Media plays a very important role in our lives. These days we are witnessing both the beneficial and harmful role of media in our day to day lives. For example, from Russian meddling in the US elections, Facebook data lawsuit, Google lawsuit touch upon the privacy issues of our times.
But on the other hand, there are various awareness campaigns like Swatch Bharat Abhiyan, Khelo India which is flourishing because of the role that media played. From these examples, you get to understand the power of media.
Media is also used by various agencies, brands, and organizations to influence people. 0Advertising business alone is worth billions of dollars.. And all those billions are just to influence us. Because these advertising agencies know the power of media they are flooding those billions on it.
This article will focus on the power of media in influencing our children and their perception towards this world.
What do statistics say?
Let me first talk about the numbers. According to the surveys children first become viewers in early infancy. In a survey, around 40 percent of U.S. 3-month-olds regularly watch either TV or videos on phone.
This figure rises significantly and a staggering to 90 percent by the age of 2. It is a period known as the sensorimotor period according to Jean Piaget in which toddlers have difficulty applying what they see on the screen to their everyday experiences, which can increase conflicts in their process of learning.
Viewing time increases to an average of 3½ hours a day in middle childhood, i.e. 3 to 8 year. Which can even extend to 5 hours a day, when they are in their early adolescence. They usually spend most of the time on cell phones, tablets or access to TV programs.
By coming too late adolescence, time devoted to TV somehow diminishes to 3 to 4 hours a day. the decrease in the amount of time is due to some factors like, increase in parent and peer attraction, they start getting friends and other peers to hang around with , even a little freedom received by parents through which the can freely go to a cinema or a theme park or a particular restaurant for dinner or lunch influence their TV watching.
So, overall these are interesting numbers which tell us something about the patterns of consumption of media in general among children as they grow up.
Television and Social Learning
A lot of studies have addressed the impact of TV on violence, no matter whether they are children of adults. Many incidents of violence that happened in past or even happening in the present day have been linked with the representation of violence in TV shows and movies. However, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that TV shows or movies have a direct or causal link with an increase in violence.
One of the most famous example in psychology called Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiment. In this experiment, two different groups of children were shown two different videos. Group 1 was shown a video in which an adult was behaving violently towards a doll. While in the other the behavior was neutral. The results showed that the group of children who watched the violent video showed more aggressiveness towards a Bobo doll. While the other group was neutral. This was a significant study as it showed how children imbibe information from moving images.
Let’s move on to the realm of video games. They are one of the most immersive media formats out there. Playing speed-and-action video games may improve these children’s selective attention and spatial skills. But extensive game playing is negatively related to school performance and is associated with increased hostility and aggression, especially in boys, So, play mindfully and as you know everything with too much obsession destroys it.
Compared with infrequent users, “passionate” game players tend to be anxious, withdrawn young people who use games to escape from unpleasant family and school experiences. A few become addicted: They spend several hours a day playing, constantly think about playing when they are not, and believe they play too much but cannot cut back or stop.
Excessive playing of fantasy games can impact and blur the distinction between virtual and real life (Turkle, 1995). When such games are violent, they may contribute—along disengaged with parents, antisocial behavior with friends and peers, and alienation from school.
Well, the jury overall is still divided but one cannot deny the impact of media on our children. So, as a parent what you can do so keep a lookout what your children may be exposed to. Try to limit the hours of consumption of media and also keep talking to them about what is being represented. Try to teach them about the ethics of watching and understanding what it may mean. Impact of media on children.
Overall, media is a very important sphere and it is important to keep a lookout for your children. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits.