It’s pretty evident now-a-days with the way kids dress up and act, that the media has a great impact what kids wear and do. Many of you might notice that whatever we see on MTV, movies, and what we hear in our music these days greatly affect kids’ lifestyles. It’s like children have turned zombies on us, and TV or mainstream media did it to them. In an essay entitled “Youth Must Be Served With Respect”, author Robin Swicord discussed the powers and evils that media had on the next generation. Robin Swicord was the screenwriter of the 19997 NBC production called Little Women, she was also the writer of Shag; the movie and Matilda.
She is also the author of two plays; Last Days at the Dixie Girl Cafe and Criminal minds. She generally writes for TV, movies and Plays. She earned her B. A. degree in English and theater from Florida State University. She has been concerned about the effects if media in the younger generation today so she wrote this essay to make a definite statement on how we should start rethinking how we make movies and handle powerful mediums of media that kids can access now-a-days. In her essay, Robin detailed how modern day media has greatly affected the way kids think and act.
She also claims that the media makers are fully aware of its powers upon the younger generations and uses it to market the modern day culture that kids are using these days. She says with the rise of modern day media like MTV, the lyrics of sexist hip hop music, and the latest movies that are shown; we are simply showcasing fashion and unhealthy self image, the pursuit of justice through violence in movies and many more negative subliminal messages. What we fail to realize in the power of media is that we are teaching our kids a very valuable lesson on how they should act in life with what we make them hear or see.
She blamed the media on why kids dress provocatively and why kids these days are more open to exploring sex. She also said that we have created a culture for our kids that we cannot sustain, thus turning our kids to be adventurous and rebellious. She gave the skateboarding lifestyle as an example. Media has depicted skateboarding as a cool hobby for kids yet we do not create any safe environments for our kids to skate thus making them adventurous and rebellious in the pursuit of the sport.
The violence in movies also teaches kids to result to gun and violence in dealing with problems and pressures in life. One example in the outcome of this influence is the massacre at Columbine High School. Modern day media may be hesitant to admit it, but the idea of violence that these kids use these days has come from media given that movie and TV heros and heroines are known for using guns and goons to get their way in life. Even the new fashion statement depicts the kind of culture our kids have these days. Robin described the modern look to either be one of two things.
It’s either kids dress “gangsta” or “whore” with the two distinctive hallmarks in clothing; you have the pick from cheap fabric or poor workmanship. Both styles depicting either violence or sex are pretty evident signs that we should do a lot of damage control with kids these days. Gone were the days when movies had something deeper and real to offer about life. To a certain extent we still feel that kids these days yearn for this line of movies that give a deeper lesson; movies that last centuries because it has touched the lives of many.
Today movies are simply made for shallow entertainment value. You will see the quality of movies that we produce by the span of time these movies are alive in our kids lives. With the technology of DVD and video playback, it is rare that you find a movie that kids can watch over and over again due to the beauty and the lesson that the movie has to share to its viewers. In this rising power of media to shape minds and lifestyles, Robin pointed out that the media and even adults has been treating kids these days as a commodity rather than citizens that could be of possible value to society.
We keep on creating a crappy culture for them to live in that is reflected in the kind of education we give them in schools these days. It seems that even education is just another excuse to have your kids out of the house when you are working. In numerous states, you can see over crowed schools and mediocre education just to have a warehouse to store children in at a particular time of the day. Modern day teaching modules don’t seem to help as much as we would opt them too given that over crowding in schools only makes it harder for teachers to really give what our kids need to learn in school.
Even in how our educational facilities are run depicts how important we treat our kids. Despite the fact the kids learn better in schools with smaller population, we keep on over crowding our kids in big schools just so we can get rid of them during the day when we are at work. Even the manner that kids are being taught in schools has commercial value and has subliminal messages to our young ones indorsing the new age marketing of shallow and unimportant commodities.
In a class discussion, one example was: “According to the results of a test conducted by Zillions magazine, 12 out of 17 kids prefer Sony PlayStation to Sega Saturn. Suppose there are 3,400 kids in your community. Predict how many will prefer the PlayStation. ” Robin emphasized on the greater need and responsibility we had on how to correct the wrong doing we have done is shaping our young minds to be able to be productive members of society. She also stressed on the value on media’s responsibility to make our kids more sensible and aware of the rights and wrongs in society.
She called upon screen writers like herself to remember that they are sensible people and it’s not fair to write and teach our kids anything beyond sensible that would not help them in their development as people who will eventually be of value to us and our society. I fully agree with her in saying that. As a high school student I always felt that we were not being taken seriously by media and adults around us. Like Robin said, it is true that despite the rise of a new pop culture that media has packaged for use, we are still looking for something real and of value.
We are looking for that movie that we can play over and over again because the message has touched our lives in a way that we would want to make things better for us and the people around us. It’s true that movies change lives, I just hope our media makers use it in a productive way, rather than keeping its trend of making us self disrupt by the lessons they have been teaching us for the past few years of shallow pop, rock and hip hop culture.