It’s a natural approach that all parents want their children to be like them. This is not only expected when children grow up to choose a career but throughout different stages of their development. Parents want their kids to act, behave, accept or reject things as they use to do. Even parents expect their children to avoid all things which they forbade them to do just because either they themselves had any bad experience of it or thought of it as wrong.
Parents desire to shape lifestyles of their children in their own way forgetting that human nature is rebellious and fight for free will. Children want to learn from their surroundings but due to this dictating perception of parents, there is always an ongoing tussle between parents and young ones. It is not generation gap but gap of technology.
No child can develop into its parents as they experience different eras with more innovations each time. Children settle themselves into their environment adopting everything as natural as their growth. They enjoy things far more advance then their parents have imagined. The actual problem starts here. People usually reject every new change at first instance and takes time to accept them gradually by trying them.
Television is a commodity almost available in 80% of houses around the world. Its use is so frequent that 45% of households keep more then one television sets. Although it can be effective in creating short-term impressions, there are also long-term effects. Social critic Michael Novak, commenting on television called it “a molder of the soul’s geography.” Said Novak: “it builds up incrementally a psychic structure of expectations. It does so in much the same way those school lessons slowly, over the years, tutor the unformed mind and teach it how to think.”
Media scholar George Comstock said: “Television has become an unavoidable and unremitting factor in shaping what we are and what we will become.” Elders being sensible and busy enough in accomplishing various tasks of life merely take serious interest in television. They concentrate on News items and entertainment in leisure time. Therefore, for much of the time television remains in control of the children openly. Parents dislike too much television exposure of their children but it is unavoidable because of its availability. So parent blame technology for everything children do against their desires or expectations.
The first generation mass communication scholars thought that mass media had a profound, direct effect on people. Their idea called, powerful effect theory. Lippmann argued that we see the world not as it really is but as “picture in our heads.” The “pictures” of things we have not experienced personally, he said are shaped by mass media. No doubt television has capacity to make great impact on human psyche but it depends upon certain conditions applied. Hence, it would be odd making television responsible for every negative act children do. A keen observation is required to be placed on all couch-potato children to get to know the shortcomings in use of television. Merely blaspheme television for devilish act is, ignoring other factors intensifying negative impact of children’s mind. What kids are watching, in which way, how and to what extent, in fact opens the true picture to us.
Television being a major source of information and entertainment can’t be condemned for every loss. Media Dependency, Uses and Gratification, Functional approach, Gate keeping and essentially Cultivation Theory justifies creation of television. By detail study of all these theories; one can understand the relation of television to human nature. Cultivation theory explains the lacking that result in sever impacts damaging children’s personality. Selective exposure, perception and retention towards media make great difference.
The more the media extends its function, the more people get inclined towards it. It develops a trend and then children consult it for entertainment. Children save more time for watching television instead of opting for so many other options their parents use to do. They create a fantasy-based perfect world for themselves ignoring realities of world. “Like Dreams”, says McGinn, movies mix fantasy and reality is a cathartic quality. There is a powerful escapism into someone else’s mind and soul, a kind of emotional seeing.
This is depicted from the success of Pixar Animation Studio whose run-away box office movies include TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO and CARS. Lasseter, genius executive of the company was a layman but enjoy anything he wants today as Pixar’s earning $ 2.9 million per year. Children liked his animated movies so much that they not only watch them repeatedly on television but a heavy sale of CD’s is also observed in market. Even elders have taken great interest in his production.
That’s why, children’s everyday routine is somewhat a picture depicted through various contents they watch. Eating, sleeping, talking, clothing, all is according to the character identification they make. Children fantasize intentionally to become what their favorite character is. They merge into the personality so much that they start molding their life pattern like them. This shows that the more they get exposed to television, the more they get addicted to its fashion. Consequently, impacts media put also are dependent on exposure time, the type of characters a child identify and idealize. Most media scholars today believe the effects of the mass media generally are cumulative over time. And individuals choose some mass media over others for the satisfaction they anticipate.