Did You Know That Bullying Is Funny?!
At least that is what our young people are being taught. Did you know? Yes, bullying is a huge topic and there are many efforts to put it out there in the public eye that bullying is wrong. BUT – have you checked out television lately?
Please understand I am not one to get on that bandwagon to say that television shows or music or video games will make our kids go out and do violent things. I do have opinions about all of that – but it is not the purpose of this post – so bear with me.
Just recently we all saw on the news where the motorcyclists harassed that little family in their SUV and then proceeded to seriously beat up the driver. My heart hurt to see how quickly something so minor escalated to the point that a man is beat in front of his child and is most likely going to be paralyzed for life – if he survives, that is. And can you imagine the impact of watching something like that for a small child? Ugh….it makes me sad….and angry…..and nauseous.
While thinking about how such a thing happens, my mind then wanders to bullying in general. Then it hits me. How can we expect people to act any different when we put it in their face that it is funny to be ugly acting?
I have a soon-to-be 8-year-old son at home and I try to monitor what he sees on television. I have to admit that I was not raised that way – we simply watched what we wanted. Of course back then, you didn’t see much that was inappropriate. These days I feel you need to keep an eye and an ear towards the television if your child is watching.
In the past week, here are some of my observations about the shows in general:
· You see harsh critiquing of other people’s attire or overall appearance – on live television – not a kind piece of advice, but outright ugly and embarrassing comments while the person is standing there in front of thousands of people
· On multiple afternoon kids’ shows you see young people being extremely sarcastic and rude to others – and the producers then plug in laughter soundtracks – so it comes across as funny
· Again on multiple kids’ shows you can see youth being outright disrespectful and often mean to adults – again with the laughter plugged in to make it funny
· You see slamming doors in others’ faces – laughter soundtrack included
· You will see hitting or throwing things at others – with laughter plugged into the soundtrack
· The practical jokes that you see people playing on each other on the kids’ shows are not harmless – in reality they would be very hurtful, sometimes potentially dangerous – but, let’s plug in the laughter track to make it innocent fun
· Seldom will you see repercussions for such actions
· You can often see the kids lying and being deceitful to others – and again there is always laughter
· You see people destroying the property of other people – and it comes across as funny or justified
· On one very popular show – you can see someone in a teacher/coach role who is always undermining others – and you see her saying very, very mean and ugly things to them – and you never see anything that teaches that this is improper behavior – just more laugh tracks
· When is the last time you’ve seen a show for the younger crowd that doesn’t contain a lot of yelling? (Followed by laughter track)
· And yes, there are all of the sex and offensive language on there too
Are you starting to see the picture? If society is bombarded with this type of behavior why wouldn’t they act in similar fashion? Yes, I believe we are to teach our children right from wrong – but let’s face it folks, when things are put out there in front of you constantly – you become numb to the impact of it.
Back in the day – they didn’t allow kissing on television….or blood….or cursing. Then that changed and it was allowed – who gives it a second thought now? Are you shocked to see someone kiss? I doubt it. Are you shocked to hear a cuss word these days? Maybe, maybe not depends on your age or maybe the word.
I believe we are losing empathy these days. It makes my heart hurt. I feel sadness for the true fun and innocence that my child will not experience in the ways that we did years ago.
Don’t get me wrong – I am an advocate for the technology that we have these days. I enjoy some of the advancements that we have made and we owe much of it to our younger folks. So I’m not one of those to say that the world is going to hell-in-a-hand-basket as the saying used to go. But I do wish that we might back up just a tad on some of the things that we are flooding our eyes and ears with and simply enjoy a little peace and love towards others a little more.
What do you think?