What has the world come to these day? it often seems like everywhere one looks, violence rears its ugly head. We see it the first thing we open the newspapers. It is in the streets, back alleys, school and even at home. The last of these is a major source of violence. In many people''s living rooms there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television set and the children who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violent scenes, with sometimes devastating results.
Much research has gone into showing why children are so mesmerized by this big glowing box and the action that takes place within it. Research shows that it is definitely a major source of violent behaviour in children. This research has proven time nad time again that aggressive behaviour in children and the television viewing go hand in hand. Some are trying to fight this problem. Others are ignoring it and hoping it will go away. Still others do not even seem to care. However, These studies have proven to be conclusive: that television violence causes children to be violent and the effects can be life-long.
Not only does television violence affect the chid''s youth, it can also affect his or her adulthood. Some psychologists and psychiatrists feel that continued exposure to such violence might unnaturally speed up the impact of the adult world on the child. This can force the child into a kind of premature maturity . As the child becomesan adult, he will be confused, have a greater distrust towards others and have a superficial attitude towards life and adult problems. He may even be unwilling to `grow up''.
Television violence can also destroy a young child''s mind. Its insidious influence upsets the child''s perspective and moral balance, warping his or her perception of the real world. Some educationists also see television as an intrusion into a child''s learning process, substituting easy pictures for the discipline of reading. Childrenwho are exposed to television from a very early age have been found to have a low concentration level and are quite often poor readers in school. The young viewer is transformed from an early age into a hypnotized nonthinker and this distrupts the child''s learning ability, causing problems in school.
Why do children enjoy watching violent films or even cartoons on television? This is because the violence they see on television is more excitind and enthralling. It excites them and gives them a feeling of superiority. The real world in comparisonis bland and uninteresting. However, they do not realize that in the real world policemen do not beat up thieves and people do not go around shooting each other when they are angry. They grow up to expect a certain amount of violence and when it is not as they expect it, they may create the violence that their minds crave.
Thus television violence can cause actual violence in a number of ways. As explained previously, after viewing television violence,the child may feel that the real world is too bland and boring. The child needs to create violence to keep himself satisfied. Young children especially, find it fun to imitate their favourite characters on television. This has been seen lately with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. A few children have been fatally injured while trying to imitate these characters.
In yet another piece of research, children who watch a lot of violent television were compared to children who do not. The results showed that the children who watched violent television were more likely to get into fights than children who don''t. These children agreed that it `was okay to hit back when somebidy does not agree with you.'' The order group learnt that problems could be shat is through discussion and authority.