Violence in the media has never been more widespread than it is now. People have shown concern over its portrayal in the media as early as fifty years ago. The sad fact is children and the youth population is the most affected group. And what sort of influence does media violence have in them? Simple, it molds them to become violent individuals as well.
About four or five decades ago, the only major form of media was television. This meant that the degree of negative influence provided by the media to the youth was not that high because not everyone had constant access to television. Furthermore, what’s shown on TV during those times were filtered or scrutinized in order to ensure that information delivered is wholesome for the viewing public. However, the situation this time around is very different.
New types of media are replacing the role TV has played for almost a century. The internet, movies and motion picture, print and advertising, video games, and others are responsible for making youth what and who they are today. This means that among the several factors that can influence an individual as he grows up, media is the most dominant. Children and teens listen and follow what they see in the internet or television more often than their parents’ advice and suggestion.
Wilson (1997) and Roberts (1998) highlighted in their research the dominance of media in American households. Because of this, the access of the youth population in them has increased the likelihood of behaving violently in the real world and this notion is attributed to the growing trend of portraying violence and aggressive behavior in the media.
Though much can be said on the benefits and advantages brought and provided by the internet, television, print ads, and other forms of media, it cannot be denied that they too are greatly accountable for making society accept and acquiesce to violence as a normal aspect of behavior. And the worst of all, it is the younger generation who’s being targeted. Since children, teens, and young adults comprise the majority of the media viewing population, they likewise become the most popular customers of the influence of violence in the media.