Much of the gun control debate has included conversations about entertainment, video games, television and children.
As a parent I'm consistently concerned about screen time. Our kids have so many bright and shiny screens staring back at them in every part of their lives. Computers, T.V.'s, tablets, mobile devices, music devices, and even digital toys gain their undivided attention. The stats in the infographic below are alarming. And I hate being an alarmist. There are plenty of kids who can handle a face full of media and technology engagement and be fine, upstanding citizens. However, what about those who are vulnerable? What about hose who are deeply influenced by the media in our society. I think it's more people than we think, or would like to admit.
There is a quote that stands out to me in this whole debate over gun control, media, violence and our society that I included in a post I wrote shortly after the Newtown shootings:
“We need to be willing to accept the level of violence in society that we allow in our entertainment.” – Dr. A. Lynn Scoresby
Some questions to ask ourselves:
- What are we willing to accept in our entertainment?
- What are the rules at your house for screen time?
- How closely do you monitor the games that your child is playing on your gaming systems, but also on their mobile devices? (phones, iTouch, iPads etc.)
- Do your kids have a T.V. in their bedroom?
- Does your family watch T.V. during dinner?
- How are we teaching our children to make choices regarding their own media consumption?
- How does all of this information impact your own thoughts on entertainment, gun control, and how we care for the mentally ill in our communities?
To be clear, we can't demonize the platforms as a whole. There are things I love about every single one of our entertainment platforms. The conversation is about moderation, and even more about tolerance. How much is moderate? What quality will we tolerate? And most importantly how will we teach our children to make those decisions for themselves?
* You can find a larger version of this infographic by clicking on the image.
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