Children's Exposure to Media

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Children’s Exposure to Media
COM/156
June 15, 2012
Elizabeth Carson

Media is used as a form of entertainment, but also as a form of communication. Media is a tool used to influence and reach out to the public. As adulthood comes to light, adaption to what is a performance and what is a real life situation is realized. However, the same may not be said about the innocent minds of our children. Many of us use the television or the radio as an educational tool for our children. The mistake made is underestimating the true impact of any media form seen and heard by our progenies. Children need a strong support system and guidance in order to understand right from wrong. Parents and communities must work together to supervise the media content to which our children are frequently exposed.

According to the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, "News broadcasts of violent events may be traumatic to children and have negative effects” ("Media Violence", 2003, para. 2). According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, “nearly 2 out of 3 TV programs contained some violence, averaging about 6 violent acts per hour” (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003, p.1). The actions seen on television or the violent content in other media are not always the first thought that crosses a parent’s mind. These are just a couple of exposures observed and studies done by doctors in reference to media effects on children. When researching statistics, some thought provoking and unbelievable numbers were discovered. By the time a child is 18 years old, 16,000 simulated murders and an average of 200,000 acts of violence will have been seen (American Psychiatric Association). According to Parents Television Council, "66% of children (ages 10 to 16) say that their peers are influenced by TV shows and 62% say that sex on TV shows and movies influences kids to have sex when they are too young”(Parents Television Council, 1998-2011, para. 12-13). As a parent, concerns of the direction media is heading and the messages led are top priority.

Music is supposed to be peaceful for the soul. Music is supposed to be educational. In some cases, music promotes violent moods and actions. When we expose our young children to violent and sexual lyrics, their minds process the words as a guide to what should be. In all actuality music with sexual, drug, death, homophobic, and hatred innuendos send out the wrong messages. Music, especially for adolescents, is a way of expression. It can help them cope with internal issues, as well as fit in to a crowd. It is all about acceptance. Although the emotional response to music depends on the way it is presented, it is also true that it is closely related to the age of the listener and the experiences or preconceived ideas they bring to the music. The effect that popular music has on children's and adolescents' behavior and emotions is of paramount concern. There is particular concern related to the lyrics of some genres of music and their effect on children and adolescents. (“Impact of Music, Music Lyrics, and Music Videos on Children and Youth,” 2009, para. 6). Theory suggests music has been associated with behavior change, violent tendencies, and disinterest in education. As progress in learning about media content advances, the good and bad side to everything becomes clearer. Some music may have bad affects, but music can also stimulate the mind. Melody helps in the development factor in babies and songs can be made into a learning tool for early childhood education, especially when it contains numbers, colors, and the alphabet.

Controversial issues, such as video games, will be a back and forth complex problem for ages. The gaming industry has been blamed for the development of violent behaviors, especially in children. “High levels of violent video game exposure have been linked to delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and violent criminal behavior” (Anderson, 2003, para....
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