I can’t believe I made it to Wednesday before realizing I did not post my "Monday morning check in". I guess I am not quite back into my routine yet. Oh well…here it is anyway…
On Monday evening, Connie and I went to a presentation titled "Are we creating a culture of disrespect". The speaker (I can’t remember his name off hand right now) was from The National Institute on Media and the Family (Please check out their website – www.mediawise.org – They have tons of great resources for parents and anyone who works and cares for children). Our speaker talked about media’s influence on our children; positive and negative (but mostly the negative). Even though I was aware of the media’s negative impact on children I was still blown away by some of the facts. He said that on average children spend about 1/2 hour per week with their fathers; 2 1/2 hours a week with their mothers and (now get this) 40+ hours per week on TV, non-school computer use and video games (that’s a full time job). It really made Connie and me sad. Then he showed a video of an experiment that was done 10 years ago and then again recently. They video taped a group of daycare children watching an episode of Barney. The children were calm and responsive to the show and afterward played peacefully together. Then they watched an episode of Power Rangers. The children got a lot more loud and active. Afterward they got a little more violent with each as they played; mimicking the actions of their favorite Power Ranger. Even some fights broke out. Once again…very sad. Now imagine what violent video games can do.
One of the driving reasons for media’s increased impact and influence is that we live in a culture where the question "Does it make money?" is asked. It is no longer, "Is this safe for our children". Obviously something needs to be done and it has to start in the home. Parents who watched their children in the daycare experience were shocked and disappointed that their children would act that way after watching Power Rangers (or any show like that). They simply had no clue. Media makes a great babysitter so I would guess that makes it easier to turn the other way (I know this is easy for me to say…not being a parent and all).
There is a lot more to this presentation but I will let you get some more information yourself by visiting www.mediawise.org. As a pastor I am considering how I can be a positive influence and what the Church can and should be doing to help parents and familes. I think the Church needs to research this more and consider how it can get this message out to our families. Children are at a critical stage of mental development and we can’t let media influence that development. We need to take a stand. And what is even more scary is the rate of technology growth and advancement. Staying ahead is not going to be easy.
Anyway…that is my rant for now. What do you think about media and our children? What should we be doing as a Church or what are you currently doing?
Thanks for "listening" and have a very blessed day. Take care.