DEPENDENCE ON MASS MEDIA
Addiction to mass media should be understood in two ways:
- As an addiction to objects and activities associated with them,
- As addiction to the content transmitted by these media.
Regarding the first case, one should pay attention to the quite widespread television addiction characterized by the receiver turned on all the time at home, treating him as a privileged family member or – worse, the guest who occupies the most important place in the room who says when he wants and what he wants and the household members, listening to him, give him a voice, which he eagerly uses. This ironic tone may suggest that it is generally a criticism of television. Well no.
Television is an important, if not the most important, information medium, it can be a great didactic tool, it can teach, entertain, help, advise. And if it fulfills this role, it is good. Speaking of television addiction, I have in mind situations of many hours spent daily by children and adults in front of the television screen. The program you are watching (not selectively, but at most switching channels) attracts attention, which prevents conversation in the family or any contacts, because it only causes the TV-viewer relationship. When duties, work time at home or homework are subordinated to television, when meals are eaten in the company of a switched-on TV set and it happens that during guests’ visits it is not turned off, when it accompanies literally to the last moments of the day (as there are some “viewers” “who fall asleep when the receiver is on), you can talk about addiction symptoms: Recovery Direct in South Africa
It is difficult to determine where the limits of using television in a proper, useful, controlled and planned way lie when and when television addiction begins. But it’s worth asking yourself: How many hours a day do I spend watching TV? What am I watching and what are the benefits of it? This question should also be asked to children.
It would be good if the issue of time spent watching TV by children was the subject of catechesis or, for example, educational time. Let’s ask children how many hours a day watch TV and video programs and then try to discuss, evaluate and comment on it.
It is worth paying attention to the very important fact signaled by scientists connected with long-term television viewing. Well, some broadcasts, especially films covering a substantial part of the program, unlearn viewers thinking. Man comfortably surrenders to the images attacking him, unknowingly accepts the scenes shown changing at such a rate that analyzing or assessing them is impossible. Film producers aware of this sometimes serve viewers with situations that are offensive to the basic rules of logic and common sense of those viewers. And they accept it because they don’t have time to think about the content they convey. And the content can be different and manipulative. Reading is different, the pace of reading is determined by the person using the text, which requires at least the effort to activate the imagination, in addition to read content you can go back, think, although it is also an effort. Maybe that’s why reading is decreasing. On the other hand, the movies served on our television usually do not require thinking effort. They provide ready images and solutions.
The second type of addiction to mass media is “addiction” to the transmitted content: the lifestyle promoted there, attitudes, valuation, culture (subculture), tradition, interpersonal relationships, sensations, gossip, etc. This applies to both television, radio and the press.
In this area, the press and the women’s press are leading, in Poland at least 60 titles with a total circulation of over 20 million copies, which with a population of 16 million women over 14 years of age means that every Polish woman can pick up at least one copy of a woman’s magazine . This is how significant the content transmitted by the press can have on the way of life and view of life by English women.
It is worth noting that “… at present the women’s press in Poland is dominated by foreign capital, mainly German, but also French and American, which either created new titles or co-financed and gained influence over the old ones” . This undoubtedly affects the content promoted in the press. “Lifestyles propagated … are difficult, and often impossible to reconcile with the hierarchy of values professed in Poland. This press does not reflect Poles’ traditional beliefs about morality and decent conduct … it helps to part with them quickly … justifying. … that moral behavior is difficult and causes suffering, and suffering should be avoided at all costs “.
The press ignores the deeper sense of Christmas customs in Poland, not to mention the religious sense, shallowing them to traditional dishes or folklore rites. A common topic of reports in this press are pathologies of families showing drastically degeneration and sexual abuse. The situations described, taking into account their marginal nature, distort the picture of Polish customs by suggesting that these were common cases.
How skewed the image of a Polish man is. “… He appears as an alcoholic abusing his wife, a primitive degenerate, raping her and sexually abusing his children”.
On the other hand, the image of a woman is a person seeking her own pleasure, devoting a lot of time and attention to her appearance treated as an autonomous goal of life, not intending to associate more closely with anyone, treating the child as satisfying her own desires and needs, with the main goal being her individual career. This model – sometimes attractive – deeply frustrates women brought up in a different spirit, tradition and hierarchy of values. “Often they cannot live up to the ideal of beauty and femininity suggested there. … This contributes to the recorded … increase in the incidence of neurosis and some mental illnesses” .
A slightly different but similar topic is the youth press published, as well as women’s magazines by foreign publishers. The theme of these magazines is usually youth music, sensational information about the lives of music and film stars and erotic themes or sex in various editions, mainly in the form of advice and “advice”. Some magazines specialize in photojournalism, through which they present the intimate adventures of girls and boys “educating” them in the sphere of sexual behavior.
The most disturbing are magazines such as Bravo, Bravo – Girl, Girl, Popcorn. They are addressed to young people who are subject to all the rules of puberty with awakening erotic emotions, rebellion and opposition to parents, educators or all authorities. It is easy then to suggest other patterns promoted, e.g. by rock stars, and therefore patterns that are most often full of liberalization towards sexual behavior, tolerance consisting in accepting all sexual attitudes, including deviations.
Of course, parents and educators who have a different opinion are intolerant, which the press often emphasizes. These letters try to take over the role of a signpost of conduct, creating patterns in the persons of music and film idols, i.e. patterns adopted by young people with uncritical admiration. It is obvious that a young man identifies with his idol and wants to imitate him in every respect at all costs. To emerging voices of opposition to the content and patterns conveyed by this press, publishers hide behind the good of economic interest, claiming that “this is what is being sold”.
The youth press, the content conveyed there and their impact on the shaping of the psyche and attitudes of readers constitute a vast topic and a serious threat that should be addressed in a separate article. Here, however, it was limited to its general characterization.
There are few writings (e.g., Road, Love) that parents could recommend to their children without fear. However, observations show that a significant proportion of parents are not interested in what their child is reading without realizing that by buying or letting their child buy Bravo or Popcorn magazines, they are demoralizing their child for their own money – addiction recovery in South Africa
Undoubtedly, the nature of programs (mainly films) broadcast on television also has a great impact on life attitudes. This applies to both adolescents and adults, although adolescents, due to the specificity of the immature psyche, are more susceptible to propagated patterns. And in TV programs filled largely by cheap, outdated, not ambitious and “unfavorable” movies dominates the cult of strength, violence, brutality, aggression and cruelty.
A survey conducted by OBOP in January 1997 showed that, compared to 1993, the percentage of viewers who felt annoyed by the excessive dose of violence and cruelty from the screen increased significantly. It also turned out that movies with elements of violence have far more opponents (two-thirds) than supporters. Although viewers are mostly in favor of limiting the number of films containing erotic or brutal scenes, despite the fact that many associations and social organizations send letters and protests, like hundreds or even thousands of private individuals (Lublin), nothing changes in this respect. The only answer is that if you don’t like it, you don’t have to watch it. It is true. But it is also true that television is a mass media (paid for by society), watched en masse not only by adults but also by children. It is therefore not indifferent what content is broadcast there. You should ask people involved in the creation of television programs: What are the models of violence, brutality and cruelty shown in the movies?
Samples of these patterns are increasingly encountered and experienced on our streets, parks and even school grounds. Is it about having more and more of them?