As a kid, I remember fondly watching television together as a family. Favorite shows included Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, etc. Now mind you, we didn't watch TONS of television. My parents usually watched the news and then the TV was turned off until the good stuff came on, you know, Welcome Back Kotter, Joni Loves Chachi, etc. (Am I aging myself?!).
What I don't remember are commercials about sexual enhancement drugs, scantily clad people modeling skimpy underwear, movie trailers designed to scare the bejesus out of you and people rubbing, sucking and humping each other sucking faces. I'll be honest, I never really noticed this stuff before. But then we had kids. Even after having our son, we remained oblivious to the crap on television until he got to be around the age of two. That's when we noticed him glancing at the TV amidst bouts of play. We started noticing what was catching his attention, e.g., music, bright images, etc. It was then that we started noticing the deterioration of family friendly television.
Lest any of you think that I am a prude, I am not. If you were to see me on a Friday out with the girls, you would see that I can cuss and get down and dirty with the best of them (and with my friends, that is saying a lot). As a parent, it is my job to make sure that what my children watch is appropriate. That can be tough in this day and age!
Oh and lest we forget about the V Chip. Great idea, but when are they going to rate commercials? I want a V Chip that blocks sexual or violent ads? I would be all over that one! But if we as parents and consumers were able to block these type of ads, how would networks pay for programming. Hmmmm...not my problem.
Let's not even get started on the programming between the hours of 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. Crap, crap, crap and more crap. I'm sorry, but my family doesn't enjoy watching game shows. We detest reality TV as well. That pretty much leaves a whole lot of nothing except for sitcoms that have run their course or that show unhealthy family relationships.
So where am I going with all this? Well, I just read about a study by Parents Television Council. They studied broadcast programming during three separate two week periods on six major broadcast networks including the big three. What did they find? Instances of violence are up 52.4% during the family hour since their last study in 2001. Instances of sexual content have increased 22.1%
Some of you out there may be saying "What's the big deal?" Besides the fact that kids are watching way too much television nowadays, there has been some interesting research on the effects of modern television programming. Check out this link that gives a concise overview of some of the most recent research.
Okay, okay, it's time for me to get down off my soapbox. If you are interested in the current study, you can check out the full story here. So what do you think about the state of modern television programming? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Post your comments below.