linne (Condry p.89) it was found that television these cartoons do effect how children think. Cartoons how the person with power to come out on top as the triumphant winner-of - all. After exposure to violent cartoons children were less likely to share with one another and more likely to use aggression as a means to solve conflicts. Also, those children who are exposed to greater amounts of television tend to react more violently than those who are exposed to lesser amounts of television.
More and more children are committing acts of rage and terror. Why do we fear our youth, the future of our society, our tomorrow? Our children have been given notions of immortality in an otherwise mortal world. Even if it is not always the direct cause to their violence it has helped them to accept violence due to the manner and frequency of which it is presented to them. They view it on a daily basis; it is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Look back to the recent attack of Columbine. A small school which no one had ever heard of, until April 20, 1999, when 12 children and 1 teacher, lost their lives. (www.geocities.com/dreampackers) This is not to say that there aren’t many other stronger sources to blame, however, such violence has not always been a prominent issue. Violence in our society has increased. This is greatly due to how common violence has become in everyday life. Television exposes us to violence as being humorous, glamorous, thrilling, and above all else entertaining.
Before the widespread use of...