16 July 2012
Media Influence on the Younger Generation
It seems like just last week when I bought my son a new video game, Call of Duty 3 was the name of it. This game is supposed to be the best game in town. It was not until recently did I notice that every time I call my son his reaction time if he answers or reacts at all, is slow. When I tell him to do something, it never gets done at least not right away. When my son finally has enough of the video game for the moment, he turns to the TV for additional support. He likes the shows that I like to call "the bratty shows" such as iCarly, The Wizards of Waverly Place, and Jessie, just to name a few. These shows consist of a bunch of kids acting up, treating each other badly and getting over on their parent or guardians. My son gets really upset when I tell him to turn off the TV and go outside. At this point the brat comes out with an unfavorable attitude such as sucking teeth, stomping feet, dirty looks and mumbling god knows what. My son’s whole demeanor changes when he gets into these shows. His attitude and mood shifts from good obedient son to mouthy and lazy boy. So I ask myself, do the media such as TV, radio, computer and video games change an adolescent? You have my vote due to first hand in-house observations on a daily basis.
Long ago, adolescence place of entertainment was outside the home. They spent hours at the park, and in the yard. It was not until the twentieth century did children start spending much of their time in the home due to the extreme amount of media and technology readily available. This behavior was classified as an aspect of social learning theory which holds that children will model or mimic behavior that they observe directly through others or indirectly through media.
We have placed our confidence and trust on the media as an overseer to give us, education, entertainment and most importantly the daily news. However, we are getting so much more, more than we bargained for in my opinion and experience. The influences of the mass media on our youths are at an all record high. And what is sad is that we do not have a clue to how the media works.
What we do not know about how the mass media influence works is that of all the media distribution channels the most influential has been the television. We are exposed to thousands of images of violence, sex, advertisements and so much more, in fact our children are exposed to about 40,000 ads a year. The belief that children will mimic the behavior of characters they see in movies or watch on TV receives a great deal of attention amongst social learning theorist.
“According to the recent Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation study, Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the lives of Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (2003). 177 This research shows that children aged 6 and under spend an average of two hours a day using screen media such as TV and computers, about the same amount of time they spend playing outside, and significantly more than the amount they spend reading or being read to”. (Siegal & Welsh p96)
“Nearly half of all children aged 6 and under have used a computer and just a third has played video games. Marketing research indicates that children aged 11 to 14 rent violent horror movies at a higher rate than any other age group. More than 40 percent of U.S. households now have cable TV, which features violent films and shows. Even children shows are satiated with violence including cartoons. Video games also have a high number of violence displayed. The video game audience is 8 to 14 year old males. Eighty percent of the games produced are violent, with realistic graphics. Video games may have a greater impact on their audience than TV and movies because they immerse the players physically, visually, and auditory. There is evidence that violent video game exposure increases aggressive thoughts and behavior, angry feelings, and...