You, Your Child and the Media: What is Negative Media?

I do not think there is anything negative about the media. I think the two things that are negative about the use of the media.

The first is excessive exposure to the media contents, good or bad: Research has established it that children spend an average of 7 hours a day (49 hours per week) on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices.  This is not healthy, not healthy, not healthy at all.

Hillary Clinton submits most profoundly, ‘It is probably the single most commonly mentioned issue to me by young parents, almost no matter where I go, when we start talking about raising children. We start talking about the challenges of parenting today, and all of a sudden people are exchanging their deep concerns about losing control over the raising of their own children, ceding the responsibility of implicating values and behaviors to a multi-dimensional media marketplace that they have no control over and most of us don’t really understand because it is moving so fast we can’t keep up with it. And so I’ve spent more than 30 years advocating for children and worrying about the impact of the media.’

The second is exposure to negative contents expressed in:

  • Exposure to sexual/pornographic materials in print, electronic and New Media : there are pornographic cartoons
  • Violent movies/music/articles/video games
  • Fantasy Movies, promoting fantasies as realities and with unhealthy spiritual undertone
  • Materials promoting horror  but tagged, ‘Thriller’
  • Promotion of destructive habits like drugs and alcohol use and abuse
  • Please note that all categories of movies (comedy, action, and the rest) have one negative undertone or the other.

As at today there are more negative materials enjoying airplay than Positive materials…Do you need statistics? Not at all…You know it as a fact even without thinking that the airwaves are full of junks in the name of programming…So SAD!

In an article titled, Your Child and the Media: Facts and Fiction, published on the website (www.parentstv.org) of Parents Television Council, the following depressing facts are supplied,

  • Television: The Television reaches children at a younger age and for more time than any other socializing institution except the family:

– More and more homes have multiple TVs, meaning children have greater opportunity to view programs without parental consent or supervision.
– By age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. American Psychiatric Association
–  In a national opinion poll conducted for TV Guide (8/2/03), 57% of TV viewers said they ‘noticed an increase in offensive material on television lately.

  • Internet: The New Frontier

– More than 31% of children surveyed (ages 10 -17) report having seen a pornographic site on the Internet.
50% of teens (aged 3-18)  frfequently communicate online with someone they’ve never met in person
– 37% have received a link to sexually explicit content

  • Video Games

– 75% of American households with more than one child have video game equipment.
– Approximately 40% of families with preschoolers own video game equipment.
– 97% of teens ages 12-17 play computer, web, portable, or console games; 50% played games “yesterday.” Pew Research Center

Please note that I have use the foregoing statistics first because of its accuracy and the fact that if the foregoing is the picture in a developed country, with more effective state regulations and self-regulatory groups, I doubt if the picture would be better in a developing nation or continent like Africa. I fervently hope it is not even worse in our clime, though that is what my hindsight seems to be desperately pushing on me due to my interactions with children, teenagers, young adults and parents in the last 16 years. The situation is scarier because we are not even in possession of our facts and figures.

Thank you for joining me today. The discussion continues tomorrow. Do have an INSPIRED day. I charge you today to Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…

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