Sunday, November 16, 2008

Children and Media

As I've said before, there are two specific issues regarding kids and the media. One, they watch/use too much of it and two, they're not using it in the right way.
The amount of T.V., video games and internet time kids are using are attributing to a myriad of problems in our society; laziness, higher child obesity rates and less focus on the family.
In addition, the breadth of technology in the current society should be able to create well-informed, intellectual kids and instead it's doing something quite the opposite.
Kids should have access to the benefits of modern technology. I see nothing wrong with the internet, T.V. and games when it's supervised and in moderation.
The idea of parents watching their kids intake is important, but naive because a lot of kids, especially as they get older, learn how to work around parental guidelines: no MTV allowed in the house? Kids will wait until their parents are gone. Another example: kids need to know adult trust them. they need to be allowed to talk to their friends on myspace without feeling like their mom is watching their every move. (Let's remember this season of Desperate Housewives; if you watch it that is.)
I do not have a specific limit on these "toys", but there are some general parameters that should be followed. First, media should not interfere with school and other extracurriculars. If a kid's homework suffers because they're playing video games or if they are too tired for baseball practice because they've been on myspace all night, that's an issue. Families need to learn to leave the media out of certain times of the day: dinner should be a media free zone- no Blackberry, iPods, video games or T.V. If kids see the habits of their parents and build similar habits young, the issues surrounding the media and kid will drastically decrease.
Practical application: think about a T.V. show, game or website you did not have access to as a kid. Did you miss out because of it/ Did it change the way people looked at you? Your adult personality? Are you less because of it? Most likely, the answer is no. My parents did not let us have a video game system when we were kids. (We were thrilled when we got a computer and were allowed to play Putt-Putt). In fact, I don't ever remember being mad at my parents about the no video game rule because that was the way it always was; there was nothing for me to miss out on.
I'm all about kids keeping up with modern media- they must in order to compete in the dog eat dog education and corporate world, but media should not follow kids around like a puppy.

1 comment:

Leann Dickinson said...

The only thing I can say SO TURE. It is so sad that media is like that.