Friday, April 18, 2008


I don't write commentaries, reviews or factual thoughts. I am more into creative writing. I am not a psychologist either, so I don't claim expertise in this field. A reader however told me, I have to write something about my campaign if I wanted other readers to support me - so I will try my darnedest best to write this piece.

There are several factors affecting how the young are developed and molded into adults. These are the environment in which they grew in, the people around them, their genetic make-up, and their experiences and interactions with society.

A child who grew amidst love would think that the world "out there" is a "loving" world. On the other hand, the child who grew up amidst violence will assume that it is normal for people to hurt each other. Children will learn as they grow up that there is always the good and the bad and that these two exist in the real world. The belief they acquired; however, during their vulnerable childhood days, would be more predominant in developing their personality.

Exposure to violence as a kid, will have its lasting effects. These maybe deep seated or just "floating" on the surface of the child's subconscious. This will depend upon the intensity of his experiences. One thing is certain though - whatever memory he would have acquired, would be indelible.

Some Philippine local TV programs have made violence as a selling point of their drama series/soap operas. There is no problem with adults watching these programs because they are able to identify the real from the fantasy world, but children do not have adult discernment to be able to do so.

People would say, "so don't allow the child to watch!" This is not possible though because families belonging to the lower economic stratum who have only one room - living room cum bedroom - are not allowed this luxury. and these families are growing in numbers!

The most convenient and cheapest method of entertainment they could afford is the TV. While the mother puts the child to sleep, she watches; and the child's eyes are also glued to the TV, while trying to get some sleep.

Every single day, I watched the characters in these soaps in various violent scenes. They maybe in a gunfight, pulling each other's hairs, slapping each other or shouting at each other. These scenes say to the children that problems and conflicts could not be settled amicably and peacefully; that we have to be violent to settle disputes. Even family members plot and kill each other in some "soaps".

Are these the values we would like our children to learn? Several researches have proven that indeed violence on TV negatively influences children. (kindly read related links to this site) As one researcher observed that most people believe this is so, but as expected, people in the TV industry do not believe in the results of these scientifically conducted studies.

I know it would be hard work for the TV people to create a high rating soap opera that does not involve violence, but that is the challenge I confront them with. (I wrote two letters to the TV station without getting any replies - if I may say so that was rude) A talented and creative writer/producer would be able to write/produce TV soaps which would concentrate on non violent approaches, which would focus more on the positive aspects of the human character.

I am only one voice and no one would listen to me, but if you - guys will support me in my campaign, then I - WE- will have a fighting chance.


Angela said...

As a survivor of vilolence and sexual abuse, I can rarely watch television without something triggering painful memories. I applaud what you are doing!

Jena Isle said...

Thanks Angel for the comment. It seems it is a slow process, but I won't give up. I just have to keep at it, until people become aware. Time will heal your wounds, but the scar will always be there. My prayers for you.

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