How Does Media Affect the Way Our Children Think?

I did an experiment once when I was in college. Well, it was both an experiment and an attempt to better myself by limiting the type of media that I watched and listened to.  For two entire months I did not watch a single TV show or movie.  I avoided media such as video games and even stayed away from the internet except when required for my job or my studies.  The only radio I allowed myself to listen to was my favorite Christian radio station.

Why was I doing this?  Well first of all I was a poor college student and thought it would be a good way to avoid going broke since I wouldn’t be needing cable TV and wouldn’t be buying/renting movies for a while.  But the second reason was I wanted to see if it would change the way that I think.  I had heard many times that the media that we take in every day is directly related to how we think and act on a daily basis.

I know it is not likely that someone would go on a murder rampage after watching a horror film.  However, I wondered would it make someone generally more tense or angry?  My experiment was not very scientific at all.  I didn’t have a system for measuring results.  I just wanted to see if the world seemed like a different place when I wasn’t constantly subjected to violent, sexual and immoral content that is often found on TV, radio and the internet.

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5 responses to “How Does Media Affect the Way Our Children Think?”

  1. Rosey Avatar

    I do think most definitely that it can have an affect on your thoughts. We have a toddler in the house and I won’t even let him watch cartoons his dad likes (like Family Guy or The Simpsons) because I don’t want those thoughts even being in his head that he’ll hear. I wish everyone in the house felt that way, but that’s a post for a different time. 😉

  2. Lisa MacDonald | Transcribble Virtual Assistance Avatar

    I really enjoyed reading this! I do feel media changes the way we think because most of the time, media tells us what to think (whether it’s the truth or their decided truth). I get sucked into watching TV, but I watch it much less than I used to. I have my favorite shows that I watch, and other than those, I am quite happy to turn the TV off. I do listen to the radio a little bit. I never watch the news anymore.

  3. patricia Avatar

    i grew up completely sheltered I learned a lot of things early on because I was always parent less pretty much as a foster kid. For that I turned to games music and other media. Media raised me almost literally because none of my foster parents bother to put any effort into me. I played voilent video games listend to explicit music and honestly it didn’t really mold me at all. I never wanted to mimick them because to me the things in media weren’t real because most of the time they’re not. Though your article has some understandable points I think the what has the most effect on your child will be the people in their life not the ones they see on tv because those are the most inflincal. Being “raised” the way I was I saw a lot of bad and a lot of good things in people. Things like drugs and violence are what ruined my childhood because my parents we abusive and disgusting, because of them I have never touched a drug in my life or raised my hand other than to defend myself from harm. I had a physical therapist that helped me learn to re-walk after breaking several bones in my legs and she was kind and i learned a lot from her, I take the good qualities I learn from people and live by them and avoid anything involving the things I know are bad. I have never played a video game or watched something on tv that made me want to be cruel violent or vulgur. i believe that people turn on based on experiencing other people. BUT I grew up very unconventionally and I have no kids so I may not even have a clue… Just a few thoughts I thought I would share. Lovely article,

    1. Joshua Avatar

      I agree that we can and should have more affect on our children than the media that they consume but if most of us are honest, the media can often occupy more of their time than we do. Most healthy kids know the difference between reality and what they watch on a TV show and I’m not saying if someone watches something violent on television that they too will be violent. But I do think that it can affect the way we think in more subtle ways that add up. It could be something that just changes our attitude towards the world. I don’t think that we can really say that one thing that stimulates the brain such as our relationships with people can affect our decisions and that something else, whether real or otherwise, does not.

      Good thoughts. Thanks for your input!

  4. patricia Avatar

    sorry for the bits of errors in that lol