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Television as We Know it Today

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Television as We Know it Today

The Power Rangers, RoadRunner, Bugs Bunny and Yo Sammity Sam. What do all of these have in common? They are all shows upon which we build our child’s playtime. You sit your child in front of the television for hours at a time. They stair at the screen with glossy eyes and total amazement. Yet what is it that they are learning from these shows? It is the hidden message of violence and dysfunction, which keeps children entertained. If you look at all of the shows, which I have mentioned above, they seem to have a common theme. Violence.

Whether this message is intended or not is another issue, however, the violence is there. The Power Rangers for example, their mission is to save the planet from evil space monsters. How do they achieve this? By killing the monsters, thus becoming heroes. The RoadRunner, every week he tries to kill Wielly Coyote. He instead gets killed each time, but it is only temporary. Finally we come to Bugs Bunny and Yo Sammity Sam. Each time, Yo Sammity Sam, tries to kill Bugs Bunny, chasing after him with a shotgun. What type of message is this sending to our youth?

Children see violence as their entertainment. As adults we know the difference between what is real and what isn’t. Do children know this difference as well? When a character dies but only for a second, do children know this is not how it really is?

In one study by a scientist named Linne (Condry p.89) it was found that television these cartoons do effect how children think. Cartoons how the person with power to come out on top as the triumphant winner-of - all. After exposure to violent cartoons children were less likely to share with one another and more likely to use aggression as a means to...

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...following that pattern out of belief that we too posses these characteristics. By constantly viewing violent shows we have learned to believe that we live in a violent culture. It allows us to view our own acts of violence as well as others as being normal and acceptable.

When we turn on the television we turn on more than just entertainment. We turn on a part of ourselves that is almost subliminally derived. We allow ourselves be impressed upon by the notions of violence being common and acceptable. This notion is something that we keep with us. You may push a button on your television set and watch the screen go dim. However the ideas in your head will long remain once the show is done.

Works Cited

Condry, John C., The Psychology of Television. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., New Jersey. 1989.

www.geocities.com/dreampackers, April 20, 2000
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