Man VS Television | Teen Ink

Man VS Television

November 22, 2010
By samin BRONZE, Sandy, Utah
samin BRONZE, Sandy, Utah
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"be as you would be done by."
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis."

Media violence in modern day society is a problem. It is a negative influence for children as well as adults. Violence and intense action in the entertainment industry is influencing minors to express themselves through unsafe and disruptive behavior. We must take action before the consequences of these programs are shown to society.
By age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. In accordance to logic and statistics, the need of violence on our television sets is unneeded. 61 percent of programs contain some violence, and only 4 percent of television programs with violent content feature an “anti-violence” theme. Near 75 percent of violent scenes feature no immediate punishment or condemnation of violence. Numbers like these make it easy to question the motif of our favorite shows.
As children grow, they look onto people around them for guidance and direction. Their “role models” come in all forms: from parents, family, friends, sport stars, to actors. When their role models do illegal, violent, gory deeds- such as context in some television programs- children can absorb the behavior. When results of bad actions are not shown kids continue to be influenced to follow in the bold steps of their heroes, not knowing consequence in reality.
What makes these role models worth watching-or following? According to survey, the leading causes of watching and/or playing violent programs are “feeling of adrenaline” and “nothing better to do.” Though, there are other solutions to these valid reasons, that are much less used then someone’s favorite NCIS episode. Putting yourself in any situation of fear and excitement is classified as adrenaline, like: speeding up- not meaning accelerating 120 m.p.h. on your street, meaning any act of increasing speed- confronting your fears- finally going on that ride, talking to that person, or speaking in public- imagine yourself- seeing yourself skydiving or waterfall rafting, can create a feeling similar to the adrenaline being craved- playing music-jamming to your favorite tunes, and even dancing to them gives an adrenaline rush. When the source is targeted, there is no need to head to the television.
One issue causing an adrenaline rush, is the argument whether simulated violence increases actual violence and the scientific reasoning behind it. Large numbers of studies and reports have been compared that all seem to point the finger of blame on Violence in the Media. Vince Matthews, professor of radiology at the IU School of Medicine, conducted a study between the relation of teens and violent videogames. Mathews used 44 adolescents and, at random, assigned them to play one of the two games. One group played “Need for Speed: Underground”, a high action, non-violent choice, while the others experienced the, ammo-infused, styles of “Medal of Honor: Frontline.” Both groups received MRIs later the same day. The information was analyzed and Mathews concluded the group that played “Medal of Honor: Frontline” showed a negative brain effect- increase of activity in the amygdala, which harbors emotional arousal- while those who played “Need for Speed: Underground” did not.
Many parents of teens argue that violence in the games and shows their children experience, on a daily basis, do not affect their behavior. Most researchers disagree.
Most people can distinguish between playing a video game and real live behavior, but given the right circumstances where the rules are a bit more ambiguous (what if a bully provokes me) and provocative (someone is trying to take my lunch money), would an adolescent tend to be more aggressive and accept that aggression as normal behavior given prior exposure to video games? (Daily Mail, 2010)
Though, in moderation- like cheesecake- harmful behavior can be avoided.
We all admit to playing, watching, or even tivoing our favorite crime flick. Most could also agree the materials in these programs are bold, extreme, and unusual. If chances of these situations could be accomplished in reality, a heavy dose of worry is brought upon the country. Someone harvesting a thought, capable of growing to an action, could gain knowledge of how to execute the deed. Showing easily accessible viewing of violence is a bad reference to anyone seeking harm.
If such bad is shown to come from violence, why does it still sound so good? If money is in the equation of good, the video game industry can answer the question. With revenue of over 10 billion dollars every year, it is a vast business sweeping all over the United States. My second question arises, why does violence sell? Flipping through channels, it is a rare occurrence to dodge a commercial of the newest show. In too many cases this commercial contains bodies hurling through air, the bright glow of explosions, and the main character’s name being along the lines of AK47. “Hollywood strives to give the general public what it wants.” (Armstrong, 3) Americans can’t get enough, and the on going advertising is just another obstacle in the struggle of restrictions.
Some would argue that taking violence off the shelves, screen, etc. would not benefit anyone while not making a difference in violence in the society. Also that reducing these programs would result in loss of jobs and money for television networks which would result hurt our already declining economy. Although violence programs do make money, they could be replaced by more positive and beneficial programs. These programs could bring in a larger income- to the other spectrum of American society, the humorous one- and create more jobs. Based on the fact that most crime shows are one hour long and could be filled with two thirty minute slots; thus creating the job count and money increase of two shows instead of one.
Not only have youngsters attacked their own schools, committing mass murder and suicide, but we were recently treated to the ghastly specter of two brothers who allegedly killed, then dismembered, their own mother. Two half-brothers, Jason Bautista, 20, and Matthew Montejo, 15, murdered their mother, Jane Bautista, 41. Her head and hands were found in the family’s apartment in Riverside, California. The elder brother allegedly confessed to police they got the idea of dismembering her body from a popular mob show called “The Sopranos.”(Armstrong, 3)
It is up to parents to guarantee that the aftershock of violence in the media will not be felt by their kids. The absolute most effective action for parents to take is to control what kids watch. They must discuss the reality of what happens in television and the news in a manner appropriate for children but still effective to get the message across. The message that the media does not portray violence with truth and for this statement to be true five years from now, necessary precautions must be made.
The public can not turn away the reasoning that could save lives and create a more peaceful environment for the youth of our country and all who live in it. For a safer tomorrow, most Americans would agree.

The author's comments:
When my english teacher told us to choose from our list of essay topics, I knew exactly where to go to. Violence in the media. A subject I had both questions and answers to let me write a piece i enjoyed.

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