Is Television to Blame for Society’s Ills?

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 by 1 Comment
Is Television to Blame for Society’s Ills?

Since its inception, television seems to have been a convenient scapegoat for a variety of problems from teen violence to the disintegration of the family, but is it a valid accusation?

I am a very non-violent person most of the time. I have my moments but, while they are certainly explosive, they are few and far between.

Although I watched the Three Stooges I never felt the need to bang someone on the head with a hammer or poke them in the eye. I spent most Saturday mornings watching the roadrunner stick it to the coyote but I can honestly say that not once in my life have I ever caused anyone to fall off a cliff.

In my teenage years I watched M.A.S.H. without ever feeling the need to build a still and create gin or vodka or whatever it was that Hawkeye drank. You get my drift.

We didn’t do those things because we knew it was entertainment. It wasn’t real and it wasn’t meant to be emulated. Most importantly, it wasn’t worth the trouble you got into if you did.

Maybe I am way off base, or maybe my family is just more self-disciplined but I don’t see the foibles of the small screen encroaching on our values. Even though PBS has removed Cookie Monster from its lineup of characters people still eat cookies – and they ate cookies long before the fuzzy blue guy existed.

I don’t think teenagers learn violence from the current popular video game – I think they learn that they can get away with it because they have never been required to reap the consequences of their actions.

Too much TV is not a good idea – nothing in excess is. However, shouldn’t we begin to be adults and take responsibility for the choices we make? Just as importantly, shouldn’t we teach our kids to do the same?

photo credit: Paul Townsend

Posted in: Parenting
Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. As a work at home mom she has a unique perspective that encompasses the overwhelming deadlines and commitments of the professional woman as well as the constantly changing needs of a homeschooling mom with a large family. She is the author of one cook book and the creator of Restless Chipotle Media, a network consisting of two food based blogs, a blog for “women of a certain age”, a video site on Youtube, and upcoming blog on kitchen decor, and downloadable eBooks. Marye also is a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer.

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  • Sarah Koszyk

    I have to agree with you! TV is not the problem, it’s the way kids are not reprimanded when doing something wrong. Growing up, we got in trouble and we got spanked. My parents were not abusive by any means, but they laid down the law when we were unruly. Unfortunately, with our society now, kids can’t get spanked without having social services come….so a lot of times, the kids don’t get any punishment for what they do and they don’t learn “right” from “wrong” like we used to. I’m not saying kids NEED to be spanked when they do wrong. I’m saying kids should be taught the morals we were taught and if they act out, they should get reprimanded whether it’s through getting grounded, getting a toy/event taken away from them or getting something that makes them realize what they did was not OK so they don’t repeat it. Great post. Thanks for sharing!