Do What You Watch

Continuing the thought from yesterday’s post :

I am always amazed that people still believe that what they watch on TV does not affect their behavior. Or rather, I am amazed that they think it can’t affect anyone’s behavior. There are people who think that what people watch is just entertainment and therefore cannot affect how they live.

The saying is that Art imitates life, not life imitates art (with apologies to any blog by that name). And there is the famous quote that if violence on TV causes violence on the streets, then why doesn’t comedy on TV cause comedy on the streets?

To which I respond : comedy on TV does cause comedy on the streets.

Back when Seinfeld was in its heyday, most people would watch it and then whatever phrase was the most popular phrase of the show became the most popular phrase in the country for the next week. There was a lot more comedy on the streets, copying whatever it was that was on TV.

Don’t say that comedy on TV doesn’t cause comedy on the streets.

And there are multiple examples of people being injured or worse by trying something they saw in a movie. How many of those does it take before someone will admit that maybe what you put into your soul via your eyes can affect how you live or what you do?

If what we see and hear on a regular basis does not affect us, then why do advertisers pay so much for commercials or product placements? If there is a study that shows people are immune to such influences, then a consultant could save companies a lot of money by eliminating their TV/film advertising budgets.

This fact of life is more easily seen by parents. My kids recently watched Kung Fu Panda. For the rest of the day after the movie, did they behave as they behaved before the movie? Not even close. They were jumping, kicking, and swinging things in their efforts (conscious or sub-conscious) to emulate what they had seen on screen. In this case, that lasted all of one day and they were back to normal the next day.

But what if their eyes are fed a steady diet of violence? How will they behave? What would happen to the average level of violence in their thoughts? in their actions?

What if their eyes and ears are fed whatever is on TV? How will they treat their parents after several years of watching sitcoms? How will they treat women when they are older?

Certainly, there are many people who can watch things and not be affected. And there are plenty of people who will do bad things without having been influenced to do so by a TV show or movie.

After all, sin is not new.

But why promote it?

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Luke 6:45

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This little article thingy was written by Some Guy sometime around 6:27 am and has been carefully placed in the Life category.

4 Responses to “Do What You Watch”

  1. Erin Says:

    Which article would best support this?

    Children’s TV time linked with behavioral problems

    Viewing adult-themed TV tied to earlier sex for teens

    TV may make toddlers more aggressive

    Except for this one:
    Watching TV doesn’t boost young kids’ cognitive skills

    It seems to be more behavioral and not cognitive. Maybe it transitions as we become adults so watching the History Channel might be beneficial. Either way, our kids seem to watch more TV at church right now than at home.

  2. Julie Says:

    Wow and amen! I appreciate the passion behind this post. It is so refreshing to hear someone think clearly and speak up. Keep it up! Our children are worth of second of conscientious (phew, almost misspelled that!) parenting. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Julie Says:

    and P.S. : so true about the Seinfeld effect (as well as other programs and movies). I was always wondering where these new phrases/expressions were coming from. I always interested in tracking the sources of such expressions as “how __ is that”, “ginormous”, “Snap”, “yada yada yada” and “hellO!” When it seemed everyone began using them, I figured they had a common source…yep, Hollywood.

  4. Burrill Says:

    Admitting that intake affects output would require responsibility in monitoring intake. It’s easier just to say it doesn’t matter what you watch, because then you can watch whatever you want without having to consider the effect it might have.

    I still can’t believe the idea that intake DOESN’T affect output has any legitimate traction. Yeah, it’s an easier way to avoid personal responsibility, but it’s absurd. It’s like saying what you eat doesn’t affect your health.

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