Monday, 27 July 2015

Change that Channel: Putting on Blinders or Protecting your Children?

Growing up in a household where Doordarshan was the only channel on television in classes X, XI and XII, I know how hard it is to be relegated to a monotonous voice saying something while you attempt to “make” something out of your life, “work hard now to reap fruits later” and “study hard, college is all about fun”.

Parents regularly attempt to contain their children’s consumption of television content by locking channels, unsubscribing to them, denying permission and deriding their choices if they watch channels they think are unsuitable or “not good” for them.

Putting on Blinders

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Now, is it not possible that the parents, by restricting access to content, are limiting their children’s exposure to the wider range of experiences available to the next generation? Are they not putting on blinders on their children? Are they not letting them see a partial worldview by limiting the content that they watch?

Apart from the news, there are many such topics which have a variety of opinions and each need to be viewed and heard to have a complete understanding of the same. By restricting half of the content, a partial message is conveyed and ideas that are developed then tend to move only in one direction. There is a certain lack of objectivity, and in some cases, radically and disastrously so.

Protection from Bad Influence

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It is not always that parents restrict content to their children based n their own prejudices. It may also be so that they may actively attempt to curate television content in a way that only the best things come across. But this is also based own personal experiences and prejudice. Subjectivity would probably hamper the development process; however, that does not in any way lessen the importance of good intentions.

However, it must be noted that content on television is monitored and not a lot of content is actually there to subvert young minds. But, a check definitely needs to be kept. How? Now that is the real problem. Also, who can decide what is good and bad? Isn’t that too subject to personal prejudices?

The Million Dollar Question

How does one objectively curate content for children in such a way that it protects them from supposed bad influences while giving them an impartial worldview of all that television has to offer?

Do you have an answer or perhaps an opinion or observation you’d like to share? Well, let’s hear it.

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