Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mass Media Culture

Mass Media Aliens are Sucking Out Your Kids' Brains by David Batstone; SojoMail 07.20.05

Keywords: parenting, children, counter-culture, church, identity

It is a curious thing. Parents by and large carefully instruct their children in the values that are important to them. But many of those same parents are cavalier about the kind of media - and the values those media convey - that their kids immerse themselves in on a daily basis.

The majority of kids spend a good slice of their day consuming mass media. Studies show that children spend on average four-and-a-half hours a day in front of televisions, video games, and computers.

And what are the messages they receive? Dr. David Walsh, author of Selling Out America's Children: How America Puts Profits before Values and What Parents Can Do, identifies six key values that dominate mass media. It is hard to argue with his list:
1. Happiness is found in having things.
2. Get all you can for yourself.
3. Get it all as quickly as you can.
4. Win at all costs.
5. Violence is entertaining.
6. Always seek pleasure and avoid boredom.

While individual parents may teach strong values, they are contradicted and drowned out by enticing and technologically alluring counter-voices. "When faced with these odds, parents' messages have difficulty competing," contends Walsh…

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