Well, I can honestly say this is my very first wiki. I had to ask what a wiki was when starting this assignment, most of my friends thought I was telling them a joke. In trying to determine a topic, I thought about my family and what makes them special to me. One thing that came to mind was their ability to make games out of everything. Imagination, role playing and an uncanny propensity to entertain themselves sets them apart from many of their peers. Over the years, I've seen the same characteristics in several of my students and without exception they've come from very limited or no television homes. For that reason, I chose to research the effects of visual media as a topic for my wiki. In doing so, I hoped to determine if I was dealing with coincidence, or, something a little more concrete. In closing, I fully realize the hypocrisy of using visual media to prove the point that visual media can be problematic, but hey, as stated earlier in the term, we're all hypocrites. Here's to hoping you enjoy my wiki.

Kids watching TV.jpg
Is it true there's nothing to do?

Drum-roll Please. The five most important things I've learned while compiling my research for this wiki are...and in order:

Number Five:

Prolonged exposure to rapid image changes during critical periods of brain development precondition the mind to expect high levels of stimulation, which in-turn cause inattention later in life.

Number Four:

For every hour of fast paced visual media consumed daily before the age of three, the chances the child with have attention deficit disorders later in life increased by 10 percent.

Number Three:

Conversely, cognitive stimulation (i.e. museums, reading together etc..) yielded a 30 percent reduction for every hour spent daily.

Number Two:

Content that replicated real world experiences in real world time, programs like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, had no effect on viewers attention capabilities later in life. In short, it was the pacing of the visual media that was the issue, not the media itself.

Number One:

Frightening statistic from video clip: According to A.C. Nielsen Co, the average child spends at least four hours, each day, in front of the television, 30 hours per week. At that rate, by the age of 65 a person would have spent almost ten years in front of the television.

A Catalog of Resources

This video outlines the effects of visual media on the chemical and physical makeup of the brain. One thing of particular interest mentioned in the video was that for the first time in human history, a person's brain is exposed to and storing visual images that are not their true experiences. Prior to television, what a person saw was their reality, when an event occurred, the individual brain and body was able to process that event. Today, hundreds of fictional events are being imputed all of which have no matrix for being stored. While the observer feels as those there's no problem differentiating between fiction and reality, the subconscious is a little more reluctant. Also mentioned is scientific explanations as to why visual media is so addictive.

Of all the books, journals and videos I've came across, this Ted x Rainer event is probably of the most interest and value. Several of my top five were taken from this lecture. In my opinion, definitely worth watching in its entirety if you are raising children or know someone else who is. The video was found on You Tube and I give it a score of 5.

The first two minutes of this video cover some very interesting facts regarding young children and media. The gentleman featured in this video, Michael Rich, Director for the Center of Media and Children's Health states that one of the most significant competitive advantages human have over the rest of the animal kingdom is that we have a fetal brain. That is to say, our brains develop in response to the environment in which it needs to function. One way to make a particularly health brain is to do three things. One, children need to bond with others. Mom, dad and siblings give children the kind of stable environment necessary for proper physical and cognitive development. Two, the manipulation of the physical environment. Crawling, figuring out a way to put a Cheerio in their mouth and three, open ended problem solving. Things like blank pieces of paper and crayons, or clay on a table give children opportunities to think and overcome. The problem with screens is they don't lend themselves to development on any of these platforms. In fact, they're detrimental in that they stand in place of these experiences. The more time in front of the screen, the less time enjoying and manipulating the real world. The video was found on You Tube and I give it a score of 5 because it's able to frame, in common language the importance of childhood. If this message was presented by doctors upon delivery, and they really stressed the importance a quality childhood, our schools and country would look a lot different.

