Sunday, September 26, 2021

History Repeats Itself

It is currently fashionable to dump on social media and the problems it raises for kids. I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal that, for instance, teenage girls become upset and depressed when they see perfect looking women on Instagram. Where did they get the idea of how the perfect looking person looks? Did it not start at home? I am male and my mother wanted to be sure my hair was trimmed and combed. Also, I had to be properly dressed in case we met a friend of theirs of a client of my father’s. In the 50’s this was just proper upbringing. These concepts are fed to children from parents, teachers, classmates, magazines and everywhere you look.

The upset with the media is nothing new. In 1954 Estes Kefauver, Senator from Tennessee, became chairman of the committee to investigate the comic book industry to show that comics contributed to juvenile delinquency. According to an article by Betsy Gomez written on the event’s 60th anniversary, at the hearings Kefauver featured Fredric Wertham, his star witness, who “frequently targeted Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, crime, and horror comics, using pseudoscience to claim that comics caused juvenile delinquency, homosexuality (then considered a mental illness), violent crime, and more.” Today, we read about students killing other students, so it seems the juvenile delinquent issue has gotten even worse and what good did curbing comics do?

An article from June 4, 2020, in the New York Times is titled “Is the News Too Scary for Kids?” There it recommends that you wait until the age of 7 before exposing the innocent. The article goes on to speak of responsible parenting, not hiding the news but guiding your child through it by teaching what is good and bad.

There have always been tabloids such as “The National Enquirer”. At the grocery store or many other places such as news boxes around town your child is exposed to the salacious news that these tabloids feed off of.

Why not stop the sources that feed these ideas rather than dump on social media which now comes to us in a much more easily accessible manner? Why? Because it is much easier to go after the low hanging fruit.

Recently, from the Washington Post, “In one of dozens of recent (media) appearances, Ohio attorney Thomas Renz was claiming that Coronavirus vaccines were more harmful that the virus itself.” At the same time, across the screen a request came to donate to his cause including his website.

Why not boot him and his media facilitators off the air? In this country you cannot stop someone from saying something because of the first amendment but you can or at least try to stop the source from which it is reported. You want to restrict social media but not Fox News?

No, it is not social media that led to the January 6 insurrection but individuals who started the whole idea. Yes, I agree social media should try to delete misstatements of fact or the promotion of violence, but to tell you the truth I could have never imagined that this kind of misinformation and action could actually start in the White House … and you want to blame social media? Excuse me ...

I personally don’t believe social issues, from teenagers’ behavior to attempts to bring down democracy can be blamed on social media. It is just a means of communication and spreading misinformation like television or the tabloids.

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