Comfort Of Our Own Homes Essay Research

Comfort Of Our Own Homes Essay, Research Paper

Violence is very wide spread in society today and is growing at an alarming rate among

our children. Everyday we seem to hear of children beating on one another, ganging up

on the elderly, invading homes, and even murdering people. One has to question how

much effect different sorts of media have on our children. From the time we are very

young we can be exposed to seeing and hearing horrible acts of violence on the television

and radio, and through video games. Sadly, I believe this is where it all starts – in the

comfort of our own homes. Over and over again children watch violent programs and

play video games with the goal of killing others. Eventually many of them find it amusing

and enjoyable to see others being hurt and killed. Parents, in general, are not protecting

their kids from this invasion of media violence.

Many children laugh at violence and think it’s funny to hurt others. According to

David Grossman, a former psychology professor and author of a Pulitzer-nominated book

on the psychology of violence, the most dangerous of all media is that which teaches the

child to laugh. “ Once you get beyond the early age where kids are stunned and

mesmerized by TV and can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality, you find they

begin to laugh at the violence”. (Grierson, Adbusters 2) Children who view a lot of

television become hardened to violence. “ Media violence systematically brutalizes and

desensitizes its recruits”.(Grierson, Adbusters 1) Children are entertained by violence so

often on television that they no longer find it offensive. Watching programs that glorify

violence, such as “Monday Night Wrestling”, give children the impression that hurting

others is amusing. “Even though young children have some understanding of what it

means to pretend, they are developmentally unable to distinguish clearly between fantasy

and reality.” (Grierson, Adbusters 1)

Children not only commit acts of violence but they actually enjoy it. They are

conditioned to enjoy violence from an early age, often while curled up on the living room

couch. “Children watch vivid pictures of human suffering and death, and they learn to

associate it with their favorite soft drink and candy bar”. (Grierson, Adbusters 2) Many

times over, disgusting scenes are viewed with Mom and Dad during family times together.

“TV violence does not kill you. It destroys your violence immune system and conditions

you to derive pleasure from destruction.” (Grierson, Adbusters 2) Kids who play video

games get a sense of pleasure when they “kill the enemy” and win the game. Grossman,

who spent time as a lieutenant-colonel in the army states that something psychologists call

“classical conditioning” can take place in our children when they act out violently, such as

in video games, and are rewarded for it, as they are by winning the game. He calls

classical conditioning “the forced association of an emotional state with an action-to train

its soldiers not only to kill but to like it”. (Grierson, Adbusters 1)

Are parents doing enough to protect their children from media violence? They

provide comfortable homes for their children. Most parents also provide televisions,

stereos and video games. Myriam Miedzian, a social philosopher, insists, “By the time

American kids are 18 years old they have watched 26,000 murders on television alone….It

is contrary to common sense and research to think you can create such a culture and not

have any effects.” (Benson/Roehlkepartain Youth Violence 1) Even parents who try to

limit their kids’ TV viewing by installing a V-chip, are leaving the decision of which

programs are watched in the hands of the networks and “they are doing a horrendous job

of it”. (Grierson, Adbusters 5) Parents seem to be much better judges of what and how

much television their children should watch. Video games and TV are often used as

babysitters for parents who are busy, tired or lazy. Instead of being active and creative,

children are entertained by the media. “We have powerful data, linking TV-viewing with

obesity in kids…We have some of the smartest, most creative people in the nation being

paid vast sums of money to convince your child to eat sugary cereal.” (Grierson,

Adbusters 5)

Violence has escalated amongst our young people to the point that they find it

amusing and enjoyable to see and take part in acts of violence. Parents have let the media

invade their homes so that violent programs and games are taken for granted and seen as

an acceptable form of entertainment. Parents, in general, need to wake up and realize that

it could be their children who are someday beating others, invading people’s homes and

murdering, all because they have been exposed to violence day in and day out through the

media. If parents care and want to raise kids with good morals, they must do it themselves

rather than expecting television and other forms of media entertainment to raise their

children for them. Their childrens’ exposure to the media should be limited and carefully

monitored. This would be a step in the right direction to raising loving, non-violent




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