Many years ago, while at a Target store, I happened to be looking through the video games section. And yes, that IS my favorite section of the store.
While there, a young kid (maybe 10 or 11 years old) came up and went directly for the Grand Theft Auto game (I’m not sure which version it was) and told his dad that he wanted the game. The dad apparently was ok with it and they went off to purchase the game. To this day, I still wonder if the dad really knew what the game was about and what it contained.
A few days ago, I ran across an article about young students imitating the rape and drug scenes from the game. You can read the article here.
It reminded me of this simple truth: There is NO DOUBT that media has an effect on us.
Whether that effect is one that is seen in a person committing those actions in real life -or-
Whether that effect is one that is seen in a person acting out those things for play (as in the article above) -or-
Whether that effect is one that is seen in a person who is simply emotionally affected by the experience…
Media has an effect on us.
Ask yourself this question: If media had absolutely no effect on us, then companies wouldn’t bother spending millions and millions of dollars to influence the choices that we make.
So, what does this mean for us today?
1. Know what your values are.
2. Pay attention to what you’re paying attention to. If what you watch or play starts to have a negative impact on your life (or on the lives of those around you), it might be time to make an intentional decision for your own benefit (or the benefit of others).
3. If you have kids, look at everything before agreeing to let them see something. If you can’t watch or play something first, at the very least read some reviews that will give you a better idea about what is there.
What else would you suggest?