D. Herbert

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Childhood Immunity

My generation, along with my parents', grew up bombarded by advertisements. This did not damage us in any way--in fact, it made us more savvy consumers.

So I wonder what the next generation of kids is going to be like, given what they're exposed to: Political Correctness 24/7 on all of their TV shows.

I caught a snippet of the PBS show Arthur the other day. One kid was telling another how he hoped he didn't have to give his presentation last, because that's the hardest. Everyone knows the first is the hardest. Sure, there are reasons to go first--ego reasons, or because the teacher takes into account the difficulty and grades it more easily--but that doesn't make it any less hard. And of course that's not the only example of the heavy-handed political correctness from that show and others like it.

And kids know this. They're not stupid. They're going to know that their TV is lying to them sometimes in order to encourage them to be more politically correct, civic-minded, anti-racist, anti-sexist, academic-oriented, team players, etc. Not that those are bad things. I'm just worried the kids will build up immunity to those ideas.

Are they going to get the idea that all of the do-gooder messages they get from the TV (and society in general) are inherently suspect? And would that be a bad thing?

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