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Who says TV doesn't affect kids!


old man emu
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School holidays and the wife and I have the grandson with us while Dad is at work. Another school holidays when my hackles are raised when I see the young bloke bashing his action figures together in fights. Why does a usually loving kid play like that? Because he's constantly subjected to violence in what he watches on TV and iPad. Am I crazy or fanatical about my hate for the amount of violence he's subjected to? Take the time to watch what the media serves up to him. Superheroes in constant physical contact with malefactors. Conflict at various levels in everything. Look at The Lion King. That's a retelling of the adult themes of Hamlet

 

For sure we have always taught our children with tales of witches and boogie-men. Bib and Bub had to deal with the scary Banksia Men. But they were simply scary. They didn't resort to fists and swords and guns. Our children are being poisoned by the gun culture of the USA. Can we expect to put a lid on Domestic Violence in the future if those entering domestic relationships have been brought up with the idea that the only way to settle conflict is through violence?

 

Are our kids affected by what they see on TV? They sure are. Here's a little experiment that shows how kids rhymes are changed over the years by what they see on TV.

 

Go on, say it. "OME you are over-reacting!" Am I? Which Ancient Greeks did we get the most from - the philosophers of Athens or the warriors of Sparta?  

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Is it any difference to the violence we were served as ' Punch & Judy ' or The roman gladiators, even ' pantomime  ' has its violent bits.

Rattle Rattle  go the guns of the air-ace 'Douglas Badder'.  Hoaray 

, another Hun shot down.  Lets have a parade.

spacesailor

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I grew up watching the three stooges beating each other on the head with hammers, war films and 70s cop shows etc.  I think young people I have come into contact with )and it has been a lot after teaching music for 40 years) I do not believe that younger generations are more aggressive or violent in fact I feel they are much more empathetic.

 

OME you are not wrong to be concerned about what your grandchildren watch, this has always been the case.  

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I know that we grew up with the Three Stooges, but that was slapstick, not battle. I played wargames too, with Owen guns made from roof tile baton,  and read the air battle comics under the Commando banner.

250px-Commando_4068_cover.jpg

But I wasn't consistently exposed to the level of violence of the Marvel and DC comics, such as Spiderman, Captain America and the like, whose themes are more in the adult range than Primary School kids. My clothes weren't adorned with the motifs of these so-called superheroes. I would have been chuffed if I had been given a Davey Crockett  'coon skin cap.

 

Octave, most of the time you counter when I say that young people exhibit a lot of unacceptable behaviour traits. I believe you say this because as a teacher of musing and instrument playing, you are dealing with a unique group of young people who are willing to discipline themselves and have set out goals. They are the one who will make good as adults. On the other hand, I feel that the majority lack that level of self discipline and drive towards goals. They are the ones who are being adversely affected by the amount of violence they are subjected to in the name of "entertainment".

 

Can you name a popular moving in the past five years that didn't involve violence? What about current song lyrics? There's no sweet sixteen who gets a first kiss on the Ferry 'cross the Mersey.

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Most humans have been glorifying violence through entertaining or educating children for eons. In some respects, this is no different to what happens in the wildlife world - playfighting, etc, is all about developing the hunting and defence skills to ensure survival - eating and protecting your tribe/price/pack, etc.. in other words not losing territory. In early society, it was a necessary eveil.

 

Back to the TV impact - OME is probably spot on... There is some emperical evidence to suggest this and certainly a ton of anecdotal evidence. My brother, who is a psychologist told me of an accidental studyt of the impact of TV on communities. Coincidentally, there were two towns in the US separated by a small mountain or hill rnage. They were both very similar in terms of population, demographics, wealth, family profiles, social factors such as religion, etc. One of the towns had excellent reception, the other had poor reception and cable was not available to either. Before TV companies put in repeaters or boosters to get the second town decent reception (I don't think these towns were ever getting cable and I am not sure if satellite was practical at the time), the psychologists and socialologists studied them.. and the results were very much aligned to OMEs theory.

 

They found that despite the one dominating difference being TV, the society was in general more violent; disproportionately so in younger kids (theorising, nature kicks in as people mature and moderate things). They also found kids to be less active and suffering the US (and increasing elsewhere in the western world) disease - obesity. They also found the general population in the TV town was less active, had fewer holiday, and were a notch or two lower academically and sportingly. . One of the differences they found was that while both sets of male kids in each town were given toys that represent violence - bow and arrows, guns, etc, the intensity of the violence in play was worse in the TV town, especially using them as weapons to beat their playmates, destuction, etc, So, yes, at least one study has validated tha theory. Apparently studies since have found it is not TV itself, but the programming that makes the difference (which is very much common sense).

