Monday, September 05, 2005

over the edge media?

There is a book I read based on youth from being raised by the media (Over the Edge by Leo Bogart, 2005) and how our society is being shaped by the media through domestic technologies. Growing up in an environment of video games, television, the microwave and telephone etc seemed normal to me, but the book enabled me to realise how crazy we are to become increasingly dependant on household gadgets, media and technologies. Statistics show that today, the average person watches over four hours of television everyday, compared to approximately less than three hours in the 1980's and roughly one hour in the 1960's. Bogart suggests that already we have become emotionally attached to our tv sets, similar to how we find it hard to let go of our mobile phones. From this, he also talks about the permissiveness of graphic material and coarse language in films and TV, listing several examples of uncensored material being shown on daytime shows. The lack of morals, and abundance of violence and sexual activity revealed through the media, he believes, has crept into our homes destroying the traditional family image and raising our kids to behave aggressively, decrease academically and to adapt bad eating habits.
With the statistics of increased single parenting, abortions, domestic violence, rape, paedophilia, unwed couples raising children, obesity or health problems, I would agree that our media does seem to be raising our society. The main target audience for the media is of course: youth, which Bogart states is part of the reason why advertising companies, directors etc like to use "taboo issues , visuals and language" to shock and to grab the attention of restless youth who are not normally "allowed" to discover these aspects of life on their own. Endless consumption of this 'shocking' and what many like to describe as 'edgy' material he suggests has resulted in teenage pregnancies, fatherless children, poverty etc we see in today's society setting the platform for the next generation (and a not so traditionally 'happy family' one).


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