Point The Finger

ImageHave you met our good old friend Mr. Media? Yeah, that’s him, just there – the one with the balaclava and criminal record.

About 93.7% of people will admit he is the culprit of all our problems. Overweight kids? Blame television. Violent teenagers? It’s video games I tell you! Global warming? Yep, must be the media again.

As simple as it may be to point the finger at the media, it’s actually quite naïve. Although the ever-growing media scene does have a widespread influence on society, it cannot carelessly be made the culprit, and we the victims. How can we blame the producers of content for the way our innocent children turn out when with everyday that passes, we are becoming the ultimate producers?

The blame game is an easy one to play, and when the media can be so vicious and inconsiderate, we will readily and happily attack it, however as horrible as the media can be, it is not the problem. The issues begin to arise with the way in which we implement and view media, and the role we give it in our own individual lives.

Just have a watch of this video if you’re not already feeling a little silly about thoughtlessly blaming video games – and don’t try to deny it! We’ve all done it! (a cautionary note: no animals or humans were harmed in the making of this video – so have no fear, Joe is a-okay)

Over the process of writing this blog I have already checked Facebook 15+ times, Twitter on 3 occasions and the television is constantly roaring at me in the background. The media is everywhere we look, and to make matters worse we hunt for it! We cannot blame it for ruining our lives, if we cannot control our intake of it. That’s as ignorant as blaming McDonalds for making you fat, yet you don’t make an effort to avoid the place. Don’t expect results if you lack willpower; or in this case, don’t hate on the media when you are the one shoving it down your own throat!

Sure, it doesn’t help when there is a McDonalds on almost every street in town (especially for people like me, who have an unshakable attraction towards all things oily and sweet) but I just don’t have the right, or the guts for that fact, to sue the poor guys for satisfying my midnight carb-cravings. Was it really McDonald’s fault that I, on my own whim, decided to jump in the car, drive to the closest store, enthusiastically push through the cue to order that delectable Hot Fudge Sundae? Surely I cannot prosecute the girl at the counter when I’m the one who says “Yes, yes I would like fries with that, because what goes better with fattening ice cream than a nice stack of fried potato!”

I think of it like this:

When I was growing up, I was a PlayStation addict. I played all the classics: Spyro, Sonic, Need for Speed, and of course Crash Bandicoot. I would wake up extra early in order to beat my sister to the controller and would play until my mum yelled me off. When I walked away from that little console I didn’t suddenly decide to jump off of my roof to see if I could fly like a dragon, and I certainly didn’t set to the streets in search of a pimped-out car that I could race. Although these examples seem pitiful, the point I am endeavoring to make is that pure imitation is not what is going on, especially in cases such as Martin Bryant’s.

Here we have a man who pled guilty to the murder of 35 people. At first glance, the excuses for his traumatic killing spree were put down to numerous ‘violent’ videos found in his room, accompanied by bestial pornography. It is easy to say that these things are what caused his unstable nature, but if we dig deeper we find that Bryant had an extremely low IQ, suffered social isolation and there was a high chance that he had autism. The notion of causality (that one thing causes another thing to happen) would suggest that Bryant’s interest in violent videos and his struggle with pornography led him to become a heartless murderer, however, it is not that clear-cut. The world continually blames the media, and uses its evolution as a justification for people’s actions, however an individual’s personal circumstances, upbringing and experiences should be the target of the blame game.

So let’s all remember, when we point a finger towards the media, there’s 3 more pointing back at us.

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One response to “Point The Finger”

  1. sociallemming says :

    How we go about our daily lives is not as simple as ‘monkey see, monkey do’. Yet journalists have and continue to exercise these ‘assumptions’ into overly sensationalise media content. Whether we consider obesity/fast food advertisements or violent and or aggressive acts/M15+ films or video games (as you’ve highlighted) the media continues to paint a false picture. Good job 🙂

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