English 102. 1007
19 February 2014
The Small Silver Line Telly, boob-tube, silver screen, receiver, vid, small screen, television: all are different names for the same piece of technology that broadcasts shows and other programs as a form of entertainment. In the past several years, the television programs that are intended for children have become much more progressive, introducing subjects such as boyfriends and girlfriends, bullies and failed marriages. Although the topics that are touched upon are extremely prevalent in present day, the question of whether or not television and progressive technology forces children to mature quicker than before is being debated everywhere. Researchers Stephen Kline, David Elkine, Min Zhou and Don Tapscott all agree that there is a definite rise in mature topics being induced in television geared for children, where as other researchers such as Robert Ian Vere Hodge insist that the progressive topics and technology are a teaching mechanism, exposing children to real life sooner, allowing them to not grow up in a bubble like many children of the past were forced to.
Stephen Kline and David Elkine assert that the problem with exposing children to the maturity of current television is that it numbs their minds to social issues that should be brought up with time and in small doses, rather than being discussed within the confines of a Disney channel show. Elkine says that, “parents have become so numbed to the swearing, nudity, overt sexual activity, and violence in movies that we have become less vigilant about letting our children watch this material,” agreeing with Kline who says that, “ For advertisers of products aimed at least partly at children in made commercial sense to sponsor ‘family programmes’ (which would include both children of all ages and parents in the audience) over programs more narrowly aimed at young kids alone (Kline 2).” Kline goes on to state that because children do not have money to pay for the programming, the television industry began marketing programs that would appeal to both children and adults, creating the lack of a definitive demographic that there once was within the television industry. Kline also states, “networks would assimilate whatever increased revenues arose from the growing advertiser interest in children into a very narrow production mandate.” Both Kline and Elkine agree that because children are placed in a shallow demographic that is fairly non-definitive, the content lacks a marker that indicates when topics are too mature for the age group. Growing up with two younger sisters, I have seen the changes that the television world has undergone, transitioning from shows that always had an educational message and a set of morals that the young audience could take away from the program. Nowadays, the only goal is entertainment, blending the line between what is appropriate for the age group that is targeted and what could be considered entertaining for a broader audience. By forcing parents to be more attentive to the children
One of the reoccurring subjects that protrudes children’s television programs is technology. Living in 2014, technology is a crucial aspect of the world and communication as we know it. However, one line that television shows frequently cross is the subject matter of how young the children on the screen are, and what level of technology they possess. For example, in the Disney Channel show, “Liv and Maddie,” the main characters, 14, have a younger brother that is supposed to be eight in the story line. However, the 8 year- old has a laptop, an iPad and an iPhone to his disposal, often being implemented into his story lines. [INSERT QUOTE FROM ZHOU ABOUT DISNEY AND TECHNOLOGY XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX]
The expectation of owning advanced technology has risen, making it difficult for parents to deny their children a