Televisual media has become a pervasive force in the lives of families around the world today. Yet, a central question remains regarding whether watching television is harmful or beneficial for children. An analysis of this question reveals that television programs present three major concerns in the case of children, including depictions of violence, the use of profane language, and the representation of poor moral role models.
Television programs that portray violence are a paramount concern for parents nowadays. Recent research has shown that children may commit acts of violence because they wish to emulate the behaviour that they see on television. This is especially true when violent acts are committed by well-known action “heroes.” In addition, television programs show cartoon figures, as well as actors, committing violent acts. Using comic situations to depict violent themes causes further problems with the way in which young people view violence.
Television programs that contain profane or disrespectful language also worry parents with young children. Because censorship laws have relaxed over the past few decades, it has become very common for television programs of each and every kind to show characters expressing impolite, rude, and insulting utterances to one another. Bearing resemblance to the case of portrayals of violence, children unfortunately often try to imitate these actions they watch on their television screens.
Finally, some parents are upset about the moral behaviour depicted on television. As they struggle to teach their children moral and ethical values, parents might despair about the lack of morals and ethics represented in some of the so-called role models on television. For instance, certain characters not only have no remorse for their immoral actions, but also frequently go unpunished by larger society.
Because of these factors, many parents believe that television programs send their youth the wrong kinds of messages. The emulation of this poor behaviour by their children is something they wish to avoid at all costs, and they have accordingly decided to ban television in their households for these reasons.