Many Adolescent Problems Linked to Media Exposure

More than 170 studies going back over 28 years have concluded that heavy media exposure — everything from TV to cellphones to computer games — increases the risk of adolescent obesity, smoking, sex, drug and alcohol use, attention problems and poor grades, according to a report released by Common Sense Media (CSM), a non-profit child advocacy group.  So we have to ask the question – what do we do with this information?  What do you think?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • 75ac

    Media and technology aren't going to disappear or even diminish. We simply need to determine how we choose to interact with them and then think through how we plan to guide our children to make wise choices. Use the technology, don't serve it.

    I think many times media expposure is taking the place of something else in people's lives, which causes problems. Television, the internet, and video games are not substitutes for intimate relationships. Yet, for many kids and adults, TV and the internet are used to serve that purpose. The addictions that arise are based on a misplaced usage that somehow allows a service tool to become the thing that is served or allowed to have control.

  • Peter Brewer

    And don't forget violence. This is an article in todays edition of an Australian newspaper.

     http://www.theage.com.au/national/prep-students-beat-older-boy-as-he-lay-on-ground-hurt-20081205-6s1g.html

  • breaklight

    Same problem + different tool = (sub total)same result – self satisfaction = Grand total – emptiness. No time for God and no time for others = just self. There is nothing wrong with any of these things; media, technology, or whatever gadgets out there, it is just our incessant need to fill an insatiable longing which is to please and fulfil self and it only makes opressors of some and slaves of many. The problem is even us Christians are departing gradually from our need to walk with God daily and impart/express that lifestyle to our children and the people around us and with the course time are becoming servants of the things rather masters of the things (Genesis 1:26, 28) and servants of one another (Matthew 20:25-28).

  • eahaddix

    Phil Cooke (in his blog said) said: “So we have to ask the question–what do we do with this information?  What do you think?”

    I do not take studies which are quick to blame the media in general for causing society’s ills and stop their investigation of how media works at that point seriously.

    For example, as an avid player of console games like DOOM, Halo, Half-Life, Portal, the Elder Scrolls series, and many other such games, I can tell you that I have no urge to go out and kill or murder people. In fact, I value life to the point that I gently capture bugs which find their way into my home and safely release them outside, as opposed to simply smashing them—except for aggressive bugs like mosquitoes and roaches.

    Why? I would answer that this is because I can sense the value of life as a regenerated believer in Mashiyach Yehoshua. But then again, I do not doubt that an unregenerate person could feel the same way which I do for a different reason like raw principle alone.

    I could go on with the argument of unaccounted for exceptions, but you get the point.

    When all is said and examined, we inevitably get to the key point that the media and media in general simply enable the evil and self-destructive desires which already exist in and work within people already. The only difference is that 21st century media takes this enablement to new and higher levels than 20th century media ever could.

    And even if we did not have the media which we have now to enable people’s said desires, people would still be seeking other ways to enable their said desires.

    So, in light of this, blaming the media and media in general for any of society’s ills is naive and a waste of time. To do so is to essentially beat on a strawman.

    My point is that, as 75ac indicated, the media itself is not the issue at hand. The issues at hand are how we choose to react to what is in the media, how we choose to use media in general, and what underlies how we do the former two things.

    BTW, if the Millennial Generation, which includes myself, can see through these types of studies, then why cannot the older generations of Christians do the same?

    BTW, sorry for the double post. Apparently Disqus does not respond well to copy and pastes from Microsoft Word, so I had to clean up this post. Please delete the first copy of this post. Thanks in advance.

    • Thanks for the post. You raise an interesting point. However, I own a few guns.  I’m a good shot, and very safety conscious. But sadly, not everyone is that way.  Some people have problems with guns.  They do bad things.  Some even kill people.  So because of those very few people who are affected by guns, we have to take guns very seriously, and in some cases enact laws restricting their use. Obviously it’s not the guns themselves, but the people who can’t handle using them well.  
      I’m sure you’re not impacted at all by violent or sexualized video games, movies, or other media.  But research indicates that some people are.  As a result, I believe we need to take the media seriously and in some cases look for ways to mitigate potential damage it could cause – especially to young children.