A frequent question has been asked, does media affects children’s behavior? Many people, to this day, are still debating whether a child is truly influenced by the media. One argument that has been debated is if a child could do something that he had not seen on television and does its effects harmful or educational. However, even though people blame media for crimes committed by youths, it should be their responsibility to face the consequences of their actions.
Certain people worry about their children and are so afraid that their child might be influenced by media and what it teaches them. Children nowadays are very fond of watching televisions with their favorite cartoon characters, like “Tom and Jerry”, which seems to be entertaining but also violent at the same time. People would never know whether this is a good show for kids to the effect of doing the same kind of strategies with their friends who are bullying them for an instance. Movies, like X-men, films like The Elephant” and other brutal scenes which can be seen by children could possibly be harmful to them, to the extent of internalizing the role of their favorite character and doing unexpected things to others.
There are however, different views on how media affects children whether it is good or bad for them but in the end, each point of views could be or could not be accepted by the people who will be hearing it.
A book written by Gerard Jones, “Violent Media is Good for Kids” created a context in which the author argues that creative violence such as bloody video games, toy guns; karate playground and gun-glorifying gangsta rap are tools to master the rage of children (Jones; 680). According to him, rage could be an energizing emotion, as well as a shot of courage that will push a person to resist threats, have self-control than a person could ever though of. He based his views on his own experience (reading Marvel comics – “The Hulk”) because according to him, it helped him to be free though the character (Jones: 679).
Jones also said that when children pretend to be superheroes with superpowers, it helps them conquer their feelings of being powerless as a small child. He wrote some Hulk stories and talked to the kids who actually read it, and he always got the same story like his experience and found out that they are immersing in violent stories in order to get out of their emotional traps. Just like what happened to his son, who is afraid of climbing trees but not until he read Tarzan comics to his son (Jones; 682).
According to another context of the book by Oliver Stone, entitled “to John Grisham: What’s next—“A Movie Made Me Do It”? He analyzes if a film influenced a person’s mind of doing such a crime just because of the terrifying and violent he or she watched. John Grisham wrote “The firm” in which he answers certain questions regarding the two accused murderers namely Ben Darras and eighteen year old boy and Sarah Edmondson, nineteen of age, who watched “Natural Born Killers” before they did the crime (Stone; 688). He insists that even both did watch it or not, they could have done the same thing because of particular histories that they’ve had. Such experience are having been drowned to drugs, alcohol abuse, some psychiatric treatment as well as Ben’s alcoholic father who divorced her mother then commits suicide.
Sizing up he effects y Sissela Bok made path finding book the issue of violence profusion such as film, television, video games which she sees as hopeless standoff in preserving public morality against free speech.
She talked about the gladiator in Rome where violence seems to be entertainment and where actual killing has been a pleasure to Romans. She is against the violent films which can be watched specially by those children who does not know the difference between reality and not. Although the movies are only make believe, she argues that once these films are lived in one’s imagination, you’ll be less likely to carry it our on reality. According to her, scholars do not agree with this and it is proved that as a result, numbers of people become more violent.
Not only media should be linked to horrible crime that’s happening in the U.S. said Michael Zimecki in his “Violent Films Cry Fire’ in Crowded Theaters. He mentioned that a killer followed a set of detailed instruction on the manual “Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors” Avid players of “Doom” which is a violent video game, went on a shooting rampage in 1997 and killed a teacher with twelve students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
Children might not think that they are being influenced by media but sure they are according to a freelance journalist, Daphne Lavers, as she writes on her essay “The Verdict on Media Violence: Its Ugly…and Getting Uglier’. Grossman said that that as children watch pictures of suffering and they learn to associate it their favorite candy of soft drinks. There has been a study that tells the effect of watching television found out that prolonged exposure to it during childhood will eventually trigger their physical aggressiveness. She provided all the shows on television, all the movies with violent scenes that have been associated with the murders that happened after seeing those things. Also, according to her, operant conditioning such as video games from TV series program, a fight stimulator for a police, is a powerful, repetitive, stimulus-response training mechanism in which reactions are trained into automatic response.
It appears that media have something to do with the behavior of a child as he grows. In other cases, not only media has this issue related to crimes but also violent games, reading materials, or toys could influence a child’s behavior. However, it always depend on how responsible people like parents, who should be there to carefully teach their children how to act the right way. If they think that watching violent scenes would bring harm to their children, then they have the power to think twice before letting them watch such film or, if they believe that it would be great to let their children watch news, movies, play games or read something violent in order to help their children increase self-esteem and courage, then it’s their responsibility to teach from there, what is the essence of those. Media cannot be tolerated anymore, and what is important is how children cope up with the things that they can see on television or other things that seems to be violent, and as long they are given the proper education about those things, the influence as a result would probably be good. Media cannot be blamed for the crimes that’s happening around us, especially those crimes that are committed by teens or even little ones, because it will always end up on questioning how well does their parents brought them up. However, on the other hand, we can also say that somehow, media gives an idea to a child to do some things that he has not ever think of doing. In the end, it is always up to them whether they will be influenced by the violence that they have known; but it’s also a risk that they have to face if they’ll follow what they know is wrong and they will be held responsible for their own actions.