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The Media's Negative Influences

Updated on June 8, 2016

The Media's Negative Influences

For many decades, researchers are trying to find out the concept of aggression. Generally, aggression means violent or hostile behavior toward other people or things. The meaning is clear, but whether it is something that humans create or an instinct remains unclear.One of the first theories of aggression developed in eighteenth century by French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was that “Aggression happens because of society, not humans’ nature”. Then, another idea was arisen by English philosopher Thomas Hobbes; he was not blaming society as Jean-Jacques, vice-versa, he was saying that society helps people to restrain their hostility. Furthermore, the idea that aggression is natural and unavoidable was argued by Sigmund Freud and Konrad Lorenz (Myers, 2015, p.283). However, when we look at the rate of crimes, it is perceived that it has increasedin one period of time. So, it means that there are some influences of society. As there were increases in the rate of juvenile crimes between 1960 and 1990, the question arises (Myers, 2015, p.301): “What are the reasons of violent crimes?” The influences of media including TV and video games are the main reasons of violent behavior because a number of violent materials in the media havebegunto grow during the 1960s.

The rivalry among manufacturers and advertisers are enhancing day by day since they want to learn new ways to grab people’s attention, therefore the impact of media is increasing tougher. With the help of improvement in technology, news is spreading in the world quickly. Anything progresses with the requirement of society. So, the media may impact individuals in various ways; however, the question emerges: “How does the media influence people’s behavior?” Scholars find that watching violence on TV and behaving aggressively is correlational study. Thus, it could be thought that violent materials might fuel aggression, aggressive children might choose aggressive programs, or any third feature including lower intelligence (Myers, 2015, p.306). In order to examine it, various studies have concluded. For example, one study has been done in order to confront boys who watched great and little violence (Belson, 1978). The boys who watched great violence were likely to act more violently. Likewise, scholars also examined boys with the third factor, such as family size. Even though researchers equated boys with third factors, the boys who viewed great violence were more violent.In my point of view, watching programs or movies makes people to feel that they are one character of those movies and even makes people to feel what those characters are feeling. Even though movies or programs end, people still feels like those characters. Thus, this permanent influence may be the cause of people’s behavioral changes. Likewise, approximately all action films include violent behaviors such as killing, swearing, and when children watch those films, they tend to imitate their movie heroes and think that it is acceptable. As it is stated that violent programs influence people’s behavior, I can give an example from my childhood. In most movies there are some squads that are called “cool”, and they always try to be different from others. Therefore, they always humiliate and insult others. So, I thought that as they are called “cool”, it means those behaviors were acceptable. As a result, I also wanted to insult people that were different from me, such as being fat, being ugly. Ultimately, it is clear that TV programs and movies could influence people’s behavior.

Recently, researchers trying to move their attention toward video games rather than watching TV because it is very popular and can easily grab people’s attention. Video games were created in 1972, and at that time Americans were buying 200 million games in a year, and the average girls playing video games were 6 hours and boys were 12 hours in a week (Myers, 2015, p.311). These numbers are growing nowadays. It is estimated by researchers that video games have great influence on people’s behavior. According to Gentile and Anderson ideas (2008), they have noted that; if health games can stimulate people to be a doctor, or cooking games can motivate them to cook, why violent video games would not cause aggression behaviors? If people repeatedlyplay violent video games, they will become numb to violence, imitate the violence and show more aggressive behavior (Myers, 2015, p.311-312). According to the findings of Craig Anderson (2003), playing violent video games can cause enhancement in the arousal, in the aggressive thinking, in the aggressive feeling and in the aggressive behaviors. For example, after playing violent video games, children are more likely to play hostilely with their friends, to fight with their teachers (Myers, 2015, p.312). Besides all abovementioned facts, in my perspective, playing violent or other video games takes children away from their accountabilities, such as doing daily house routines, homework, and other physical accomplishments since they have a tendency to get addicted to play video games. Also, children spend more time in front of television screen while playing video games, so they are less likely to engage in physical exercises including real and actual sports. Eventually, if children do not exercise and repeatedly stay at home, there will be significant health-related problems.

All in all, taking into consideration all the facts about media’s influences including television and violent video games, the conclusion is that there are great impacts of media. So, what should people do in order to reduce the bad consequences of media? Firstly, parents may help to reduce the bad sides of media by decreasing the period of watching TV for their children. If children view television programs less, they will see less hostility. For example, it can be fulfilled by setting borders on how much children watch and what they watch. They can aid their children to choose programs which are appropriate for their family guidelines. So, they can substitute the negative ones with positive programs. Another way to reduce the impacts or to help children deal with violent television may be watching television with them and talking about what they observe because it is crucial for children to differentiate reality and fantasy at primary ages. By stimulating children to advance a consciousness of violence is more applicable rather than to simply saying that “Violence is bad for people, and you should not watch it”. As a final point, critical watching may become a daily routine for children and adults, over and done with guided exercises. Likewise, people may also utilize some tips for reducing the usage of video games. In my view, the best way of preventing playing video games is to find out better alternatives, such as board games, hiking, soccer, and so on. If people spend more time on other activities that are healthier for them, they will not need any video games. Furthermore, parents may help children to discover more beneficial video games, such as StarCraft, Civilization, puzzle games rather than violent ones. Finally, all these knowledges have helped me to change my mind about television programs and violent video games. Before I thought that aggressive behavior is unavoidable and natural, but now I know that there are some influences of society, such as media. I have learned that television and video games have significantly bad influences on people. To conclude, I will use all these knowledges for my future life and try to inform people about them.

References

Anderson, C. A.(2003). Video games and aggressive behavior. In D. Ravitch& J. P. Viteritti (Eds.),Kids stuff: Marking violence and vulgarity in the popular culture.

Anderson, C. A., & Gentile, D. A. (2008).Media violence, aggression, and public policy. In E. Borgida& S. Fiske (Eds.), Beyond common sense: Psychological science in the courtroom.

Belson, W. A. (1978). Television violence and the adolescent boy.Westmead, England: Saxon House,Teakfield Ltd.

Myers, D. G. (2015). Exploring social psychology (Seventh edition. ed.) McGraw-Hill Education.

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