Media immersion may be stunting moral development

Is Technology Preventing Two Key Ingredients for Kids’ Relationships?, Huffington Post, March 6, 2013.

A concise and valuable piece by psychologist Jim Taylor that drives home a few major ideas. The media world in which kids immerse themselves is often violent, highly sexual and glamorizing of drugs and alcohol. These are the issues that grab the headlines. But the underlying world often depicted by the media is self-centered and uncaring, lacking in empathy or selflessness.

So many characters in films and TV shows are out for themselves, striving or money or success at any price.

While there are many shows and films that do not fit this negative characterization, many do. And so the subliminal message is far from helpful for many children’s moral development.

The other side is troubling. If kids live for many, many hours a day in a world swimming in confusing moral messages, they are not exposed as heavily to more positive messages of caring, empathy and concern for the well-being of others, ones presented them by caring parents and teachers, family and friends.