The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

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The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Interconnectedness of Media and Violence

The specter of violence is everywhere we look and its changing who we are.

In our day and age there are so many different ways people litter the internet through media. This can include through the news, social media, video games, and television. There is already so much violence and conflict that occurs in our world, and promoting and providing access to these examples of violence to everyone on a daily basis desensitizes individuals to violence. The main issue is normalizing seeing and absorbing violence to the point of desensitization. This changes the way we think about violence, and sometimes convinces us that it might not be such a bad thing.

The news is a melting pot of negative aspects of humanity and we see violent events that occur on a daily basis and maybe after consistently seeing about school shootings or robberies we forget how truly tragic those events are. Consuming violence through the media can also inspire violent ideas that might not have been thought of if the media had not conveyed it. Controversies from the recent conflicts between Israel and Palestine have created a lot of hate, propaganda, and misinformation. 

The news outlets conveying this to us from halfway across the world causes individuals who have nothing to do with this event to take sides and create their own ignorant opinions and hate against other people. False information can fuel conspiracy theories, stoke fear and distrust, and incite violence against specific groups or individuals. The viral nature of social media means that misinformation can spread rapidly, reaching millions of users within minutes and influencing their perceptions and beliefs.

Among the younger generations social media is one of the more popular methods of visual consumerism and as a teenager what we see on our phones on a daily basis profoundly affects the way we think. Quick entertainment methods such as TikTok and Instagram are platforms that have promoted several different ways of quickly entertaining individuals casually scrolling through the app. It is not out of the norm to see people dying in a tragic accident or act of violence in these TikToks or reels. Seeing such raw violence so easily intensely desensitizes us. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to violent imagery on social media can desensitize individuals to real-world violence, making them more likely to engage in aggressive behavior themselves. Aside from the consumer part of social media, it is also how people communicate online. Furthermore, cyberbullying, a form of violence, which often occurs on social media platforms, can have devastating consequences for victims, leading to depression, anxiety, and even suicide.

One of the most notable and popular forms of violence through the media comes from video games. Video games are a form of fun and entertainment for millions of people around the world ranging from kids to adults. Of the several effects video games can have on us the most negative byproducts come from excessive use of violent video games from a young age. It changes the brain chemistry and behavior. 

The University of Michigan conducted a longitudinal study of elementary school students to examine violent video game exposure. The results show that playing violent video games resulted in increases in aggressive behavior over time. 

According to the survey: “Results indicated that children who played more violent video games early in a school year changed to see the world in a more aggressive way and also changed to become more verbally and physically aggressive later in the school year. Changes in attitude were noticed by both peers and teachers.”

Media and violence are very much interconnected. It is up to each individual to be mindful of the types of media they consume and the messages and values that they promote.