Infatuated With Violence
THE world today is infatuated with violence. To be sure, violence has always been featured in entertainment. However, “in recent years,” says the Media Awareness Network, “something about media violence has changed. For one thing, there’s more of it.” For another, it is “much more graphic, much more sexual, and much more sadistic.” Consider the following.
Music: Songs featuring increasingly violent lyrics “have moved into the mainstream of the music industry,” says the above source. Using filthy language, some songs glorify murder and rape, even of wives and mothers.
Video Games: “The uncomfortable fact is, videogames have an unhealthy obsession with bloodshed,” stated a British magazine for video-game enthusiasts. It added: “To some degree, a love of videogames demands a love of violence.” For example, one popular game enables players to simulate beating women to death with baseball bats. Some authorities believe that video games, being interactive, may have a more powerful negative influence on children than TV does.
Movies: Studies show that violence, sex, and profanity have increased significantly in movies, and ratings may not be a reliable guide. Moreover, it is not just the “bad guys” who are violent. Nearly half the violence depicted on TV, in movies, and in music videos is committed by the “good guys,” according to one study.
News: “If it bleeds, it leads” is the guiding principle for many TV-news producers. News is big business, and newsmen know that violence attracts viewers and that high viewer ratings attract advertisers, who finance TV programming in many lands.
Web Sites: Both virtual and real-life images of torture, dismemberment, mutilation, and murder are available on the Internet. Many children visit these sites.
Can Media Violence Influence You?
Does violence in television, movies, books, music, and other forms of entertainment influence people? Granted, those profiting from media violence often argue that their products do no harm. But consider this: To influence people’s thinking, the business world pays billions of dollars for commercials, each of which may be just 30 seconds in length. Is it reasonable, then, to assume that a 90-minute movie, the heroes of which may be immoral and violent, will have little or no effect, especially on the impressionable minds of children?
Our Creator, Jehovah God, knows human nature far better than we do. What has he told us about associating with violent people—including, in principle, those who entertain us through the popular media? Consider the following Bible texts:
● “Jehovah himself examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one, and anyone loving violence His soul certainly hates.”—Psalm 11:5.
● “Do not have companionship with anyone given to anger; and with a man having fits of rage you must not enter in, that you may not get familiar with his paths and certainly take a snare for your soul.”—Proverbs 22:24, 25.
Of course, we cannot cut ourselves off from exposure to all bad influences. But we can choose our entertainment and the people with whom we socialize. So ask yourself, ‘What sort of person do I want to be?’ Then associate with people like that, people who have the same values and goals that you want to have.—Proverbs 13:20.
While our choice of associates and entertainment may influence our attitude toward violence, other factors may also influence us. What might these be?
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Our choice of entertainment may influence our attitude toward violence