Over the years, technology has totally changed the life of human beings. There was a time when just ten percent of homes in the United States of America had a television set. However, this scene has changed substantially, and today, almost every home has a television set now. Television programs are viewed by people of all age groups for several hours every day, and it is quite natural that these programs have a psychological effect on people. Now, if these programs have something good to offer and are informative, then it will add to the knowledge and creativity of a person. On the contrary, if violence is depicted through them, then effects of the same on the human mind can be disastrous in the case of some individuals.
Statistics about Violence depicted in the Media
- An average American child spends around 28 hours in front of the television in a week and could have watched around more than 150,000 violent scenes before he becomes a teenager. These acts of violence can be serious offenses like rapes, burglaries and even murders
- Programs shown on television, according to a study, display more than 800 acts of violence every hour. According to a study, violence is depicted in a fun or humorous way which is very dangerous as it can lead to indifference towards violence in children
- And it’s not just cartoons or programs. It has been observed that more than 10% of music videos contain violence which can affect a person psychologically
Adverse Effects of Media Violence On Society
Effects of Violence on Children and Teenagers
Over the years, several psychologists have been repeatedly warning about how harmful the violence in television programs, video games and movies can be for children and teenagers. Many studies have proved that consistent viewing of violent scenes can lead to higher levels of aggression in children and teenagers. This may result in them being short tempered, unable to control their emotions and angry; at times being totally insensitive. Being verbally and physically abusive can have a harmful effect on a child’s growth and development, and he may not do well in academic and non-academic courses even if he has the ability and required skills. Since the things learned at a young age can have a lasting effect, there is a danger of young children turning over-aggressive and stubborn after reaching adulthood.
Effects of Violence on Adults
As discussed earlier, the impact of media violence on society is very dangerous and even adults are affected by it. Since adults have to work in professional settings, displays of unnecessary aggressive behavior can affect their career. This, going ahead can again lead to stress and depression. The effects of violence on adults do not end here, many experts believe that serious and violent crimes such as thefts, rapes, murders are also the result of constant hammering of violent scenes on the human mind. Many people reach a stage where they feel that violence is justified and they are not doing anything wrong by indulging in it to get what they want in life. Domestic violence is another ill-effect.
Indifference Towards Violence
Many times, people who have been consistent viewers of violent stuff can become totally insensitive to incidents of violence. They may not feel any sympathy for people around them who are victims of any kind of violence, or are going through a lot of pain and agony in their lives. These people may not offer a helping hand to the needy which means that they have lost their humanity.
Media violence can lead people to interpret many things in the wrong manner. Many people, after watching violent films, do not understand that the films are meant for entertainment purposes and they take the incidents from movies too personally. This can lead to a feeling that the entire world is full of violence and pain which is not at all the case in reality. Incorrect interpretation can pose a major problem for kids who may be fearful of facing the outside world. This particular condition is termed as the ‘Mean World Syndrome’.
Some experts believe that media violence can in fact be helpful for people to understand its effects and avoid indulging in violent acts. This phenomenon is referred to as catharsis. After discussing these points, I strongly feel that efforts need to be taken by the governmental authorities to have some sort of restrictions on media violence to prevent its disastrous effects on society. In fact, this is a collective responsibility and only by taking the right steps, at the right time, society can be saved from possible dangers of violence.