Crime, murder, and explicit language appears to be extreme issues. These criminalities are predominantly seen in the streets and back alleys, but they are subsistence in our homes and often goes unnoticed. Media has the potential to create both a positive and a negative effect on children. In today’s fast-paced world, we have sanctioned media to be the foremost touch of persuasion. Media is one of the most powerful educational tools, but the question here is “what is it teaching?” If it is exhibiting violence, then what influence does this have on a child’s conduct. Jeffrey McIntyre, legislative and federal affairs officer for the American Psychological Association quoted: “The evidence is overwhelming. To argue against it, the link between media violence and teen violence is like arguing against gravity.’ On one hand, some argue media effects are insignificant since a child’s guardian can teach him to distinguish between fantasy and reality.Order now
However, the violence depicted by the media has a negative effect on a child’s life as he emerges into adulthood. Since the continuous exposure to violence drives a child to develop aggressive behavior, making him accustomed and believing it is a norm and compromises a vital part of his life. Television has transformed the world and how we perceive it. With just a click of a button, the viewing probabilities are infinite from Cartoons to music videos. With so many options, what to watch has become alarming, when it comes to children particularly. Violence and aggressive acts proliferate on television, mostly viewed by children.
William Goodwin stated, “A five-year study by the American Psychological Association found that the average child witnesses 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence on television by the seventh grade” (Goodwin 98). These statistics are dreadful. Long-term exposure to such imageries desensitizes children, standardizing violent and aggressive behavior seen in several cases. When a child observes a specific behavior, it escalates the possibility of him acting that way. Precisely, as they watch vicious behavior, they are subject to impersonate. Howe uses real-life cases, flaunting how television can negatively influence a child. “A 16-year-old broke into a cellar wearing gloves, not to leave fingerprints. A nine-year-old suggested sending a poisoned candy as revenge to his teacher for getting a bad report. A seven-year-old sprinkled ground-up glass into the lamb stew the family was to eat for dinner to see the results” (Howe 72).
These are certainly astonishing incidents; directly linked with violence and how television shapes a child. Children are great mimics. pretend play and imitating their favorite characters are common among the young, unhesitatingly imitating what they see. Learning violence is no exclusion. ACT Against Violence quotes: “What a child learns about violence, a child learns for life… teach carefully” (Segal). The effects can be long-term, if not everlasting. When a child watches television, they do not know the difference between illusion and reality. This causes the child to think what he or she is watching is okay and happens all the time. As a child gets older, age six to eleven his views on violence don’t change. At this age, children start showing aggressive behavior trying to act like their favorite characters. “A fifteen-year-old, shot an 83-year-old, at her home in a robbery in 1977. The boy’s lawyer argued that violent television show led him to this murder. The only thing on Zamora’s mind and what influenced him during the murder was being like his famous television characters” (Robinson).
When a child watches or plays destructive games, it is that negativity that they absorb and imitate. According to The American Academy of Child and Adolescence Psychiatry, “Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness…Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see” (TV Violence and Children). Recurring violence exposure without ramification, allows children to believe they also can get away with brutal actions. Violence a stealthy domination, robbing a child’s mind creating a toxic discernment of the world around him. Fictitious television and video game violence contribute to the short-term and long-term upsurge in aggression and violence in an adolescent and children. A child, who watches and plays violent games in his childhood, is prone to be aggressive in his adulthood “Mark Twitchell a 31-year-old man, was fascinated with Dexter, lured a man to his death using a fake online dating profile, violently killing him and cutting up his body in a rented garage he had transformed into his own kills room (Guy).
Violent exposure and aggressive behavior in children, exhibits enduring effect into adulthood, depicting belligerent deeds, crimes, and abuse. The US Department of Justice statistics shows that: “In 2017, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made an estimated 809,700 arrests of persons under age 18, 59% less than the number of arrests in 2008” (OJJDP). That is an average of two thousand kids arrested per day, and that number keeps on rising. Violence is a health problem, destroying a child’s mind, damaging his cognitive and intellect potential generating perpetual difficulties.
On the other hand, the media can have a positive impact on children. For example, “the Sesame Street television show”, “PBS kids’ channel”, or the YouTube educational channels like “ABC Kids TV, Chuchu TV” to name a few, enhances children’s cognitive and intellectual skills by demonstrating the positive influence on learning capabilities helping them master their numbers and letters easily. Additionally, shows like, the “Wonder Pets” enlightens children on compassionate and tolerance. The right program, teamed with parental interaction, can have a positive impact. Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle quoted: “TV can be as bad as has been feared but also better than ever thought possible” (Frazier).
Media can also inspire adolescences to intermingle with their colleagues, seeking support and advice when going through hardship, and becoming more accepting of others from different backgrounds. While also increasing access to material related to well-being, education and keeping teenagers updated on changing trends in the social world. In today’s fast-paced world, children have continuous access to various forms of media via television, social media etc. Media can enhance a child’s knowledge, learning opportunities, interest, inventiveness, and interaction skills. Similarly, it can edify harmful life lessons, affecting our future generation, as they impersonate what they see and hear from the media.