Might television be brainwashing today's youth?

By Stephanie Roberts
I. J. Samson Junior High
St. John's, Newfoundland

Well, yes, it's almost the year 2000, and perhaps we are all thinking about the invention of the century. Could it be the television? Quite possibly yes. Perhaps the television has brainwashed us all to convince us that it is the best thing to come along after the invention of the light bulb.

From my point of view, I think that many of us youth are becoming the offspring of the television. With that said, I think that we are turning whatever we see on television into reality. Many of us watch television to be entertained, or to watch the evening news. However, we must realize that the violence, language and dress code on television are being mirrored by us youth.

Many of us kids seem to enjoy acting and looking like whomever they see on television. That seems cute, doesn't it? Well, it's not. In most cases, young boys are dressing up in their army fatigue and fighting like their idols: G. I. Joe, and the Power Rangers. When these children grow up, they will most likely tend to act in a violent manner towards others. Many parents and teachers have to pull their children and students out of fight. This example is one of many ways that television is brainwashing today's youth into little soldiers preparing for war.

Another example is the way that many children are seen glued to the television for hours at a time. They are unable to hear anything, other than what is on the large, mesmerizing screen. It's great that the children are paying a lot of attention to it, and that they are taking in what is said, but why don't they do this at school and at home when it is needed? I think that this question should be put to the youth just to see what their answers would be. It's unfortunate to see this happening, but really after this invention came along, the problem had become inevitable.

Being transformed into television offspring isn't that bad, is it? As mentioned before, it does sound pretty bad. However, in one way, it can be good. Not many kids watch the news, however for those who do, it is being communicated to them about all of the happenings in the world. Unfortunately, with one positive, there are always numerous negatives, and in this case there is.

On the news, we mainly hear about the bad things that are occurring in today's society. On the news we see a lot of graphic content of wars and beatings that are happening overseas and here at home. This seems to give children a terrible outlook on the world and watching this terrible content may disturb and upset many kids. However, for others, they might find this fascinating and will try to act just like those on television. The only way to prevent our children from watching this is to either completely get rid of the violence that is shown on the news, or show warnings throughout the program, and not just at the beginning. When the new V-chip comes out, this will definitely lower the violence in and around schools. Now, many children won't be allowed to watch shows that are inappropriate for that certain age group.

If we are all being brainwashed by the television that might seem to make us smarter, right? Well, maybe. We all know that many children are watching more television than ever, and many children are taking in what they see. They may become smarter, but because of the numerous hour and hours that are spent in front of this boob tube, they are not being able to express their feelings and what they have learned. Everyone seems to be becoming anti-social and withdrawn from the outside world. We will not talk to anyone and we will not see any of our friends because of the television.

However, the Internet also may have something to do with this as well. We all seem to be chatting with our friends on such programs as ICQ and the electronic mail system, and many of us are in forums and chat groups that pertain to certain subjects. With all of this new technology coming about, we are consuming A LOT of information at a very fast rate. This is unfortunate. However, it seems as if we are unable to stop it… the television era is brainwashing us.

Well, is television brainwashing today's youth? Hmm, well, possibly yes. However, many children these days enjoy creating things rather than watch the television. Therefore, it seems as if this "wave" is only going out to so many kids and teens. So, will the television become the invention of the century? Well, if we have to vote on it, what do you think? Perhaps, if you vote for the television, it may be because it brainwashed you…