There is no doubt that mass media impacts the people who consume it. While the media was originally designed to inform people, it has now become so much more. Modern media, especially in the area of violence, can have effects on the viewer’s behavior. Unfortunately the negative effects associated with the progression in the media’s communication technology, have begun to outweigh the positive impact of this representation of media.
Media is both an important and time-consuming aspect of modern child’s life due to the fact that children from ages eight to eighteen spend about 44.5 hours a week (6.5 hours a day) partaking in media. The media is consumed in forms of the computer and it’s functions with the Internet, television, and interactive video games. All this time consuming these forms of media added up takes up more time than any other events in their lives besides sleeping.
It has been said that the presentation of violent media to young children and adolescents has the most harmful effects on children in varying ways. This is supported by the fact that violence in forms of suicide, homicide, and trauma are the leading causes of death in children and young adults, outweighing the cause of death by sickness. Media programs aimed at young audiences have gone as far as becoming very similar to adult programs in terms of content in language and violence.
A typical child in the U.S. watches 28 hours of TV weekly, seeing as many as 8,000 murders by the time he or she finishes elementary school at age 11, and worse, the killers are depicted as getting away with the murders 75% of the time while showing no remorse or accountability. (“Violence in Media” 1)
In the U.S. this is an average of 20-25 violent acts being shown in children’s televisions programs each hour (“Children and Media” 1). 61% of all programs marketed towards children contained violence while only 4% contained anti-violence themes. 67% of these programs were not correctly rated in the content are of physical aggression. One program that was reviewed and incorrectly rated contained 53 acts of physical and emotional aggression in one hour alone. 42% of the violence in these programs was associated with humor and 52% of them contained images of lethal and or realistic violence. 45% of the offenders in these violent situations within the programs got away with their crimes and 71% of the offender even showed no remorse. Only 16% of these violent programs presented children with the long-term consequences of violence both in real life and in fiction (“Children and Media ” 1). The inappropriate behavior being justified or even rewarded has an even greater impact on children. Main characters in a violent program have an enormous impact because violence acted out by the “hero/protagonist” causes the child to be “engaged or aroused” by what they are viewing (“Children and Media” 2). While these statistics are surprising, some Psychologists argue that, “Such...