Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Things I'd Like to Tell My Junior Highers Part 2

        If you missed Part 1, click here!

2.  Be careful what you let in.

I am honestly appalled at the video games you play. I am shocked by much of what you watch on TV or in the movies, listen to on the radio or on your phones, browse through on the Internet, and surround yourself with each and every day.

Be warned—what you let in will either start to destroy you or will find a way to let itself out (and certainly not before it does some damage).

You think it’s mindless and harmless. You say it’s just a game. You think it’s funny. You say you like the beat and you ignore the lyrics. You think listening to profanity and watching (nothing short of) soft pornography is normal.

Newsflash: You’ve been desensitized (look it up).

You have no idea the impact this media (and in turn, the conversations you have with your friends about it) is having on you. It is simply frightening.

Images that you see once, CANNOT BE UNSEEN. Read that again (and again and again and again, please).

Words and conversations you hear CANNOT BE UNHEARD.

The experience you have with your “shoot um up” game, CANNOT BE UN-EXPERIENCED.

Eventually, these things will change you. Profanity will start running through your head and/or pouring out of your mouth (and it does not make you sound cool or mature). Obscene images will play through your mind like a flipbook, taking a piece of your innocence with each turn. Violence will begin to seem normal and your temper may (and probably will eventually) change. I don’t even want to think about what else may happen as a result…

No, this is not just my opinion. This is not just me babbling on because I’m lame and not in touch with what’s really going on today. There are some shocking statistics to prove some of the points that I’ve already made.

From the article, “Facts and TV Statistics” on http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/facts/mediafacts.asp:

·      Children spend more time watching television than in any other activity except sleep. - Huston and Wright, University of Kansas.  "Television and Socialization of Young Children."
·      66% of children (ages 10 to 16) surveyed say that their peers are influenced by TV shows
·      62% say that sex on TV shows and movies influences kids to have sex when they are too young
·      65% say that shows like The Simpsons and Married… With Children encourage kids to disrespect parents.
·      Witnessing repeated violent acts can lead to desensitization and a lack of empathy for human suffering
·      According to the American Psychiatric Association, "The debate is over… For the last three decades, the one predominant finding in research on the mass media is that exposure to media portrayals of violence increases aggressive behavior in children."
·      "In a national survey by Public Agenda ("Parents feel they're failing to teach values," USA TODAY, 10/30/02), 'about 90% [of parents] say TV programs are getting worse every year because of bad language and adult themes in shows that air from 8 to 10 p.m.'
·      By age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. - American Psychiatric Association

Need more convincing? Check out the entire list of statistics.

Is it easy to keep yourself unstained from such inappropriate and harmful media? Of course not, I get that! BUT, it is POSSIBLE. You have a CHOICE, and you have a VOICE. Go watch Frozen instead of sneaking into some thriller movie. I do. I honestly try to stay away from rated R movies for these very reasons. Just because I can go to a rated R movie doesn’t mean it’s good for me or I should go see it (the same goes for music and video games). Choose music without parental advisories. Put down your video games and GO OUTSIDE!

For now, be wise. Protect your eyes and ears and mind and heart. They are precious.
I rest my case.

PS –If you have a Bible, read Ephesians 5:1-21

PPS—Stay tuned for parts 3-5 of the “Things I’d Like to Tell My Junior Highers” series.

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