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The Impact of Violence in the Media

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The Impact of Violence in the Media

Macy Klein, Sports Reporter

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As technology has evolved, so has the idea of media sources. Whether it is social media or the news or even something people hear down the street, people are now more aware of what is happening around them. The concept of media has taken over the perception of different phenomenons that are taking place in everyday life.

While the media is developing, the minds of humans are adapting. As a society, individuals think of violence as something that people have gotten used to. They see it all the time because of the exposure from different media outlets. The media as a whole is supposed to inform the public about events that the community needs to be aware of, but because society is so aware of the destructiveness within itself, people tend to think that tragic events are mainstream—just like the daily feed seen on Twitter and Instagram pages . According to Arline Kaplan of Psychiatric Times, “…the number of violent crimes has been falling, but the public’s perception is that violence has increased.” Everyone’s perception has changed based on what they see in the media.

Different forms of media are developing as well. There is filmmaking, video games, and television shows, and as each one continues to grow, so does the effect it has on the minds of everyone who has access to these sources. For example, during the shooting at Columbine High School, two teenagers came to school with weapons and killed twelve of their classmates. Kaplan also states after further research into the shooting, “.. their lives centered around violent video games.” Games like “Call of Duty”, “Fortnite”, “Assassins Creed”, “Battlefield”, and more are influencing young minds. Furthermore, Psychiatric Times includes a statement explaining how the majority of mass killings have been by people who are mentally ill, yet still have the background of playing violent video games. They have the capacity to understand what one person can be capable of.

Movies have been making a huge impact on people as well. Recently, Susanne Bier’s Birdbox has become the origin of challenges. In the movie, the characters are forced to wear blindfolds to avoid something dangerous that is always following them. Because this film became so popular, people actually started doing what is called the “Birdbox Challenge,” where one performs daily tasks blindfolded. According to the Washington Post, there was a teenager in Utah participating in the Birdbox Challenge who crashed her car while driving blindfolded. There have been videos going viral on Youtube of people performing crazy stunts blindfolded which can obviously lead to terrifying results, such as what happened to the girl from Utah.

Media has a way of influencing people and the actions they take. Everyday people are surrounded by dangerous things and know about almost everything because they see it through hundreds of different screens every minute. People think the world has gone crazy by watching the news and seeing what is going on around them. Tragic events are what people need to be aware of, but there are ways to keep people from getting out of control from the types of things they see. The media has become so impactful to everyone who has access to its sources and it is only going to continue to develop and grow into something even bigger.

 

About the Writer
Macy Klein, Sports Writer

Macy Klein returns to Etched in Stone as a senior in sports reporting after first completing Journalism 1 her freshman year. Self-described as fun, determined,...

3 Comments

3 Responses to “The Impact of Violence in the Media”

  1. angry gamer on January 28th, 2019 8:29 am

    hey, if you do a bit more research, there are a lot of studies that show that video games do not cause violence. there are other factors. stop it.

  2. Payton Lee on January 28th, 2019 8:36 am

    >“…the number of violent crimes has been falling, but the public’s perception is that violence has increased.”

    so what’s the issue here? so many children’s lives revolve around video games that of course some violent basement-dwellers are going to spend their time playing video games, most of which are violent. The fact that violent media increases while violence decreases shows that the correlation is non-existent.

    I just recently picked up a bit of a gaming habit involving primarily Assassin’s Creed and Watchdogs, both of which involve violent killings of sometimes innocent people, but my late-night blueberry-munching civilian-killing sessions haven’t made me a violent person. Drawing a correlation between a handful of shootings in which the shooters were gamers is similar to saying “media depiction of Hitler is causing a major impact” because of the recent rise of violent white supremacists. We cannot de-educate ourselves on issues or put on our blinders to the news to solve this problem.

    This is a more nuanced issue than you are making it out to be. After all, 70% of Americans play some sort of video game now, and almost all watch television, as opposed to, well, 0% in the past. And yet violent crime has gone down. Video games seem to be a frequent scapegoat for what are more systemic issues.

    Don’t get me wrong, that Birdbox Challenge girl is an idiot. But she didn’t actually do what she did because of Birdbox, but likely because of a combination of peer pressure and the joke/meme surrounding the movie.

  3. Jon Bonjour on January 29th, 2019 10:29 am

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION. Yes, many violent acts have been committed by people who played (in my opinion) too many video games. That does not inherently mean that the video games caused this violence, or even the propensity for violence. Statistically, a VAST majority of the people who are constantly playing video games NEVER committed a violent act (especially not on the scale you are referring to). In fact, every single school shooter drank water. Does that mean that the water is the cause of their actions? NO. There are thousands of other factors that are never considered because video games and movies are an easier explanation than a mental illness epidemic.
    Now, I appreciate your article. I don’t agree with it in the slightest, but I appreciate that you are willing to put your opinions out there and take a stand. However, your argument for the Birdbox Challenge is… to put it kindly: nonsensical. There is literally zero evidence in your piece that would suggest that the VIOLENCE in Birdbox is even connected to the injuries from the challenge. If your point is that violence in media is affecting our society, then write about that. Now, if your point is that the media in general is an influencing FACTOR on society (as your Birdbox point would suggest) then don’t title the article “The Impact of Violence in the Media”. This is an unfounded point (again with more factors, such as human stupidity, e.g.: people thought driving a car blindfolded for internet fame was a GOOD idea) that belongs in an article about something entirely different.
    I would also like to point out that there is a MASSIVE difference between film violence and real world violence that you do not touch on. You push them together as if they have the same effect on people. I can watch the entire Evil Dead series, back to back, and never have an issue with it, but after 20 minutes watching the news I am sickened. How would you explain that if you’re suggesting that ALL violence in ALL media has the same damaging effect on humanity? There is no reason to assume that entertainment violence has the same affect as real violence. (In fact, this exact point is why the end of last year’s Blackkklansman was so deeply impactful. It broke that boundary when no one was expecting it and brought reality crashing down into entertainment: albeit a misguided and politically charged version of it, but that’s beside the point).
    You write as if this is some doomsday, like the next Tarantino film will bring about the end of society. “The media has become so impactful to everyone who has access to its sources and it is only going to continue to develop and grow into something even bigger.” So what would you do about it? If you truly think that people seeing violence in the media is such an issue, what is your solution?

    and again for those who missed it: CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION!

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