Violent Media Leads to Violent Behavior?

Savannah Runyon, Staff Writer

How can innocent tactic games or cartoons be linked to recent bullying or other school tragedies that have been happening around the country? Experts say it’s simple: violent media leads to violent behaviors. It has been seen in young children and teenagers that after playing aggressive video games or watching violent television that they have become more irritable. The behavior of younger children has been the most concerning, though. They have been reported to lash out at family members, teachers and even their peers if denied their favorite game or television show.

Dr. L. Rowell Huesman states that violent media shows children that it’s a hostile world and it’s okay to be violent without a true reason.

But junior Vanessa Farmer disagrees. She counters with, “If you look back on shows like Tom and Jerry and the generation that grew up with them, they don’t show as many violent effects.”

Many experts agree with Vanessa, pointing out that video games and media are a great source of stress relief, creative flow, and better focus.

But like anything else, every pro has a con. Many experts have argued that when you’re exposed to violence day in and day out, it loses its emotional impact on you. Once you’re emotionally numb in violence, it’s much easier to engage in it. One of the most controversial forms of media are video games because you get rewarded for the violence you cause. Kids soon become less caring about how they act out towards others.

Ariel Stafford, sophomore, agrees. “When you are younger, you are influenced into thinking it is okay to act that way by watching other people engage in it,” she points out.

Things like bullying, school shootings, and other out of control behaviors have been linked to media, leading people to believe that they’re to blame. It’s hard to escape the violence found on television or video games or to keep children and teenagers from seeing it. Though many movies, shows, or games have ratings that prohibit anyone under a certain age to buy them, it’s easy to gain access through others of the appropriate age be it a younger boy borrowing his older brother’s video game to a teenager scrolling through Netflix.