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By the age of 6, the average American child will have spent more time watching television than he will spend speaking to his parents in an entire lifetime. What's the effect?
Television has grown from a small entertainment medium to become a huge industry casting the single most dominating presence in our society.
In 1955 television was only on in the evenings with few choices of stations and in less than one-third of American homes. But today virtually every American home has TV and two-thirds of us have two or more sets, two-thirds have cable and who knows how many channels - all of this 24 hours a day. Now that is an amazing progression in technology, but it's been an appalling regression in social, moral and intellectual standards. This explosion of growth in TV viewing also parallels the growth of crime and other moral trends.
Larry Poland of Mastermedia International explains:
…we are not managing our media
to keep the evil stuff out…
I've had it up to here with parents saying 'I don't know where we went wrong. You know we raised our kid in the church, and he came to know the Lord when he was a kid, and he wants to look like a rock star and he's doing drugs.' The first question I ask is 'What kind of media do you allow in your home?' Because if we don't control the input of media into our homes and into the minds of the people in our families, we don't have a leg to stand on in defending ourselves against anybody outside, or God himself, when it comes to the erosive, destructive influence of media. So the most crucial point and the achilles heel, right now, of Christians and Christian families is - we are not managing our media to keep the evil stuff out.
They're selling ideas and values in the
many hours of TV and movies that people see.
Film critic and social analyst Michael Medved agrees.
According to Medved, a recent statistics show that the average American child, by the age of 6 will have spent more time watching television than that child will spend speaking to his parents in an entire lifetime.
So what is the answer? How does a parent reinforce what they want their child to learn?
Dick Rolfe of the Dove Foundation offers this suggestion:
In an age where moral relativism is the popular thought, be sure to remember what Gary Bauer of the Family Research Council reminds families:
What are you modeling in your home? Where do you look for moral absolutes?
Content adapted from Whatever Happened to America?, a 3-part video series hosted by John Schneider.
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