Impact of Social Media and Television on Teenagers and Children

When I was in 4th grade, I visited a friend’s house to stay the weekend.  Being curious kids and having free reign over the place, we hung out in one of the bedrooms watching television.  After some time we grew bored of what was on and started digging through the VHS tapes in the cabinet and inserted an unmarked tape.  A few minutes into the movie, the actors were undressed, very naked, and extremely active in their affections.  We had found porn!!  You know that icky, stomach-churning feeling you get when you are totally disgusted?  The sickness was overpowering.

Fast forward 25+ years and my 5th grade daughter comes home from public school crying.  She explains that her teacher stepped out of the class today and several of the students pulled out their cell phones and started showing pictures and videos of people naked and having sex, as if it were a contest to find the most explicit acts of sex in the few minutes they had available before the teacher returned.  My daughter was horrified and forever destroyed by the images put in front of her face by her fellow classmates.  They seemed to enjoy her reaction of shock and disgust as a new, previously-homeschooled student in their school.  We withdrew her shortly after that.

Parents must be aware what our world has become and what children are facing in schools, on social media, and on television.  The desensitization of nudity, profanity, violence, and pornography is making a tremendous impact in the behavior and relationships of our children.  Even more, parents must realize that this desensitization and exposure will affect their child’s future marriage and how they view intimacy and their spouse.

Take hold of this fact.  The number one consumers of internet porn in the world are 12-17 year old boys.  Boys are learning from this young age what sex is supposed to look like, along with what intimacy is.  They are taking these expectations into relationships with women, who ultimately fail because they are not actresses.  Boys also develop a view of women as objects and as a means to pleasure and satisfaction. 

Taking that fact a step further, every 24 hours 1,000 teens give birth to a child out of wedlock.  Three million American teenagers contract an STD each year.  The impact of television, social media, and internet sites are hurting our children.  Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows”, wrote that “as our window onto the world, and onto ourselves, a popular medium molds what we see and how we see it – and eventually, if we use it enough, it changes who we are, as individuals and as a society.”  Social media and television are actually changing our values, justifying what we see as normal and acceptable, and impacting the way we see each other and the world around us.

Open your eyes.  Pay attention.  Pornography is becoming the new PG-13.  Commercials and local television channels are becoming more and more relaxed with what they entertain families with.  How do you prevent this from destroying your children and their minds?  Turn it off.  It’s that simple.  Take a stand and take charge with what their minds are consuming.  This simple step will impact their future relationships, their behavior, and their intimacy in the future. Everything you do now will impact generations.

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