 

At a personal level, I can say I saw all fo those 70s and 80s kids shows that glorified violence. I personally wasn't up to getting into fighting, preferring burn energy on the footy field. But, there was a time when I was watching some US crap private investigator series - Dan Tanner PI or some such name.. There was a bit of heroic fighting that went on, especially those punches to the jaw. I was still in primary school - probably grade 5 or 6... Seeing those heroic punches spared an interest in me wanting to see/feel what it was like to deliver one. In school, we occasionally got into a bit of pushing and pulling suffles as one does when one is thrust into a new school in a rough area. When I was next involved, I thought "here's my chance" and out of the blue landed a punch on this poor kids left jaw.

 

What you don't see is the feeling your fist has when it makes contact and follows through with the jaw. What you also don't see in these shows is the blood of the victim or the dislodged teeth, and the bruising and welling. Well, thankfully I am a weaking and there was no blood or dislodged teeth (I don't even thing there was bruising). But I felt the collision and it made me sick to my stomach. I had never tried to pull that again, and had never been in a fight again (except on the footy field - but they were all the other guys fault - and it was just headlocks or pushing/pulling).

 

So, with that one lapse, I can say they haven't had an effect on me either. But putting it individually is a misrepresentation. We have to take a look at society as a whole, look at the programming, different exposures to the programming, affect of parenting (or lack thereof). Throw in the internet where most parents don't know (or care) too much about parental controls, graphically violent and sexually oppressive video games (how on earth can parents let their kids polay grand theft auto is beyond me) and take a look at its impact. And of course, let's not forget to throw in porn at the same time.

 

Apparently there is a pandemic of youth anxiety disorders, screen addictions, and the like. In our bubbles we may not see it, but our window is not that of societies. Why is the internet not censored in the same way as TV? What is it about that sacred cow that leaves it a totally unregulated minefield? In the UK, a private members bill sought to require all ISPs to default new accounts to parental controls on, which could be reversed by the explicit request of the account holder. Seems logical to me, but the government didn't support it.. maybe they were concerned their senior cohorts would have been traced to explicity requets parental controls switched off.

 

Can you imagine requiring social media comapnies to moderate their content before it is publsihed. The technology is there - don't worry about that.. but think of the effect of the shareprice and the value of the pension fuinds that have invested heavily in those shares.

 

OME - you have got me stared...

 

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"Guns don't kill people. People kill with guns". You can't blame the electronic device for the condition of our society. You have to blame the programming. I recently watched three seasons of an Australian-made drama involving the Legal profession on the Crown side. The technical production standards as well as the acting standards were of the highest order. It showed that we can produce world class TV. However, I commented to my wife that the series were commissioned by the ABC. I looked to find when the next series would be made, but it has been cancelled. The topics for the series held politicians and high ranking public servants in low esteem as part of their plots. It made me think that the reason for the cancellation was that the themes were cutting a bit close to the quick for real politicians. Cut the funding to the ABC and we'll have no more of that sort of innuendo. 

 

So if we have the skills to make high quality TV, and those skills are sought out by even the American film-makers, why don't we make great TV for kids so that we don't have to import the violent culture from a decadent society?

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BUT

In the PreTV era, we had the exact same augments over those violent comics we kids spent All our waking hours reading.

On the other hand it did do what the ' demobed soldiers couldn't  ! It made us READ.

NOW

The internet is teaching us to write ( type ).

Industry is making the biggest sheetfite by using latin- hieroglyphics on their products. 

spacesailor

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3 minutes ago, old man emu said:

You can't blame the electronic device for the condition of our society. You have to blame the programming.

I agree and it was th point i was trying to make.

 

When I moved back to Aus back in 2003, I was shocked at, outside the ABC, how bad out TV and radio media is. The reality is, if you leave it to a free market, the free market will do its best to make as much money as it can, cheaply as it can. It is far cheaper to buy in cheap crap from the US than to buy more expensive (then) better stuff from the UK or make it at home. Especially where there are artifical barriers of entry to an industry such as high licensing fees.

 

The UK has since gone the same way - crappy reality TV shows, etc. The Beeb (and I guess the ABC) still make quality eductional and entertaining kids shows, but the commercials here basically buy the US cartoons. In the 20 or so years I have been here, there  has been a shift in attitudes and not all good...

 

Without responsible controls, the programming will be designed to bring in the biggest buck - stuff quality and impact on society.

 

 

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Too late now to edit my above post...

