(Last Updated On: May 25, 2018)
This topic is one that is close to our hearts and we most certainly want you to engage and share your views on this controversial but relevant issue. You will notice that this post presents some questions rather than just stating my position on the matter. The reason for this is that some answers to these questions lie within our own psyche as intelligent beings. Others are straight-forward and some I will attempt to address in a follow-up post. The effects of entertainment on society is real and evidence of this is all around. Negative influences have desensitized sex, murder, violence and have second-guessed honesty, spiritual principles and moral values. They have seemingly robbed the next generation of much to stand on. However, the ability to pass on the baton of a heritage of self-esteem, character and courage is still within our power. It is never too late. We can still do our part to enrich the future outcome of those we have charge over. We can do this today by taking action!
Good Relationships are Important Investments
The relationship is the most powerful fruitful union on earth and always will be. If we zero in some more, marriage and the family. If we zoom out to see the result of the fruit of all this over time, our society and the world. Relationships define who we are as a society and are a common valuable investment we must strive to safeguard.
We build houses and institutions to protect and nurture our relationships. There, we teach established principles and values based on spiritual, ethical, learned lessons and education. This results in the creation of a culture that allows people and their way of life to be nourished and passed on to ensuing generation in due time. This is the garden of human existence in a nutshell.
Therefore, we need to pay attention to what we allow to influence our relationships and society at large. Wrong perceptions and models of relationships and values handed down to us should not dictate nor define us. We alone are responsible for our own standards in spite of what is being constantly pushed at us. We, with God’s help, are the guardians of our own fate.
We Become What We Idolize or Allow to Influence Us
It is no secret that people tend to pattern their lives after their influences. Have you ever read the biographies of great writers, actors, musicians, sports figures and just about every accomplished person? I am sure you would have seen numerous influences mentioned as the reason for their inspiration. So, yes, our influences are powerful factors in our lives. We are basically the sum of all our influences and our decisions to date. Our influences must be chosen carefully if we are to use them to shape and inspire greatness in us. For too long, we have been seeing the effects of negative influences on individuals and the distasteful fruit it bears.
You may be saying, but isn’t there positive too? Yes, there is, and many have benefited from its exposure. However, it is well known that packaging the “good” with the “bad” doesn’t lessen the impact of the “bad.” That saying “one bad apple can spoil (influence) the (whole) ‘bunch’” certainly applies here. As a matter of fact, the best way to communicate a negative is to package it with a lot of positive. Especially, when there is a hidden agenda to be pushed. That’s the psychology behind it. I am sure lots of examples come to mind, so you get why the effects of entertainment on society is one of great concern.
The very things we seek to protect our investment in our relationships from are the very things that are glorified in entertainment. No wonder, we struggle to raise our children, the hope of the future. Of course, nothing in this world is perfect, so we will have to deal with some of the things we disapprove of as they happen.
The Power of Influence, Greed, and Persuasion
Now, wouldn’t it be bad enough to be bombarded by negative influences in entertainment? Sadly, that’s not the only challenge. These effects are designed to be long-lasting and are also crafted by
- the art of persuasion
- the science of psychological analyses and research
- great packaging inclusive of;
- movie paraphernalia – for creating a culture that will last beyond the event
- video games – gain followers and sustain the brand
- websites/social media – promote social interaction and trends, build numbers, create buzz
- corporate partnerships – general advertising, promotion on cereal boxes etc.
- billboards – general promotion and awareness
- trailers/promos – build excitement and gain followers
All powerful vehicles that further reinforce the impact on our minds. Giving your “audience” more than they want is a great bargain and value for money but it can also be a vehicle that drives compromise and deception. Now we understand why so much goes into special effects and the “packaging” of content.
What we allow to influence us depends on our belief system. It depends on our agreement and conformity to spiritual and moral stimuli, the guidance and teachings of authority figures and our common sense. However, an imbalance exists between societal standards and personal values, when powerful people with influence selfishly dictate what a culture needs, with little regard for what it really needs, thinks or is aspiring to. This is usually driven by two things;
- Profit: – When a market is driven by profit alone, then compromise and slack values reign. Sadly, the byproduct is recklessness inherited by the society and ingrained in its culture.
- Agendas: – When the primary focus is to promote agendas that glorify a set of selfish unpopular ideas, concepts, and lifestyles, the society again inherits the fruit
“Understandably” from a marketing perspective, entertainment advertised for the whole family (or rated “G”), doesn’t sell anymore. That’s why most movies are rated at least PG-13 just to be taken seriously by the market. What a thing!
