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The enemy in your living room

The most important unit in any society based on good solid values for daily life, is the family structure, where young minds usually get their first exposure to the positives, and negatives, of human behaviour.

So much has changed over the last 40 or 50 years with societies around the world, that the family, as some of us remember it, is threatened with an enemy hidden between the modern world of gadgets and modern entertainment, including games packed with violent activity, where human life has no value.

Even some of the music videos which are so popular with many young people, are laced with anti-social and negative suggestive themes, that in no way helps to build character, or promote good family values.

In America debate has been raging for years over the quality of entertainment, and the effect it is having on young people. However, when one goes up against a multi billion dollar industry where profit matters the most, many voices calling for change, are left crying in the wilderness and little is done to address the problem.

In other words, in today's materialistic and thrill seeking climate, there are those who say, ‘if it is making money, sell it'.

Although there have been many horrific tragedies in the United States that have been traced back to an unstable young mind and exposure to violent entertainment material, promoters will argue that thousands of children use their product, without acting out in real life what the games portray.

While that maybe true, it is no comfort to victims when someone in possession of a powerful weapon decides to take lives as though it is a game. Recently in the US a young boy who been watching a violent video game, took possession of a gun and killed his grandmother, who was baby sitting him. Accidental or intentional, it was a horrible act that left more questions than answers.

America is a wonderful country with many beautiful people, but they also know that lurking in the shadows of a changed world, there are increasing dangers from the vulnerable who are unable to distinguish fantasy from reality. Of course this threat is most dangerous in a society where there seems to be more guns than people.

Here in Bermuda, parents today face a mammoth task in trying to instil traditional values in the face of an avalanche of negative material rolling down the hill of cyber space, exploding right in our living rooms.

While modern communication has opened up many windows for learning, one has to be watchful of the highly questionable material slipping through the pipeline disguised as entertainment.

With so many gadgets to access just about anything, parents today cannot possibly monitor what their children are being exposed to on a daily basis. In fact some children are so busy in this world of texting and tweeting, they hardly have time to have a conversation with their parents.

Sadly much of this can occur in your living room right under the parents' noses.

Movies and television quality also continues to be an issue with parents around the world, as the entertainment industry competes for attention by marketing whatever sells, with more thought about dollars, than values.

This is why some of the older films have a quality that stands out from much of the material produced today. This is not to say there are no good films made, but when the audience develops an appetite for blowing up buildings every three minutes, with raging gun battles. As Al Capone once said during prohibition, ‘I only give the people what they want'.

Parents today have to be careful that they don't finding themselves giving their children what they want, instead of what they need.

I was happy to have a father tell me the other day, his son had his 16th birthday and did not receive a bike which so many children feel entitled to. Peer pressure with young people can be damaging if a child is not anchored in confidence with family values.

The future of Bermuda will not depend entirely on what economic ventures we undertake, but how well we preserve the family and the values that matter.

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Published September 10, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 09, 2013 at 6:55 pm)

The enemy in your living room

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