Media Violence and You

Essay by cakalusaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, January 2005

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Children do it. Teen-agers do it. Grownups do it. Mindlessly we automatically imitate and follow the leader. Fads sweep societies--from slang to games to foods to clothing. Who hasn't found themselves repeating phrases recently heard? Or humming mindless TV commercials? Athletes will watch videos depicting images of excellent moves to increase their own proficiency.

Violence in the 20th century has proven to be an increasing social problem. Younger and younger youths are expressing themselves by committing the most heinous crimes. With this rise in youth related violence, society as a whole has begun to point the finger. Everyone and everything under the sun has been placed under the proverbial spotlight. Our quickness to place the blame and resolve the problem promptly has resulted in blaming one major aspect of society in America. The Entertainment Industry has been singled out as the number one cause of violent behavior. By placing the blame solely on media, we are disregarding thousands of different social problems and regarding any "study" as true testament.

In order to come to grips with this problem we must, as a whole, recognize and evaluate every aspect of what causes violence. In doing so, we will find that the media is not the leading cause of reality based violence, but a combination of many different factors.

What we pay attention to becomes us, as surely as we become what we eat. Good images and good thoughts and benevolent feelings become good deeds. And also, the opposite is true. Why the human fascination with blood, gore, and violence in the first place? Saint Augustine noted how eagerly people were drawn to view mangled corpses, and how easily his noble and good friend Alypius was first persuaded by peer pressure to go the Coliseum and once there, became addicted to...