Sex, Entertainment, and Our Free Built-In 4D Special Effect
What is the reason the promotion of casual sex and infidelity is so big on TV, games, Ads, music and in entertainment in general? The answer is simple… because it sells. What does that say about us as humans though? It seems that we have become so motivated by the dominant power of sex, that it drives our desire to buy into its lure. It also is because the industry benefits from a free, available built-in 4-D special effect in us humans. Movie makers don’t have to pay for it either. It leverages the natural exciting passions and sensations of sexual arousal and anxiety in humans. Who doesn’t want to be sexually aroused, right? Hence, this is your solution according to the entertainment industry. Our supply for your perceived demand. Their hidden motto probably reads like this; Let’s satisfy some human needs (not humane) and cater the fantasies of some at the expense of others. We will promote our own values whether they meet accepted decent criteria or not. We will establish our own boundaries. If you don’t like it, lump it.
The problem is, all humans are caught in that sexual net whether
- they are of age
- they want to
- their faith/spiritual disposition, family’s or moral standards allow
Who gives the entertainment industry the right to dictate or influence our personal values and those whom we love and are supposed to be nurturing? We may not allow them those rights in our physical homes and space but they sure have the freedom according to the constitution that allows them to do what they do. Let’s consider this though…The things that we probably don’t do in our own homes, we allow them to via the entertainment network. Think about that for a moment. Who has greater authority in your home?
The Entertainment Industry Driven by Market Research?
Are they solely responsible for what they dish out or do we have a part to play? Are they responding to what the market wants by producing the message in the movies via market research? If they are, then is it right for them to meet those “needs” knowing that they may be glorifying and adding to the problem. Should they not be offering solutions or are they mainly providing a service at any cost to meet the market’s demands? These are pertinent questions that need to be answered.
The Effects of Negative Influences and Entertainment on Society, Namely our Youth
There is astronomical research data out there that shows that we are seeing the results of “our” loved ones acting out because of the negative influences presented by various entertainment sources. Namely, movies citing exposure to violence, illicit sex, misrepresentation of normalcy, and pushed from every corner. What makes this more frightening is when the environment at home is an abusive one. Then there is no escape for those troubled ones when they engage in this form of negative entertainment.
It is said that by the time an ordinary teenager is 18, they would have witnessed approximately 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence on TV. (That’s nothing to do with gaming in which the occurrences are even greater per time spent playing). Now that’s serious if those reports are true. People, having been negatively influenced by media, will certainly be more complicated to deal with in every aspect of our lives. Our relationships and our society have been affected so what do we do? How can we break these controls and re-focus our efforts on restoring good values in our relationships again? How can we break free of the negative influences and the agendas of the entertainment industry?
It is possible that we have been partly molded by what we have consumed over the years, yes, but don’t fear. Everything has affected us in one way or another and it is not always bad. It has made us who we are today. In spite of the negatives, there were also some positives that kept us steadfast. Some of those negatives taught us how to be strong and provided great opportunities for us to showcase our integrity and character… If we have been paying any attention to life; then what we have learned should put us in a position to protect others from unnecessary harm.
Warning! These Steps Are Simple, but “Hard.” They Guarantee Results!
Below, is a guideline you can use to restructure your lives and improve values and quality time in your relationships. Enhance it however you like. You are your own authority. Once everyone is on board, the result of doing this can be phenomenal, if you manage to pull it off.
Turn off the TV(s)
– if using it for approved family entertainment, fine
– if using it to enhance a family meeting, fine
Turn off the computer
– if using it for work, fine
– if using for assignments, fine
– a little fun, fine
Remove access and unsupervised exposure to negative entertainment, from your underaged children
– Yes, that includes removing devices or internet and cable access from bedrooms (unless you can properly monitor them)
Read positive books that promote love, forgiveness, sharing, general education, and good values
Have regular family meetings and plan your own entertainment
Exercise and increase sporting activities
Spend quality time talking about the future and what is important to you
Play board games
Do this and watch your relationships improve and the quality of life become joyous and more meaningful. Life will also seem more like an eternity as time is redeemed and reallocated
Thanks for reading and join us for part 2 where we will go a little deeper into this topic…coming soon. Please share your views below in the comments and subscribe to our site for free ebooks on self-improvement and relationship topics.