The Effects of Electronic Media on Children
Guided Research 110A
Teacher: Maurice Williams
November 10, 2010
Media on Children 2
Children now have much easier access to media than ever before—and to a much wider variety of content of the media. Researchers have shown that, until the late 18th century, there had been no attempts at developing media specifically aimed at children (Dumitru, 2010). There were a few healthy books for adults to choose that children enjoyed reading, such as Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels; all of the books were easy to read and understand, but no one book was written with a child's emotional level at that time. Until the 18th century, children and adults could read the same texts: the Bible, chapbooks and very few newspapers. But later, there were more books and newspapers coming out. These kinds of books deal with subjects such as poverty, disease, and death, as well as drunkenness, and sexuality. The newspapers contained political and military news, as well as very sad news such as terrifying natural disasters. The increasing kinds of media in children’s lives affect their communicative skills. Children acquire video games, personal computers, internet, and cell phones at a younger age than before. Surveys indicate that about 82% of children are online by 7th grade and experience about 6.5 hours per day of over media exposure. (Dumitru, 2010). Media influence on children has increased when more types of media have been developed. There are many beneficial influences on children, such as learning and remembering knowledge easier, for example, they can learn from movies; saving time to experience something and discussing social events. However, we should pay more attention to negative effects, such as violent behavior between classmates, deterioration in a physical health because of lack of physical activities and withdrawal into an unreal world without close friends. These effects can cause very serious problems for our next generation. Media on Children 3
With the rapid development of technology, mass media have changed a lot. TV and Internet, rather than newspaper and magazines, have become the major ways to search news and information all over the world. Some people still think that newspaper and magazines are the major and the best ways to learn knowledge. The internet is playing a more and more important role in children’s daily life. On the Internet, they can get as much information as they can. Children can send e-mails to their friends and talk to them if they want to. Besides, on the internet they can read books, enjoy music and watch ball games. They can also go shopping without leaving their rooms. Firstly, for children now, the beneficial effect of media is that it is easy to learn and remember knowledge. They can have classes by watching teaching videos instead of listening to the teachers at school. They can know all the names of flowers by looking at flowers images instead of visiting a zoo. Also, they can learn a new language by listening to a tape instead of talking with a totally foreigner stranger. This kind of studying will be more impressive and unforgettable. Take me as an example. Before I came to America, I had many different ways to study English in China. In the early morning when I walked to school, I was always listening to my English tapes in order to learn some new vocabularies. At school, when we had class, my teacher would show us some short American videos, and I was so interested in them. When I came back home, I liked to watch “Friends” which is an American television series, and I was really enjoying it. Media on Children 4
Next, if children can make good use of the media, it will be a very good way to save time to learn many different countries’ history and culture. Young children are always very interested in many different new...