The Dangers of Violence in Modern Mass Media

    Nowadays, the abundance of violence and aggression is spreading into our minds from Internet, TV screens and pages of magazines or newspapers. Potential harm of media violence to our society became a problem of national and global concern. It is one of the most debatable public issues, which has obvious social and political backgrounds. The question, whether or not excessive violence in the media actually causes violence in real life, became a subject of numerous scientific researches, which unexpectedly brought to absolutely opposite results, giving our public a great opportunity to continue the debates.

    Many people suppose that violence in the media is a true and objective reflection of our reality, and find it acceptable. They think that violent behavior and aggression in our media represent the right for freedom of expression, protected by the First Amendment. Also, they believe that censorship in media will not be effective for lowering the amount of violence in our society, because it is an individual responsibility of every person to select appropriate media materials for himself/herself and his/her children.

    But it is very important to recognize direct influence of endless violence and aggression, coming at us from our media. Undoubtedly, this issue is mostly the problem related to aggressive behaviors of teenagers and youth, because they are the most exposed to negative effects of violence. Media violence seriously damages their imagination about moral values, ethics, loyalty, friendship, security or even justice. For example, modern superheroes from action movies do a lot of shooting and leave scores of dead bodies on the streets, showing no care about the laws or responsibility and giving a bad example to our juveniles.

    Recent tragedy in Virginia and other school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, Alberta and Erfurt are bloody outcomes of this destructive influence. Following what they can observe in the media, teenagers are motivated to get involved into such brutal activities as forming gangs, bullying, rampage, etc. It may be not proved by the researches that media violence brings to increase of crime and violence rates in our country, but its negative effects are obvious. This is one of the most critical issues of public health and our social well-being.

    It is also known that children are especially affected by violence, aggression or sexual abuse in our media because of their vulnerable psychology. Modern cinema movies and television ruthlessly damage the development of aesthetic sensibility of children and their ideas about moral and beauty. This can result in wrong perception of life and its realities. The most common reactions of children are imitation of aggressive behaviors from the TV, failures in schools, slow-downs in intellectual development, lack of social skills, etc.

    Violence is absolutely real and very serious threat to a human life in our country. It is very important to mobilize the efforts and do everything possible in order to control this problem, to lower the aggression and amount of violence spreading around from our mass media and affecting behaviors of young people, because it endangers safety and peace of our citizens, as well as future prospects of our society and even its physical survival.

    The Effects Of Divorce On Chidren and Families

    In our epoch, divorces are among the most important social problems of modern society. According to recent studies, almost every second marriage in the United States ends with separation of the partners. Of course, many of such families have one or more young children and teenagers, who must learn to live with the problem of divorced parents. Actually, everybody who is involved in divorce has to suffer a lot, because the majority of the divorces are connected with scandals, constant confrontations, misunderstandings, humiliation and other negative effects. Of course, there are some situations when separation of the parents becomes a happy end of their relations and a relief for everybody in the family. But, unfortunately, those situations are very rare and not typical. That is why it is possible to say that the effects of the divorce on families are more likely to be negative and destructive than positive.

    First of all, those are the effects on children in the family. Undoubtedly, separation of father are mother affects their children the most. Usually, divorce brings to a lot of different changes in daily life of the children, and most of such changes are sad, like loneliness, stresses, nervousness, etc. That is why a child may want to protest against the situation by strange and unusual behaviors, failures in school, withdrawal or other problematic behaviors. As a rule, the first reaction of children on the news about the divorce is confusion, denial, fear, which can be followed by aggression, anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, etc. After this, emotional stresses decrease and the child starts learning to cope with the divorce. Long-term effects of divorce on children include various fears, constant misunderstandings and tension, etc. This everything affects psychology of the child very much.

    The second group of the effects is the impacts of divorce on parents in the family. Actually, the tensions and misunderstandings between the parents usually start long before the divorce, making the life of both man and woman really terrible. Sometimes there are serious problems, like an affair with someone else, alcohol or drug dependence, and so on, which can result in divorce. But sometimes two people simply do not want to live together anymore and can not get along well with each other. The most common psychological reactions on the decision about divorcing are worry, sleeplessness, nervousness, depression, different fears, anger or something else. Some people can start drinking, smoking, overeating or even having drugs. As a result, divorcing adults can not do well at work and can lose their jobs, may need medical help or can do something harmful for the society.

    Finally, the third group of the effects is connected with economic and social situation in the family, where two parents are divorced. If father and mother are divorced and one of them leaves the family, in such case the family will become a one-parent family. Therefore, it will have a new social status. Besides, divorce usually affects economic situation in the family very much, because after the divorce only one parent earns money for the children, and the other parent only brings limited financial support. As a rule, after divorce families start living much poorer life, because family income decreases a lot and children have to be risen for a single salary. Specialists report that “..nearly a third of single-mother families live in poverty, compared to about 5 percent of two-parent families”. For example, usually a single-parent family has to move to a smaller flat or apartment or to a poorer district, as well as the parent may need to send the children to poorer schools and give up some extra curricular programs, etc.

    Divorces are associated with various problems, stresses and difficulties, both for parents and their children. In conclusion, it is necessary to mention that divorce, being one of the most topical and problematic social matters of our times, remains among those social problems which are connected with uncertainty. It is possible to identify definite risk factors, which can bring families to divorce (for example, marriages before 20, marriages of the partners, who grew up in single-parent families, etc), but still it is not easy to predict and avoid possible divorces. Therefore, divorces affect not only families, but our society very much, and it would be very good if our people could be more responsible when making decisions about marriage and especially about divorce, because it brings a lot of misery and suffering to everybody around.

    The Problem of Overweight and Obesity in Children

    Within the last decades, there was no public problem in the United States, which affected our society more then the problem of obesity and overweight. For many years, American people have been in absolutely terrible physical shape, and currently almost every second citizen is overweight, while many are obese. Unfortunately, numerous activities and education programs of our government, specialized organizations and enthusiasts directed on promoting physical activity and healthy life-style do not improve this situation: such measures just help to keep it somehow under control.

    Moreover, various problems and negative outcomes, connected with children’s obesity, remain especially critical nowadays. According to recently publicized research of the team of American medical specialists under the leadership of Dr. Hugh D. Allen from Columbia Children’s Hospital, approximately 30 million of 80 million children are now under serious threat to die of heart disease when they are 30-40 years old, unless present social tendencies in our country as to fitness and healthy life-style change.

    It is known that obesity is closely linked to many other serious diseases and disorders. First of all, it affects skeletal structure of child’s body and can cause hard orthopedic complications in the future. Besides, it can cause different emotional and psychological problems for children, affecting their personal and social development. Overweight can bring to diabetes, difficulties with breathing or blood pressure. In many cases, it considerably limits physical activity of obese and overweight people, putting their life into severe limits of the connection “workplace – home”.

    This everything proves that qualified experts and specialists in fitness are in great need for our today's society. Such specialists have to take a very important mission on promoting the advantages of fitness and health care programs, motivating people for changing their life-style and being involved in more and more of physical activities on regular basis, supporting it with healthy nutrition and absence of bad habits, like smoking and drinking alcohol.

    Moreover, healthy life-style advocates have to make our society understand that being fit and healthy is not something unnatural or something that will take lots of efforts and resources. Historically, humanity has been developing due to lots of physical activities, and only for some last centuries scientific and technical progress changed the direction on radical reducing of physical activity and allowing us to remain static all the time. But, actually, being fit is absolutely natural for any human being and, if a person has good health conditions, it does not require working till total exhaustion and overtiredness.