 

The interesting thing to note, is many of the tech entrepreneurs forbid their kids (or n the case of Steve Jobs, his nieces/nephews) from usuing the stuff.. What does that tell you? (hint, devices do have issues in themselves as well as the programming - the blue light apparently disturbs some brain checmical which provides all sort of sleeping problems when viewed close to bed time that many parents let their kids do)

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I take it the people advocating censoring the violence in All our media, grew up Without the violence that Is happening around the world.

My childhood was very violent by the standards my children were shown.

My grand children wern,t even Spanked for misbehaving.

No welts from the belt on the new generations  .no school, showing off your black eyes to your friends in class.with no sympathy from the nasty teachers.

Censorship means No dvd,s from overseas friends, ' now Zone controlled .

No free educational books,  films,  programs,  from ' Pirate Bay '.

Does anyone now use the internet for what was BSB information exchange ?.

Now the government is into everything.

spacesailor

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The question is not that it does no good but how bad it is. That goes for honest labelling Junk food  Short term loans and Gambling and cigarettes and easily available alcohol 24 hours a day. also robbing young kids of their proper wages. A good tribe would not do these things to it's younger members. It's Greed and couldn't care less. Look at kids meals at pubs Chicken nuggets and chips with tomato sauce. Some pensioners eat then too. Lollies at the checkout at the service station where the kid pops a tantrum and has to be shut up by getting some junk lolly to stick in his cake hole.  Nev

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https://www.whatson4kids.com.au/school-holiday-movies-guide-for-kids/   

 

As far as music goes you know that not every kid is listening to gangster rap right?

 

The problem is it is all too easy to see the worst media has to offer and to believe that that is all that is on offer.   The kids I teach are not the exceptions and they are not a small  percentage either.    Music is one area that kids take part in but there kids playing sports  doing art building computers.  I am not saying that kids today are perfect but they never and they never will be.  The kids I teach are also potentially exposed to the same media but yet they manage to to remain relatively undamaged.  Why is that?

 

As a kid I played swordfights and had earth clod wars.     On the way home from school one day a much older kid from the nearby private school, as he walk by me punched me an the face, my lip was split and gushing blood.    This was so unremarkable that my father was annoyed that I did not go to my swimming lesson.   Today I think this would be taken much more seriously and reported to the police.    

 

It is easy to read the news (if it bleeds it leads) and believe that we live in some kind of dystopia.   Of course there are things that are better and things that are worse but I believe things have improved and I most certainly would not want to swap the life I have lead with the life my father lead.  I do however look at my sons life with a little jealousy though. 

 

I mentioned before that I think children today are much more empathetic.  When I was in early primary school there was a girl in our class who was Italian, this was at a time and place when it was more unusual.    The rest of the class whenever they walked past her would act out injecting themselves, saying vaccinated against Rosetta.     Nobody (including me) stood up for her and there is not a day goes by that  do not think about how her life has turned out.     Kids today are more empathetic (most of them)   and this sort of thing is rarer.

 

OME the behavior you describe of bang action figures together in mock fighting do not sound any different to what we did as kids., sure the action figures may have been different but mock fighting was still popular.    Sometimes it would cowboys and Indians with cap guns.    

 

Memory can be a tricky thing.  It is all too easy to view the past through rose coloured glasses. 

 

My grandfather on my fathers side used to beat his mother savagely (this would have been in the 30s } this was concealed because, well there was just nothing you could do about it.  This was not considered a matter for the police as it was considered private business.  This was not recorded as a statistic.  It was just a case of maintaining a façade.   My point here is that  it is easy to believe that there are more instances of violence now when in fact in the past we just did not notice ie child abuse.

 

I do not believe as a society we are becoming more violent.   In terms mental illness it is not so straight forward. By way of an example in the later years of school I became quite depressed such that I started to not hand work in.   When I went to  my year 11 English class the teacher had written on the blackboard some names, one was mine.  My last name starts with L  and she had written "Lazy L*****"    The fact was that what was really going on was depression. This was never recorded as a statistic and I never told any one because no one would have been interested.   I think in these more enlightened (and better in my view) times  someone would ask what was going on with me, did I need help did I need to talk to someone.

 

Young people are keenly aware that many older people think they are losers.    

 

It has always been the case that in any generation many kids thrive and some don't.   If todays kids are broken (and I don't accept that) we must surely look to how these children were parented and perhaps this is where the responsibility lies. Using nutrition as aa analogy, there are many sources of junk food around however not every child eats large amounts of junk food.  It comes down to upbringing, yes there are poor influences around but some families still manage to raise happy, healthy balanced  children .

