“Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?”
This scripture talks about the inevitability of sin having an effect on us.
We’ve all heard that media violence can lead to behavior, but yet we still watch it. By the time a child graduates from elementary school, he/she will have witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence (Bushman & Anderson, 2001). Media violence is everywhere. Sometimes it can be easy to accept some shows that are free from other inappropriate material and justify it as OK because “it’s just violence.” It’s as if media violence isn’t all that harmful.
Isn’t that a little scary when you think about it? Who would ever dispute the fact that smoking leads to lung cancer? No one. We all accept that fact. And yet when it comes to media violence, it’s easy to dismiss its effect on our own behaviors. Why is that?
Some researchers call it the “third person effect” in that we tend to believe that others are far more likely than we are to be affected by the media we consume. Perhaps we think we can expose ourselves to “a little violence” and still retain complete control over our thoughts and behaviors. But the influence that media violence can have on us is a lot stronger we realize. And because its effect is more subtle in that we don’t notice how much it is affecting us, perhaps it is more dangerous than some other types of content.
“Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you.”
-For the Strength of Youth
Personal Notes: I believe the media can have subtle effects on our development that we need to be aware of. Satan would have us believe that we are immune to the effects of violence. I know I’ve made the excuse plenty of times that “oh it’s just violence,” but after learning about this research, it really made me realize how deceived I had been.