The phrase does not literally mean that by watching TV you are going to gain weight, it is referring to the effect of media on people. The list goes on and on for what media gets blamed for, whether it can be justified or not. These things can include:
- Violence in children
- Decreased social behaviour = loss of social skills
- Bad body images
This view of media is a one, it focus’ and tries to pinpoint how media negatively affects people. But what people don’t put into consideration is that it’s not the TV programs, the magazines, the photos etc. that are having a negative effect, it is the way society use and perceive them.
This idea ties in with the phrase as it points out that it is not the guns fault just as it isn’t the media’s fault. It is not fair to blame it on the medium, as it is how the viewer views it and interprets it and how the user uses it.
These anxieties are not a new thi ng; they have started as early as the 18th century with the worry of ‘gothic’ novels affecting society. This further reinforces that it is a natural thing for society to worry.
A lot of research has been conducted to find out whether TV affects children, for example making them violent. One of the most popular research projects carried out was1* which involved a group of children watching an older woman hit a Bobo doll. They were then confined to a room with a Bobo doll, most children got bored and started to hit the doll just like the lady did. People tried to use this as evidence that TV does cause violence within children because the kids copied what they saw.2* But these results because if a kid is isolated in a room with nothing to do besides play with a Bobo doll then they are going to play with it and Bobo dolls are designed to be attacked.
The media 3*for the actions of others because TV programs, cartoons, social media etc. cannot force a person to do something. Social media is often blamed for bullying, but the truth is that bullying has been around for a lot longer than social media has, and maybe instead of blaming it on 4* blame it on the bullies. Kids and teenagers should know better than to bully, so society needs to stop finding excuses and head straight to where bullying starts.
It is easy to blame forms of media for the problems that we have in society but in most cases it isn’t justified. And in many ways media has made the world a better and more connected place.
1* DebateFilms. 2011. YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zerCK0lRjp8. [Accessed 12 March 15].
2* Bobo Doll Experiment | Simply Psychology. 2015. Bobo Doll Experiment | Simply Psychology. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.simplypsychology.org/bobo-doll.html. [Accessed 22 March 2015].
3* General Logon Page. 2015. General Logon Page. [ONLINE] Available at: http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage. [Accessed 22 March 2015].