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Teen getting agressive
School used to be one of the safest places for teenager to be. Parents used to not worry about their kids when they were at school. These things are changing in our real life; school is not the safest place anymore. There is a lot of violence happening almost everyday in schools. Some of the violence is deadly, such as killing. There are many reasons that make teenagers to become very aggressive. One of the causes is from the media and the materials they show.
The violence in school is becoming more talked about since the shooting in Colorado. The two teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were the two who committed the mass killing of their schoolmates in high school. Many people got killed and injured. They were addicted to the violent games Doom and Quake. They had their Internet homepage filled with hate speeches. Since then, there have been many similar tragedies happening through out the country. Recently, on March 5th 2001 there was a similar case that happened. Andy Williams, 15, carried a gun to the school and killed 2 schoolmates and hurt 13 people. A lot of violence is happening as Rina Goldberg said, Teenagers in junior high and high school have been lashing out at their peers and teachers, gunning down tens of people, injuring and killing them. Since 1992, there have been 220 violent deaths on school grounds, an average of 37 per year. (Goldberg)
I am not that far from the stage of being a teenager and I grew up with a lot of video games and many other media, but I really think that the violence in the media that is available for teens should be changed It is a very important issue that everyone can help. This is because the teen violence rate has been the highest among other ages since a while ago. (See the end graph.) There are many reasons to support my opinion about teenagers negatively influenced by the media.
The above information shows that teenagers are being more and more aggressive. How did they get information on using a gun, killing people or other actions? I doubt that their parents teach them how to kill people or even hurt anyone. It is the media that show teens about the violence. Parents may cause teens to have emotional problems, but it would not be so harmful without those examples or some specific techniques from the media. First, the most familiar form of violence for teenagers comes from computer and video games. The two murderers in the Colorado massacre are an example. They were addicted to the game, which included blood and killing called Doom. This is the game where the first person walks in the dungeons to kill monsters. There is a lot of blood in it.
Computer and video games are one of the important businesses in USA. Computer and video games are the fastest-growing form of media in the lives of America s children, especially boys. A sizable segment of the gaming industry produces games that feature and glorify violence and antisocial behavior. (Violent Games Can Affect Teen Behavior) In 1998, around 181 million computer games were sold in USA, which averages approximately two games for every household. Then around 6 percent of these games are those violent games such as Doom and many other bloody games. There are unimaginable amount of teen playing games, as show in the following statistic, eighty-four percent of U.S. teens play video games, and 92 percent of boys play them. Teen are also spending more time playing games: Boys now average 10 hours a week (Violent Games Can Affect Teen Behavior)
Violent games are everywhere. For example, when I was walking in the mall in Thailand, there were a lot of people waiting to rent a computer and play a network game. This is very similar to Doom, but instead of killing other programmed units, this game makes you able to fight against your friends in the military field. Violence is not only from those computer games, but also from the arcade games. At the arcade center you will see a lot of teens playing games such as House of the Deaths or Area 51 and many more. These are the first person shooting games that are equipped with gun controllers and provide realistic shooting situations. The players will face monsters coming toward them, and then just shoot them when they are close. Is not that like killing someone? The video game Quake put out by Midway Games and ID software, the same company as the producer of Doom consists of a lone gunman confronting a variety of monsters. For every kill, he gets points. As he advances in the game, the weapons he uses grow more powerful and more glory. (Hanson) There are corpses and blood and the feeling of killing people. Some of the kids who play these games are not even ten years old. If the games are so real, how would the immature kids know which one is the reality and which one is a game? It is very awkward to walk around and see kids smiling and laughing while killing lives, even though it is in the games. There is no such glory for killing.
Another form of the media, which is also a source of violence, is the Internet. Nowadays many of teenagers have access to the Internet, both from homes and from schools or colleges. It is very popular and very common for the past few years. The materials on the Internet can be very useful or it can be very harmful. From the Colorado shooting tragedy, the shooter even had an essay on how to make a pipe bomb posted on his web page. This is very common nowadays. Everyone can get any information about everything over the Internet. A lot of information is useful, but not that kind of information such as, making a bomb. Who will guarantee that the audiences are mature enough to know how dangerous the information that is. Once, my friend showed me the websites that have all kinds of information to do bad things. The web actually tells how to make various kinds of bombs, how to cheat on all kinds of machines, such as coin exchange machine, and how to blow up a car with only a couple chemicals that you can get from the school lab. These harmful materials are very hard to avoid because it is very difficult to have censorship of the materials on the Internet. For me, and for many other people, we think that it is interesting to see, just for the knowledge. On the other hand, some people might take it far too seriously.
This is very important, and we should not let it happening over and over again. No one would want their children to go to school if there are people who are getting killed at schools. Gaming and going online can be both positive and negative. There is no way to stop the violence in it, but there are ways to prevent kids from using them. Parents are a very important issue to do this. Parents do not have to restrict kids, but at least monitor them. Parents could turn the harmful media into very useful information to teach teenagers about the danger from it. Watching games their kids are interested in, and talking to them about what is going on at school are some examples of doing it. Parents need to show their kids they are really care about them. This will help to give kids a support, which is very important for them.
I really think that the media is extremely important. It can lead teens to be good and bad at the same time. I could see that there are many violent actions shown in the media. There is something that we can do to help. Parents are very good sources to help monitor teens, but it is very difficult for every parents to do that. Therefore, we, parents and friends, should teach what is right or wrong and try to avoid the violence from the media as much as we can. It sounds complicated, but it is actually what can help the society. This could be done, such as checking the rating of the video games and the movies before allowing children to see them. Parents can give them creative and non-violent games to play. Games with out violence do not mean that it is not fun. Changing everything suddenly is very hard, but it can be done step by step. This way we will be able to decrease the violence in teens.
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