“Perhaps the Pundit had once assumed that infidelity was a small blemish in a good man or woman. Now he saw things more clearly. Infidelity is not a deviation from our otherwise true self; it is a revelation of our real nature. We are, literally, infidels. Unfaithful to the God who created us it is hardly surprising if we prove to be unfaithful in the relationships he made for us.”
The Pundit’s Folly – Sinclair Furgeson
Our views on many things are often skewed by different variables in our lives. There are times that we judge things to be less than they are and sometimes we judge them to be more. Then there are times when we see the truth about things and have to re-evaluate our previously held understandings. In today’s society, it is easy to see things as less of a problem as they are in reality. With what we are exposed to in all forms of media, it tends to make us feel like we are doing well because we “aren’t like them.” When in actuality, we are just like them, just with a different story.
In a sense, we are like frogs in a pot of water not realizing that the temperature is rising. We are losing our social morals like a candle being burned at both ends. There are two areas that are eroding away at our society. First, is the desensitizing of what we are viewing and second, the bar just to be noticed, let alone become “famous,” is being raised in the wrong direction.
To show how parents who are desensitized lead to more desensitized children, there was a study done by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Parents were asked at what age (6 to 19 years of age) it would be ok to show certain movies to their children. They were asked this question each time after being shown a clip from a movie that contained violence or explicit sex. After the first, the parents were more conservative, stating a higher age. But as the study went on and the parents were shown more and more violent or explicit scenes, they began to be more tolerant in what they would let their children watch and by the end, the age they answered was younger and younger.
You can read the article on PluggedIn Online here.
Instead of the bar of talent being raised, it’s the bar of more extreme ways to get noticed that have nothing to do with the talent involved. Over the years, the media is allowing more violence and more explicit sex to be shown. Producers, artists and other people in the media are pushing the envelope in order to get ratings, gain viewers, likes, or whatever it takes to make money, be the next big thing or just to keep up. Stars that have become famous for one thing are now showing off more, literally, in order to stay in the spotlight. When someone has reached a certain level, and they start to slip, then off come the clothes or out comes the weirdness.
Combine these two things together and you get a snowball rolling down a huge mountain that is getting bigger and bigger and may trigger an avalanche. It works like this:
This isn’t a new thing. This has been going on for decades, but it’s getting worse and has built up momentum. So to stop it, we are going to need a lot of time and massive energy put in to reversing the trend.
As parents, we can help by checking out movies and music through sites like PluggeIn Online, or even the parental reviews on IMDB. We can stop this idea of, “well, they have already heard those words,” or, “they have already been exposed to this or that,” as justification for letting our children continue to watch movies with violent and explicit sex scenes. No one ever has said, “Well, he has already touched the hot stove so it’s ok if he does it again.” Just because we can’t see the immediate damage done by what our children are exposed to like we would see a burn, it doesn’t seem as dangerous or harmful. But what we expose our children to can create a longer lasting problem that comes out later in their relationships, job function and marriage. We can teach our children to be diligent to check things out before watching or listening to them. If it is supposed to matter to them, then it has to matter to us. As they say, “behaviors are caught, not taught.”
Again, this is going to take time and energy. The pendulum is still swinging in the wrong direction. We will have to stop that swing, apply pressure in the opposite direction, and continue to apply pressure to get it to swing in a positive direction.
Rob and Jenna Crenshaw are founders of Crossroads Club