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?
Loved your musings and I totally agree about being effected, could ramble on to distraction with many a scenario myself about the effects of video/TV & computer – apparently 60% of the population considers video training to be the most effect way of learning, so guessing that speaks for itself 🙂
Have a great day.
Thanks Anna, I think I could ramble on a for a lot longer too…
There are studies about the effect of watching TV on children’s behaviour and mores, particularly with reference to violence and the more negative aspects of our entertainment culture that you can read.
On a more macro level, hey, we are all connected and everything we do, see, hear and experience with our senses and using our minds will leave a trace, if repeated the traces gradually become new pathways in our brains, some reinforced, some fading away. My moral code is derived in no small part from the books I read as a child, but I was an avid reader. Today I learn most when I practice ‘mindfulness’ in an activity and that accordingly influences the outcome of whether my behavour/language etc alters. If I don’t pay attention then it mostly washes over me and makes little impact. I suspect children are more mindful, more focussed when watching tv and hence ‘more goes in’ and gets incorporated into their play and imaginations. x Joanna
Its interesting to hear that your moral code was derived from the books you read as a child. I was an avid reader as well, and looking back on all those books I consumed as a child they really did have an everlasting effect on me.
I also agree about the mindfulness of children (or adults) if I am watching something on tv, talking, knitting, thinking about what to do the next day well its just not going to go in as much.
Great food for thought Joanna.
All good questions to raise. On a related note, I decided about a decade ago that almost all trash mags/womens’ mags did absolutely nothing healthy for me and have avoided buying them or picking them up in waiting rooms as much as possible. I guess I realised they were like junk food for the soul, and even when I feel like I’m critiquing stuff I do get profoundly drawn into it anyway. I haven’t thought about TV as much, but I’ve been wondering about whether there are any real benefits to watching it recently, and we’re having a TV free week this week!
Womens magazines- argh! They drive me mental. Sitting in hospital recently I flicked through one and even through sleepless eyes I still couldn’t get any enjoyment out of them.
Tv, I think there can be some great programs at times, but it is lovely to have tv free times as well. Enjoy that week!
It been more then a year since I have really watched TV and its fantastic (TV decided not to come on an interstate move). If you do decide that you want to watch something you have to really think about it and make the effort to seek it out, thus automatically filtering out the garbage. Without the distraction of TV you seem to be much more creative and resourceful. Not trying to hate its just it really liberating not having a TV.
Depends on my level of interest while watching, I think. I usually am knitting or folding clothes or some other activity while I watch TV, so it is more background than center stage.
Now, I have noticed, after reading a lot of mystery/detective novels that I tend to look at certain scenarios as possible scenes of a crime! LOL! I’ve been renovating a resort rental house for my niece and have made up all kinds of stories about stains on the master bedroom floor( the murder scene) and on the carpet of the stairs leading down into the house (bloody footprints)- but I think that is mainly to keep myself amused whilst cleaning.
Certainly where we allow our minds to dwell becomes the focus of how we perceive life around us.
Good post- I need to make some informed plans about the places I want my mind to hang out!
Heidiannie, I love the imagery of you cleaning and renovating while while doing detective work on the house.
I know that most of the things I cook these days are influenced by what I’ve read on other people’s blogs! 🙂
I know what you mean Celia !
Hi cityhippyfarmgirl! I know what you mean too. It all gets absorbed in some form or another, sometimes subconsciously,sometimes not. One of my sons is a real fan of The Wire and he told me I’d like it too. We have similar tastes. I should record an episode and see if I do. Or is it one of those shows you have to watch from the start to understand?
Ahh The Wire. Definitely one you have to watch from the first episode of the season as they all carry over. The first time I watched it I was so confused, and wasn’t sure it was for me at all, but kept up with the next episode as I had heard so many great reviews of it. Didn’t look back. Very well written.
I’m with you and Gina on the womens mags!! Totally useless and so true – junk food for the soul (I like that phrase).
There will always be a follow on effect from what we are exposed to…so I guess it comes down to making sensible choices that follow on in a positive way. Hubby and I rarely watch commercial tv anymore (mostly ABC), ..but do have foxtel and I notice a real ‘attitude’ from the 10 year old when she has been watching trashy teen shows……
I have to say though..that I am loving this exposure to people’s blogs!! There is just so much USEFUL information out there and the stuff that people are cooking/growing/eating….Fascinating!! 🙂
I totally agree with being affected by what we read and watch on tv. Lately, I’ve been finding myself either changing the channel or turning the tube off if the news are on, as I find at some point, it affects my mood and it’ becomes depressing. The same goes with other types of shows. Since I’ve been more aware of this, I try to surround and expose myself to positive blogs, shows and books…. makes me feel so much better!