While much of this video is opinion based and it is high on opinion and low on fact, I still think it's a good resource in that it highlights the obvious, that being, that visual media is overused and its content questionable at best. It is undeniable that television is source of information about relationships, sex, children, politics and just about everything else for that matter. Children don’t have the life experience or brain development to put these situations in context. If they’re going to watch these things, adults need to clear up misconceptions and frame events in ways in which children can process the information. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and children come away from television believing these events are appropriate and normal for the masses, which in most cases this is not true. Frightening statistic from video clip: According to A.C. Nielsen Co, the average child spends at least four hours, each day, in front of the television, 30 hours per week and by the age of 65 a person would have spent almost ten years in front of the television. Not the best use of ones time in my opinion.

Warning: Don't view the second clip if you're sensitive to graphic material. Strange I would have to say that when it's being used by our children on a daily basis.

This video will really change your mind about video games. I did mine.
Warning: The following video contains graphic material!

Wow! This video was a close second for videos you just have to see. This is another Ted Talk video by Philip Zimbardo, author of The Demise of Guys? From this video I learned that by 21, boys spend 10,000 hours gaming, 2/3 of that time in isolation. That average boy spends 50 porn clips a week and that boys brains, as a result of television, gaming, and porn, are being digitally rewired for arousal purposes only, which puts them totally out of sink with traditional American classrooms and interpersonal relationships in general. The video goes onto to cover the long term ramifications for such developments. Very sobering video indeed. The video was found on Google News and I would rate the resource a 5 out of 5.

This was suppose to be a family picture here, but I couldn't get it to load. Sorry, Shawn-

I know I'm not much of a resource, but I can tell you a little about my experiences with television and the effects it had on my children. Almost five years ago, I had every one of these little beauties and between college and work around the house they were a full time job. I took job over in Klamath Falls where a friend of ours had a little house he was working on. After about a week away of from home, I arrived at my front door and knocked to have them let me in. No answer, but I could hear the television going on inside. I walked around back of the house and got the key to let myself in. My wife Nichole was in the shower and the rest of the kids were in front of the tube. I said "Hey guys I'm home!" and would you believe it, not one of those little critters above looked up even to say hello. I said "hello" again and still no response. It wasn't until I stepped in front of the television did anyone have the courtesy to respond. I felt bad because they didn't respond, but I felt even worse I was letting them consume something that removed them from the outside world so totally. That moment I knew we had to make a change. I unplugged the television and canceled cable, then I set back feeling pretty good about myself. A month later, we were about ready to kill each other. I now refer to this time as the family detox period, and I know that sounds funny, but that's exactly what it was. You see, we never had to entertain ourselves. My wife and I both were both brought up in big television homes, we never learned how to exist otherwise. All and all the transition took about three months, but at the end of that time what we had was so much better than what we started with. We get more done and we are able to enjoy each other more. Sure, we enjoy a good movie, but only on Friday Night Movie Night or other special occasions. I recommend the experience to anyone, but give it a good couple of months before you give up. Best Wishes. Shawn-

This was an interesting video by a guy by the name of David Dutwin PhD and he wrote the book Unplug your kids: what kids learn from watching television//. In his book and in this clip, he echos a lot of what's been said by most of the other research that I've come across in this quest, that television is responsible for forming prism in which the viewer observes the world. The problem with this development is that the prism that's being developed is distorted from that which the world really has to offer. Some have called it the "Mean World Syndrome" or the belief that the world is filled with nothing other than rape, genocide, torture and malice. When a person views the world through such a lens, their subsequent actions differ from that in which they might be had they never been exposed to visual media. In short, we have the world that television gives, rather than the world in which experience gives. Clip was found on you tube and I would rate it a 3 out of 5. A longer clip would have been more helpful.

If you could only view one element of my Wiki, I would view the video featured directly above because it opened my eyes to why many of my boys might be having issues in school. For me, not being a video game player myself, I never would have imagined games to be as graphic as they are. Even more disturbing than the content, is the idea that grade school children are spending hours each day becoming desensitized to events like murder, torture and rape. Daily, I ask myself how these children's value sets are becoming so distorted, this might be part of the explanation. View the video if you have a strong stomach.