Impact of Cartoons on Children Essay

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“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which everyone who passes by leaves an impression.” – Chinese Proverb

Children are often considered to be the closest reflection of the omnipotent creator of the world. Innocence and purity personified, they are unmarred by the corrupt thoughts and practices. They resemble wet clay, enthusiastic and ever ready to be shaped in the manner the potter wants to mould them.

When we are born we have the capacity for motivation, experience, and training, and because of this our minds are very impressionable. Therefore, our brains’ development is a dynamic mix of nature and nurture, so it is important to choose a healthy environment for all children. Children ranging from the age of six months to about twelve years of age go through various stages of emotional and physical development.

During this age however they have extremely impeccable minds due to which external stimuli have a major role in shaping their personalities. External stimuli can be broadly defined as natural and man-made environmental factors, biological and chemical factors, physical surroundings, social factors, behavioural influences and outcomes, genetics, and cultural and family influences and differences. These factors have an influence on the mental and emotional growth and stability of a child and determine majority of his habits and actions.

Television viewing, thus, is a part of external stimuli in a child’s life. A means of mostly entertainment and sometimes education, television viewing in children mostly comprises cartoons and children’s shows. Children have become much more interested in cartoons over many years and it has become a primary action to some lives. Typically, children begin watching cartoons on television at an early age of six months, and by the age two or three children become enthusiastic viewers.

As with any other environmental factor, cartoon viewing too has a major effect on a child’s psyche. From the time children start school to the time that they graduate they are averaged to spend around 13,000 hours in school. As compared to this, a child watches nearly 18000 hours of television, from the time school is started to the time of graduation. This comparison is an outrage because of the amount of television that is watched by a child will have an effect on their brain, emotions and their sense to feel pain. The Children who watch too much cartoons on television are more likely to have mental and emotional problems, along with brain and eye injuries and unexpectedly the risk of a physical problem increases.

Too many children watch too much television and the shows that they watch, even cartoons, have become violent and addictive. The marketing of cartoons has become overpowering and so has the subliminal messaging. The marketing is targeted toward the children to cause them to want to view the cartoons on a regular basis, but the subliminal messaging is for the adults’ to target them into enjoying the “cartoons”. This is unfortunate because children watch the cartoons on the television and they see material that is not appropriate for their age group.

Not only does this extreme involvement with cartoons limit the social interaction of children, it has an adverse effect on their mental, emotional, psychological as well physical health. Their behaviour becomes characterised by varied maladies. Many a psychological research has proven that children seeing violence on television may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. They seldom fear violence nor are they bothered by violence in general and are more likely to become aggressive or use harmful actions towards others.

The negative impacts of cartoon viewing on children can be broadly categorised as: 1. Physical impact: Under this, the impact of cartoon viewing on the physical health of the child is taken into consideration. 2. Psychological impact: This takes into consideration cartoon viewing has on the attitude and behaviour of the child due to exposure to inappropriate content, actions and subliminal message.

The objective of this project is thus to explore both these impacts by studying the patterns in a universe of 50 children and to thus draw a final conclusion.

Review of Literature

In recent times, the mass media such as newspaper, film, radio, television and internet are the principal way to receive information. Television is the most popular medium in which the children are exposed. It has the ability to entertain and educate.

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