With every passing day, the situation worsens. Violence is growing everywhere, people feel unsafe, depression is soaring, and deaths by overdose have reached inconceivable numbers because people have nowhere to run from the misery. During last year alone, more than 100,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdose. Moreover, the total number of people who die because of drug abuse has doubled over the past five years. There is only one way to put a stop to it: start monitoring what we feed into people’s minds. Call it censorship, monitoring, regulation, or whatever, but the lack of control over the content that people consume causes them to act in ways that end up killing them.
Until a few centuries ago, child rearing was the sole responsibility of parents. Since the Industrial Revolution, schools began to develop and the state began to assume responsibility for children’s education, while the ability of parents to determine their children’s upbringing waned.
When mass-media began to develop in the 1950s, children began to receive much of their “education” from entertainment and news channels, and even schools began to lose control over education. The media penetrated our homes, reflecting whatever messages it chose to show young and susceptible children, as well as unsuspecting adults, and we began to be indoctrinated through “the tube,” as TVs were called then.
But since the beginning of the 2010s, when smartphones became ubiquitous, we have lost all control over what people of all ages consume. We do not know what our children are exposed to. Even the materials that we adults are exposed to influence us in ways we do not notice. We can only imagine what it does to the innocent and open minds of our children.
Whatever it is that they are absorbing, it is killing them. It makes them violent, depressed, apathetic, socially isolated, narcissistic, and suicidal. And it is claiming hundreds of thousands of mostly young people’s lives. Deaths of young people were the sole cause of the decline in life expectancy in the US before the arrival of the coronavirus, and the plague has only accelerated the deterioration. It is time to step up and intervene in order to reverse course.
I think that all content on social media, internet sites, TV channels, and the radio must be monitored with strict regulations about what is permissible and what is not. I am not speaking about political content, but about content that encourages violence, substance abuse, and narcissism. We, and especially children, learn by example. When they see negative and antisocial behavior, they become negative and antisocial people.
Parents cannot control what their children absorb from the media. They are busy working, often more than one job, struggling to sustain their families, and their children are left on their own for many hours. This is when they are most vulnerable because this is when they consume harmful content from the media.
Instead of the current content, the media should show content that promotes friendship, caring, and social-responsibility. If you think such content constitutes brainwashing, ask yourself whether the content we see now, with its extreme violence and adoration of egoism, does not constitute brainwashing.
It is understandable that we like this type of media. After all, “The inclination of a man’s heart is evil from his youth,” the Bible tells us, and we know it’s true. So we naturally embrace protagonists that glorify themselves and we tend to adopt their values.
However, we have come to a point where our corrupt nature is so detrimental that we must find a way to restrain it. This is why we must nurture mutual consideration among people. I am not speaking about loving others, that would be too much to ask, but simply about basic consideration for every human being. Even if we achieve only this, it will be huge progress.
Currently, I want everyone to dance only to my tune. But since everyone wants this, too, and no one wants to dance to someone else’s tune, society is disintegrating. This is what we are seeing now. If we leave it at that, we are going to fall very low, very soon, and it will be impossible to stop it.