An assortment of attitudes and beliefs are evident in public discourse about the effects of media exposure. Parents especially are concerned with how media exposure and content may influence the healthy development of their children.
Survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicate that many parents are concerned about the amount of sex and violence that their children see on television. Earlier proposals for parental warnings appeared on the cover of CDs with explicit lyrics and on television programs with inappropriate material and language. The growth of the media and networking has adapted an unsuitable roll on behalf of the youth identity, social networks, and parent-child relationships.
The media is an essential leg to the table of current issues, awareness and news. However, the Committee of National Academies explained that “claims and counterclaims about possible benefits and detrimental effects of different kinds of media exposure appear regularly in the popular press, but often without strong grounding in peer-reviewed research.”
Media exposure among children seems unstoppable, because in addition to the use and placement of television, newspapers and magazines, an increasing number of daily activities are now constructed through digital technology. Computers are now the playground of kids and adults, and kids have learned the ability to multitask at the speed of light, working in a word processing program while tuning into background music and taking distraction breaks to play an electronic game and send e-mails and instant messages.
Cell phones can be used in an overwhelming number of ways. For instance, every cell phone introduced features technology to transmit digital photographs and MP3 players to download video clips, movies, songs, and accessible television shows one can view right from their palm.
The media’s role in society, along with the technology epidemic, has deprived youth of a traditional upbringing and transformed it into a technological one. Kids see the easy access in not having to do anything when they’re sitting behind a computer or have a cell phone in hand. Parents, committees, organizations and teachers must continue to educate their children on how far we’ve come. Parents especially need to nurture their kids and continue to be aware of what they are exposed to.
Sam Brownback, Republican senator from Kansas, is involved with the Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD), and recently pointed out how “American children now grow up with electronic media at their fingertips, have no natural tendencies or sources for communication and the role of electronic media in children’s overall cognitive, social, emotional and physical development is altered.”
Ultimately if people and committees succeed in raising awareness nationwide, we can empower parents, educators, and children to make informed choices about their media consumption. If the media continues on this path, eventually a cell phone with every song a kid wants to hear and a computer with worldwide exploitation and unlimited accessibility can’t be considered habits any longer, it will be human nature.
For more information visit the provided Web sites:
http://www.nichd.nih.gov/ (Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/295/5564/2377.pdf (The Effects of Media Violence