 

P.S.  Depression sorted without medical intervention and when I do feel down I know how to tackle it quickly.

 

P.P.S.  Eventually my wife beating grandfather left for another (poor) women and my grandmother remarried the  step grandfather I knew Clarence (grandad Clarry) a kind and gentle man.

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Censorship And Violence !.

Remember the plane bombed over Lockerbie Scotland UK ?. ( PanAm  flight 103 )

The TV showed a 'body part ' 

AND 

Copped a hefty fine, there after All blood & guts are banned from our TV screens.

Total censorship.

spacesailor

 

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OME I share your angst.

The whole media machine is indoctrinating us to solve big problems with war. Or at least with personal violence.

 

Its much worse than Punch and Judy (which frightened me as a child) or any of the other examples. Nowadays it seems that apocalyptic violence is the answer to any threat or injustice.

 

 

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Jerry, although you make a good point about exposure to Tv or net violence not actually turning you into a psychopathic killer, bear in mind that the % of exposure has increased a lot since your youth. (No offence) Also, although it may not directly cause an individual to be actually observably violent, have you considered the unmeasured increased tolerance of forceful assertion of power? The thrill of absolutely beating the crud out of baddies, whatever or whomever they may be?

 

Or the higher probability that the populace will say "Hey those other buggahs are all bad guys! I agree, let's send more troops to I-forgetistan!" Or a phrase I've heard from a aircraft maintainer in the middle east: "Just turn it all into glass!"

 

Sometimes the effects are not easily quantified statistically, but nevertheless are culturally affecting our political trajectory.

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1 minute ago, nomadpete said:

Jerry, although you make a good point about exposure to Tv or net violence not actually turning you into a psychopathic killer, bear in mind that the % of exposure has increased a lot since your youth. (No offence) Also, although it may not directly cause an individual to be actually observably violent, have you considered the unmeasured increased tolerance of forceful assertion of power? The thrill of absolutely beating the crud out of baddies, whatever or whomever they may be?

 

Or the higher probability that the populace will say "Hey those other buggahs are all bad guys! I agree, let's send more troops to I-forgetistan!" Or a phrase I've heard from a aircraft maintainer in the middle east: "Just turn it all into glass!"

 

Sometimes the effects are not easily quantified statistically, but nevertheless are culturally affecting our political trajectory.

 

 

 

Jeez what are you guys watching?  

2 minutes ago, nomadpete said:

Or the higher probability that the populace will say "Hey those other buggahs are all bad guys! I agree, let's send more troops to I-forgetistan!" Or a phrase I've heard from a aircraft maintainer in the middle east: "Just turn it all into glass!"

 

I think societies willingness to go to war has decreased not increased.  From Vietnam on the public started to kick up about sending troops overseas and most definitely societies acceptance of casualties has become more problematic for governments. In are last few engagements in the middle east there has not been enthusiastic support and I think it is more young people who objected and protested. certainly don't believe that there is more appetite for going to war amongst younger people compared to older people.

 

Back on TV do people have specific examples of mainstream film or television that is more violent the past?   I suspect people forget what movies we were watching in the 70s Taxi Driver, Clockwork Orange, Straw dogs, Dirty Harry Texas Chainsaw  Massacre. to name but a few.    

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Just now, octave said:

think societies willingness to go to war has decreased not increased. 

Just taking that one point, Octave, when did you see a street demo against our military in Afghanistan, or anywhere else? It is now seen as 'situation normal'. As far as I see, our society has normalised these 'peace keeping' wars much more than I would have accepted as a teenager.

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5 minutes ago, octave said:

in the 70s Taxi Driver, Clockwork Orange, Straw dogs, Dirty Harry Texas Chainsaw  Massacre. to name but a few.    

As for those, in my rebellious adolescence, I chose not to watch any of those (haven't since either). So I can only comment on the more recent superhero stream of 'dehumanising the enemy', type of movie violence. Altho I find them boring so have only watched one. The shorts of others seem to confirm that they are all rather lacking a decent plot.

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We never had TV when I was a kid. In fact our first TV was when I was 17 and working - I rented a 17" B&W TV. We used to go to the Saturday afternoon "flicks" matinee and watched Hopalong Cassidy and the Lone Ranger. 

 

Have any of you watched WWE wrestling. "Sports entertainment" they call it. Huge guys beating up on smaller guys. Bashing one another with steel folding chairs, banging heads into steel corner posts, punching each other with steel chains around their hands and arms. And the women are just as bad. It may be choreographed and rehearsed, but do kids watching that realise this? And participants do occasionally get seriously injured.

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