Ever since Hollywood began getting more creative with the less than normal forms of entertainment, that change has been influencing young people into less than normal things as well. When video games became popular, many young people were influenced by the characters they became fixated on.
However, the influence of television, movies, video games and music on younger people has been a subject of great debate for a couple of decades. Some claim that young people are not that influenced by what they see and hear and that they know the difference between reality and fiction. Others have argued that the influence of entertainment is real and that too many younger people are being more than influenced by what they see and hear but that they try to emulate many of the terrible things they do see and hear.
Over the past few decades, there have been some criminal cases, in which the defense attorneys have argued the influence is real while prosecutors contend it’s just an excuse for bad behavior. There have been cases where teenaged boys tried to duplicate stunts and got hurt or killed trying, yet some so-called experts continued to say that entertainment is just entertainment and doesn’t influence our youth.
I’ve long contended that they were so very wrong as proven by clothing fads, hair style fads, general behavioral fads.
I know I’m dating myself, but several decades back, some idiotic musicians decided it would make great entertainment to kill a chicken while on stage. Afterwards, young people were killing chickens, rats, rabbits, cats and dogs, just for the entertainment as they saw on stage.
Some musicians thought it was great to smash guitars and other items during a concert performance. Soon, young people were smashing all kinds of things. Many got hurt or in trouble.
If you want to see what kind of influence entertainment has, just reflect back on the popular Halloween costumes over the past decade or so. From young kids to teens, they want to dress up like their heroes, including many villains, which often seem to be the most popular.
Further evidence of the influence of various forms of entertainment can be found in the recent court case of two Milwaukee teenaged girls. One of the girls, Anissa Weier, plead guilty to attempted second-degree homicide. However, she claimed she wasn’t fully responsible for her actions in the multiple stabbing of another teen, because she was mentally ill at the time.
Her mental illness, a claim the jury bought hook, line and sinker, hinged on her trying to impress the fictional horror character known as Slender Man. The violent stabbing took place in 2014, when Weier, her partner in the crime Morgan Geyser and their victim, Payton Leutner were only 12. Weier and Geyser allegedly lured Leutner into the nearby woods, where they turned on her and stabbed her multiple times and then leaving her dead. Fortunately for Leutner, she managed to crawl and flag down a bicyclist who got help and rescued her. Against all odds, Leutner survived her wounds and loss of blood.
Slender Man, a fictional supernatural character created in 2009 is depicted as a very tall, ultra-slender man, dressed in a black suit with no facial features. Slender Man has been featured in movies, artwork, videos and more.
Parents, I can’t stress enough, how important it is for you to monitor what your kids are viewing, reading and listening to. It influences their young minds far more than you realize. That’s why the rule in our house when our girls were growing up was 1 Corinthians 10:31, which states:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”