Children and Television
The children of America spend their time on many different activities.
One of the most time consuming activities is watching television. Television
plays a large role in the social and emotional development of children today.
One good quality that television has is that it conveys information and
happenings around the world that they may not otherwise know about, but some
people have been questioning whether television does more harm than good. Many
have been analyzing what affect violence in adult shows as well as children's
shows may have on children.
Most parents allow their children to watch so called "kid's shows"
without even thinking about what might be contained within them. How many times
has a certain hunter been seen hunting a certain "wascally wabbit"? Most people
would say "how can a cartoon about a man hunting affect a child?" At first it
may seem that it has no effect, but, looking closer, it is easy to see that Bugs
Bunny has many human traits. Two of these traits are speaking English and
walking upright. Something else that adds to this is that sometimes children
cannot make the distinction between fantasy and reality. Quickly a cartoon
about a man hunting a rabbit can turn into a story of murder. Another cartoon
character that may harm children is Yosimite Sam. When he becomes angry, he
begins to fire his pair of guns into the air and at other characters. This
could cause children to act violently to appease their anger. This includes
hitting and throwing things. This is an extreme view of the situation, but who
is to say that at least part of it is not true?
Children see violence everyday in their cartoons, but what about shows
that they watch in which people star. These shows will more than likely cause
more violence than cartoons would. While watching a show such as "Mighty
Morphin Power Rangers" a child sees almost 30 minutes of non-stop fighting. The
show also has a fantasy story that appeals to children. After watching the show,
a child may become bored because the reality of the television show is more
interesting. The child then imitates what was seen on television. This is
where the actual violence may begin. Adult shows and movies that are seen by
children could have even worse effects than children's shows. In one documented
case, a Californian boy that was seven years old watched a movie one night. In
the movie, a man put glass into soup that a colleague of his was to eat. The
very next night, the boy put crushed glass into the stew that his family was to
eat for supper. He said that he wanted to know if it would do the same thing in
real life that it did on television. The danger with violence on television
begins with imitation and escalates with experimentation. This is an extreme
case, but it is a case.
Television violence is a major problem in our society. Some people are
working to end it, others are simply ignoring it, hoping that will somehow go
away, and some people are trying to tell America that what a child sees on TV
will not affect him. We must work to eliminate the problem now. Watching
cartoons on television may not make him grow up to be a cold-blooded murderer,
but the total impact of witnessing repeated acts of violence may slowly cause
our society to become more and more aggressive until there are too many killings
to list on the news and watching one while you walk down the street is a common
occurrence. We will never actually be able to tell what the ultimate impact of
violence on television is until it actually happens, but will that be too late
for us to recover from it? Only time will tell...