Children and Television


The children of America spend their time on many different activities.
One of the most time consuming activities is watching television. Television
plays a large role in the social and emotional development of children today.
One good quality that television has is that it conveys information and
happenings around the world that they may not otherwise know about, but
some people have been questioning whether television does more harm than
good. Many have been analyzing what affect violence in adult shows as well
as children\'s shows may have on children.

Most parents allow their children to watch so called "kid\'s shows"
without even thinking about what might be contained within them. How
many times has a certain hunter been seen hunting a certain "wascally
wabbit"? Most people would say "how can a cartoon about a man hunting
affect a child?" At first it may seem that it has no effect, but, looking closer,
it is easy to see that Bugs Bunny has many human traits. Two of these traits
are speaking English and walking upright. Something else that adds to this is
that sometimes children cannot make the distinction between fantasy and
reality. Quickly a cartoon about a man hunting a rabbit can turn into a story
of murder. Another cartoon character that may harm children is Yosimite
Sam. When he becomes angry, he begins to fire his pair of guns into the air
and at other characters. This could cause children to act violently to appease
their anger. This includes hitting and throwing things. This is an extreme
view of the situation, but who is to say that at least part of it is not true?
Children see violence everyday in their cartoons, but what about shows
that they watch in which people star. These shows will more than likely
cause more violence than cartoons would. While watching a show such as
"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" a child sees almost 30 minutes of non-stop
fighting. The show also has a fantasy story that appeals to children. After
watching the show, a child may become bored because the reality of the
television show is more interesting. The child then imitates what was seen on
television. This is where the actual violence may begin. Adult shows and
movies that are seen by children could have even worse effects than children\'s
shows. In one documented case, a Californian boy that was seven years old
watched a movie one night. In the movie, a man put glass into soup that a
colleague of his was to eat. The very next night, the boy put crushed glass
into the stew that his family was to eat for supper. He said that he wanted to
know if it would do the same thing in real life that it did on television. The
danger with violence on television begins with imitation and escalates with
experimentation. This is an extreme case, but it is a case.
Television violence is a major problem in our society. Some people
are working to end it, others are simply ignoring it, hoping that will somehow
go away, and some people are trying to tell America that what a child sees on
TV will not affect him. We must work to eliminate the problem now.
Watching cartoons on television may not make him grow up to be a cold-
blooded murderer, but the total impact of witnessing repeated acts of violence
may slowly cause our society to become more and more aggressive until there
are too many killings to list on the news and watching one while you walk
down the street is a common occurrence. We will never actually be able to
tell what the ultimate impact of violence on television is until it actually
happens, but will that be too late for us to recover from it? Only time will
tell...
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