What is entertainment doing to America?

May 20, 2010
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How many times have you ever watched a violent movie or heard song lyrics that you’d never want a young child to hear? Chances are, you probably hear and see these things every day, even if not intentionally. Thanks to Hollywood and the ever-growing reach of music, every American has some sort of contact with the products of the entertainment industry. While not all entertainment is harmful, most of what we hear and see is nothing more than mindless garbage. If we as Americans expect to be able to immerse ourselves in today’s forms of entertainment without being tainted ourselves, we are certainly in for a harsh realization in the future.

Mimicry is a part of human nature. When a person spends time with a certain group of friends, that person slowly begins to act and speak in the same ways as those friends. Similarly, a person who is constantly immersed in entertainment such as television will start to imitate the actors and make-believe characters that they see. For example, if a child hears a curse word numerous times in songs or movies, he will most likely repeat it, and he is probably too young to understand that the word is unacceptable to add to his vocabulary. Simply by being exposed to modern entertainment, that child will have already heard that word at a young age, and just a small bit of his childhood innocence is lost.

Not only does entertainment have a powerful influence on our morals; it also distorts our view of reality. If someone becomes obsessed with a certain show or movie, they could eventually begin to believe that the characters are real. For example, if a superhero with flying abilities jumped off of a bridge and survived, small children and obsessive TV watchers could possibly begin to believe that jumping from a bridge is perfectly safe. In recent days, the movie “Avatar” was released into theaters. Shortly after the release of the film, the internet buzzed with moviegoers lamenting about a made-up “illness” which they referred to as “post Avatar depression.” People claimed to be depressed when they realized that Pandora, the enchanting world in the movie, was far more beautiful than the real world in which we live. These far-fetched claims are perfect evidence of the harmful effects of entertainment in our society.

While some may say that music, television, and movies are no more than insignificant ways of entertainment, in reality they are dangerous. Although some people do not think that entertainment can have power over a person, they are not correct; when we like what we see or hear in a movie, song, or show, we begin to imitate it. Nothing good could possibly come from our imitations of fake, idealistic characters and ideas.

If America wants to avoid falling into a deep pit of immorality due to entertainment, there is only one solution. We must turn off the television and be picky about the music we listen to. We must realize that sometimes real life experiences can far exceed the pleasures we may obtain from entertainment. We must become “old-fashioned,” putting family and friends before the fake characters we see on television. To avoid a future of ruin, America must simply look for the simple pleasures in life; we must find our happiness in the things that truly matter in life.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

BriGuy said...
Jun. 1, 2010 at 4:36 pm
If only I had informed, open minded, educated young women like you in my US Government class last year I might have some hair left!  It is refreshing to see a young person who realizes the potential effect of media on young minds! Preach it girl!
 
babypeep said...
Jun. 1, 2010 at 8:37 am
Way to go sweetpea!  Words of wisdom that Americans need to hear and heed!  How many times to do we hear the comment, "but I saw it on TV?"
 
gc251 said...
May 31, 2010 at 8:07 pm
This article needs to be printed in all metro papers with a headline to get the attention of parents. Hollywood's "make-believe world" has affected too many young minds already. Keep up the good work sweetpea!!
 
tammym said...
May 31, 2010 at 5:05 pm
Speak on sweetpea! You are right on track. People have forgotten how to entertain themselves among others, and connect in that way. Say more! You have it all right!
 
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