America’s growing obsession with the media has led to a decline in morals and values over the past fifty years. As the popularity of television grew in the 1950s, so did America’s obsession with celebrities and the latest technological advances.
Nowadays, society is completely consumed by technology every minute of the day. Americans are glued to their cell phones, their favorite television shows, and every exploit of their favorite celebrities. Whether subliminal or obvious, morals and values are being taught to today’s generation through the media.
In opposition, family members were the primary teachers of morals and values in the 1950s. As the media played an increasingly large role in everyday life, society developed an obsession with the media and the celebrities it created, which led to the decline in importance of the family unit and consequentially inferior morals in today’s society in comparison to those of the 1950s.
Compared to the 1950s, modern society does not value family nearly as much, due to the replacement of time spent as a family with time spent using media technology. Family is the main vessel through which morals and values are passed down, and therefore, a decline in time spent as a family can lead to inferior morals and values continuing to the next generation.
In the 1950s, family dinners were an occasion to sit down with family members, enjoy a home-cooked meal, and discuss life. This was a time of day when the rest of the world stopped and the focus was entirely on family. Wholesome morals and values relevant to the happenings of the day were often discussed and taught to children at this time. In the infancy of the television, most television shows were shown later in the afternoon and into the evening. Dining at the table with family lost its priority as dinner in front of the television became routine.
As family dinners were replaced by television, the vessel through which morals and values were taught shifted from family to the media. Television shows are the teachers now, and as television shows became more promiscuous and corrupt throughout the decades, so did the morals and values they taught. The present generation has grown up completely accepting of what they learn in the media because there is nothing to contest it. Family members don’t have the time to teach such trivialities as honor, pride, and self-respect anymore.
Article prepared by Leon Dubois