Americans: “Media Assault Our Morals”
In most American living rooms, the placement of the furniture can be accurately predicted by one main factor. It is not how space might be most efficiently used or how one might better converse with other members of the household, but rather how everyone can get the best view of the television while maintaining easy access to the snacks.
After all, the average American adult watches tv for 1,700 hours a year—over 4½ hours a day, every day.
How is this tv binging affecting our nation’s morals? The Culture and Media Institute has released a report called “The Media Assault on Moral Values,” which reveals that people are pretty concerned about the answer to that question, even if they express their concern from well-worn positions on the sofa.
The study draws four primary conclusions.
First, people believe the media have contributed to a moral decline. Most agree that the media’s overall effect is negative, with only 9 percent of Americans claiming media have a positive effect on morals. Slightly surprising is that most recognize the news media as a culprit; only 11 percent feel the news media impact us positively. Less shocking: the highest percentage—73 percent—blame Hollywood.
Second, those who watch tv heavily are less likely to take personal responsibility. The study dubs those who watch an hour or less of television per evening “light television viewers”; earning the label “heavy television viewer” requires at least four hours per evening. Thus, the average American qualifies. Heavy tv viewers are far less likely to contribute to charity and volunteer their time. They are more likely to feel that the government has a responsibility to provide for their retirement (presumably so they can watch more tv). They are less likely to “respect the rights of others by practicing classical virtues like honesty, reliability and fairness.” They hold a more lax view toward issues like pre-marital sex, abortion and homosexuality.
Third, the media undermine religion. As the study put it, “The more a person watches television, the less likely he is to value religious principles and obedience to God.” Heavy tv watchers are far less likely to attend a church regularly.
Fourth, the media have a seductive effect. The report says, “The more a person watches tv, the less likely he is to believe the media are influencing the nation’s moral values.” A full 20 percent more light tv viewers believe the media harms moral values than heavy tv viewers. People who watch television for longer periods are gradually desensitized to the immorality the media portray and find it more palatable.
This study makes it clear that television has a negative effect on our lives. To read more about these effects and to understand how you can better combat them without throwing away your tv, read “Beware the Stranger in Your Home.”
Also on theTrumpet.com:
• Beware the Stranger in Your Home