Violence is everywhere in the media these days. Shows, movies, video games, and even songs are full of it. Movies contain scenes of people beating each other up. Song lyrics talk about murder and rape. Video games are based around shooting and killing the enemy. Everywhere you look, violence is shoved in your face… and, somehow, nobody thinks it’s a big deal.
Studies have proved time and time again that watching violence in the media makes teenagers more accepting of violence. I mean, think about it. How many times have you seen a character get shot in a movie, or how many times have YOU shot somebody in a video game? Probably more times than you can count. How is that okay?
Think about it this way: when you’re watching TV or playing a video game for approximately 3-4 hours a day (which most teens do, at the least), it becomes more than just a game or entertainment. It becomes your environment. You become used to it, even numb to it. It doesn’t affect you so much seeing somebody get stabbed in a game or show, because you see it all the time. Even if you don’t realize it, you are actually becoming desensitized to violence: meaning you aren’t as sensitive to it anymore.
People who watch violence or play violent games are much more likely to engage in violent behavior themselves, since they have become desensitized to it. They are more likely to think it’s okay to punch somebody who they’re angry with, or get violent with a significant other, as opposed to people who don’t watch violence.
Of course, I’m not saying that every single person who plays COD and GTA and watches rated R action movies WILL engage in violent behavior. What I’m saying is that it puts you at risk. It doesn’t really do you any good to participate in those kinds of activities, and they’re pretty awful anyway, so why do them?
Try to stay away from violent media. Also, try to cut back on media all together. Quit staying in your room playing COD all day, for hours and hours at a time, and go outside! Pick up a football or a Frisbee and play with your friends. Go to the mall, get a milkshake, and people watch. Read a book. Get some exercise. Create art. Be social. Don’t be one of those kids who stares at a screen all day.