The article "Violence in Mass Media" was revised in a new edition in 2015 to improve on the original one proposed in 1985. The section has some recommendations for viewers, parents, teachers, members of society and more importantly to follow through so as not to be affected negatively by portrayals of violence in mass media. Recommendations are provided in the article to protect children from the adverse effects of abuse in the mass media networks mentioned. These proposals and recommendations involve many stakeholders: the television and film industry, government, the Federal Communications Commission and so on. The document uses logic, emotions, and appeals to the character of the readers to recommend ways to prevent the spread of violence through mass media.
The authors use logical reasoning when they highlight that violence leads to aggressive and violent behavior in "children who are susceptible to such effects" (American Psychological Association, 2015). A little aggressiveness in this life is certainly a good thing. Aggression makes one become a go-getter and more assertive about what they want. Every parent hopes that their child does whatever they want so long as it is within the law and that they get to live out their dreams. Everybody wants their children or relatives who are children to succeed in life, and that means handling his or her social interactions very well. The statement invites the reader to think about what constitutes "susceptible." If a child with an abusive father watches a movie with violence will he act out on the father? If a child who bullies his fellows at school attends the same film will he mistreat others differently?
The article appeals to people's emotions in mentioning parents and teachers' involvement in reducing the number of violence children watch. The authors note that indeed violence has wanton effects such as fear, economic losses, loss of life, mistrust and so on. Hence, the article proves that there is a perceived increase of violence in society arising from an increase in violence shown in television, film and video games (American Psychological Association, 2015). There is a thrill in watching violence, especially when the media draws the line and there is the good guy versus the bad guy notion. Parents should monitor their children's television watching activities, and if the movie or program decrees parental guidance, they should take this as a chance to learn more about their children. Parents should always inform their children that are just a movie, just a television show, that it is entertaining but not real.
The authors appeal to the readers' ethics when they advocate for developers to consider coming up with pro-social video games, movies and television targeting children. The recommendations invite the society to create school-based programs involving the government, private sector, and the film industry to take strict measures to protect children from mass media violence. They appeal to the community and volunteers to help curb youth violence. At home, the authors urge parents to be responsible for their children. Parents can hence block their children from consuming shows which they think show too much violence they cannot possibly handle. However, with the busy lifestyles Americans live, it is unpractical always to monitor children. Some television boxes can record programmes, but this kind of in-depth investigation is a route that does not feel right. It may even destroy the trust between a parent and child hence it is not recommended. There are good television shows, movies, and video games out on the market.
The article focuses more on television and film and does not enough attention to video games. It is logical that parents and teachers and others involved directly in children's lives should to be proactive in choosing what is best for the young ones. The author's main recommendations involve home-based solutions, and the ones they have listed is modifiable for maximum effect. For example, there are games about strategy, collaboration, team-work and inventiveness and less of violence. Parents should encourage their children to play more these games than the ones which have much abuse. There is a famous saying, "Children do not hear us. They imitate us." Parents should play strategic, collaborative and creativity-oriented games with their children and the children will undoubtedly pick up by imitation. Video games have been known to increase hand-eye coordination, a sense of awareness about the environment, creative thinking and decision making in tight situations. The internet is a significant avenue for mass media- from movies, television shows, and films alike.
The fact of the matter is it is hard to monitor children's activities now more than ever. Children have their own devices such as iPhones and computers and login details to Netflix and Showmax accounts. The children are more technology savvy than the adults in this sense. Hence new and improved techniques of curbing aggressiveness, anger, and conflict resulting from watching violence in mass media should be encouraged. Mass media sucks viewers into their world, and maybe the best way to get the effects of abuse out of the system is going out there and experiencing life. Parents should take their children camping with no mobile phones or technology, amusement park rides, canoeing and kayaking, a trip to the Niagara Falls and so on. What children need is an alternate world out there that does not involve watching something on a screen.
American Psychological Association. (2015). Resolution on Violent Video Games. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/about/policy/violent-video-games.aspx
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