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Media Vs. Parental Influence

             People today are affected immensely by media in one form or another, whether they realize it or not. I never really stopped to think about just how much before this class. The lecture where we were given a list of product and company names and asked how many we knew, almost everyone knew all of them but one or two. While this didn't come as much of a surprise to me, I never stopped to think that this was because of the impact of media on our lives. It's all around us at all times, and there's no escaping it. And it doesn't come without ramifications and consequences. .
             One of the most troubling results of so much media immersion is the apparent slip in parenting. More and more, children are being taught their value systems and being raised by television. Not only is this troubling because of the disintegration of the family unit and the questionable content children can find today, but also, television is giving parents and authority figures a scapegoat. When things go wrong, blame everyone else. This is becoming a widespread motto. The most blatant example of this theory was in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy. The parents, the school, the community, even our government, none of them shouldered the blame. They did, however, agree about whose shoulders that blame should be placed upon--entertainment media. Everyone rallied around the idea that the massacre at Columbine High School was because the two students who perpetrated the event loved movies like Natural Born Killers, video games like Doom and Quake, and listened to bands like KMFDM and Marilyn Manson. Everyone agreed that the violence and anger they surrounded themselves with was what pushed them over the edge. And perhaps it was. But none of these things are real. They"re just stories, games, and music. Even if these sources were involved with the mental state of the boys, it wouldn't have escalated to the point it did if some decent parenting was involved.

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