Have We Become Desensitized to Violence in Media?

violent_mediasmallThe right to freedom of the press versus the right to privacy—which should we value more?  Is it okay to watch someone be humiliated, ridiculed, or even turn into a meme, all for the sake of hits and laughs?  The First Amendment is one of the most valued and protected laws of which this country holds dear, and yet we all feel entitled to our right for privacy.

Completely banning violent  images and videos from the web would be unnecessary censorship that would only keep us blind to what’s going on in the world.  It would also certainly be violating our First Amendment rights; some people actually want their dumb, dangerous stunts and pranks posted on the internet for attention.  Why deny them the right to a little bit of fleeting fame?

Our generation is already quickly becoming accustomed and desensitized to blood, guts, and gore.  We declare any horror film “boring” if the murder or torture scenes don’t look as realistic as possible.  In fact, my boyfriend and I watched the 1981 original Evil Dead in preparation for the remake coming out in April. I was laughing heartily at the horrible make-up and special effects of blood and milk.  I actually do not see this as a terrible thing. By at least having an idea of what violence looks like, we become a little braver and more prepared to see that in real life.

The only way violent images could become a serious problem or threat is if some Untraceable type of ish starts happening and psychos start posting up videos of themselves killing victims and people login to watch the carnage.  Fortunately, we don’t know of a site that currently exists like that, and if it did I’m sure some agency would be able to track ‘em down and shut it off quick.

Another way in which these violent images could become a problem is when young children start thinking it’s okay to kill others.

Oh, wait. That’s already happening. 

Although I am against censorship, I do believe that the overabundance of violent imagery in media (including “fight club” type posts on a variety of websites) is negatively influencing today’s youth. The idea that some people can rise to fame through the publicizing of super ratchet (and violent) actions has become a common belief for many teens and children these days; this is just a large misconception of society that is plaguing our young ones. Believing that you will be praised for your actions versus reprimanded for them is a false allusion taking the fight-video-producing-aficionados by storm.  This is why violent images and videos should continue to have age limits.  Although parents have the ability to vigilantly set up parental blocks and restrictions for websites or television channels in their homes, there should be more done on a corporate and national level to reduce or prohibit violent images in media that is directly targeted towards youth.

If you don’t think so, then I ask you to look at the  crime and death rates in urban neighborhoods like Chicago and Detroit. Examine the amount of killings for persons under the age of 24. All too real, right? 

As a nation we may have become desensitized to the blood and gore that splashes on our television screens and in video games, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that something must be done to reduce the number of young eyeballs impacted by visual violence.


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