I was thinking the other day about how a person can be effected by what ever they are watching on TV or a computer. Musing about how the effects may be so subtle that the person may not even be aware that it has had an effect. Obviously it depends on the programme, type of person, circumstances etc etc. But on a basic level, how could you not be effected after watching a programme for an hour?
Three examples came to mind.
Monkey Boy after watching a children’s programme, promptly leapt off the couch when the Tv was turned off, and ran into a bedroom. Out he flew again, with a blanket draped around his shoulders, flying off to save somebody in need of rescuing. I had vaguely been aware that they had been talking about superheros on the TV, and now I had my very own little superhero dashing about, helping any needy children in his path. This I thought was sweet. He hadn’t been watching for that long, and the superhero theme stayed on and off for the rest of the week… What do you think Superhero’s eat for lunch Mama?
Notching up a few more years, there is a certain teenager in my life that loves to play warcraft computer games. Too me its boring, repetitive, antisocial, violent…etc etc…To him I’m an old bugger that just doesn’t ‘get’ it. I’ve tried to look at it from his perspective, but I still struggle. Why would I want to pretend to kill a lot of people? After an hour of killing, maiming and hunting other cyber people, how could I not be effected by it? I’m not saying replicating the exact same behaviour, but even minor changes such as being a little more antagonistic, quick tempered, and anti social. All these things have an effect, especially if they were being played for long periods of time and frequently. Could a person really play something like that for extended times, and then instantly flick over to be all sweetness and light?
That’s not to say I’m all sweetness and light myself.
The Wire is a programme that I really like. The box set, with all 5 seasons sits comfortably in our lounge room. It’s well written, it’s adult, it’s clever, and it’s intriguing. I don’t want to be a policewoman after I watch it, and I don’t want to be a drug lord… I do however have quite the ‘potty’ mouth after watching it. Words just sort of slip out a lot easier after watching an episode. The Monkeys are in bed, so they don’t hear anything that they shouldn’t be and 20 minutes later my saintly words are back in my mouth where they belong. Right back to be the sweetness and light that I usually am.
Similar things could be said about reading books. If you are reading a little Shakespeare before bedtime, will a few words of “doth”, “hast”, “hither” and “thee” slip in before switching off the light?…Goodnight my beloved, where for out thy pillow, sleep be upon me as I shall be wanting to rise in the morrow, and bake a morning crust….
…or some such words.
Just as any of these similar scenarios could be seen as detrimental, they also could be seen as a positive and do nothing more than inspire and provoke greatness in people. A book that prompts a best selling writer. A reality cooking show prompting a child to become a successful chef. Or simple blog reaching out to someone, encouraging them to do humanitarian work in a needy country.
No words of wisdom here with this topic unfortunately, just merely musing…
How does watching TV or reading effect your language or behaviour?