Actually, I felt the need to write this after glimpsing an article scrolling across my Yahoo page feed. The topic was about the effects of the Netflix show, "13 Reasons Why." I have not watched this show, but from what I've seen in the previews, the show is about a girl who commits suicide. Before she does, she makes 13 different tapes or cds or some way for 13 of her peers/family to listen to why she was committing suicide, those reasons being them.
It would have been really easy for me to sit down and binge watch this show, but I held off on it. I started to see different posts on Facebook with reasons why to not watch this show, most of them were because the show glorified suicide. It made the act of suicide sound like a way to finally get attention, even if you weren't going to be there, people were going to remember you anyway, especially if that person as involved. People were going to remember all of the good things about you and then they would know how much that you were taken for granted. Since the show came out, there have been a few teenage suicides that were linked to the show. I don't want to go into debate about suicide, but I do want to say this- If your reason to commit suicide is so that others will finally appreciate you, what good will that do if you're not here? Don't make a permanent decision based on a momentary whim.
13 Reasons Why isn't the only show that should raise some concerns or censorship. There are so many shows that are out there that make you wonder, "Should everyone have access to this show?". I like to watch crime shows and doctor shows. I'm usually able to solve a crime before the people on the show do. (Although I'm sure they made it that way for everyone since they make clues very obvious to us and show us what the detectives don't see.) We've all seen it where the crime is solved and forensics tells you EXACTLY how the crime was done and that the body only needed to soak in acid a few more hours before the body was completely unrecognizable and all DNA had been wiped clear. Should we really allow all people to be able to watch this show? Who knows which person is going to go out and accept the challenge of How to Get Away With Murder?
I also mentioned that I love to watch doctor shows. Thanks to Grey's Anatomy, I think that I could perform an apendectomy. Should I? No way!!! I have not gone to school to be a doctor. I have no license for that. I wouldn't give someone a fancy haircut or do taxes without one. Why would I practice medicine? I know that I can't perform surgery, but does someone else know that they can't just do a tracheotomy on someone in the middle of nowhere just because they saw it done?
Another thing that I think should be addressed is the topic of sex. (Gasp! she wrote sex!) When I was growing up, the most about what I knew about sex was that I was created from it and what I might have occasionally read from a romance book. I know that teenagers were having sex in high school, it was evidenced by all of the teen pregnancies in my school. Sex on screen really started to flare once television become less censored and the internet was easy to access. Is it any coincidence that kids are starting their sexual conquests at such an early age?
I was boy crazy in junior high and high school. That isn't a secret. I didn't know if I could get over my loneliness without a boy to crush on me back. However, I didn't need a boy in order to make my choices. I didn't make my choices based on a boy either. Once Bella met Edward, her focus was to become a vampire just like him. She wouldn't be completely happy until she was a vampire so she could be with him forever. 50 Shades of Grey- Ana couldn't focus on her job without her boyfriend constantly messaging her. She had to always check in with him or he'd go into violent tirades. Instead of wanting to be with him because she thought that he was smart, kind, and had a great personality, she was addicted to him by his sexiness and intrigued by his unfamiliar sexual acts which were an underlying need to control something and someone since his life had not always been controlled by him and he needed to fill that void. She allowed him to hurt her and instead of running away and staying away, she went back to him because lust felt like love.
These shows/books make for good entertainment, but do we really want our children to think that it's ok to be led into relationships because it makes them emotionally gooey? Is it ok that they want to be in a relationship because they feel like they are needed and continue to make excuses about their significant other because they think that they can fix that person? Is it ok to fuel a weird fascination that could empower sociopaths? Pyschopaths? Maybe a rise in mental illness is because tv shows have become so realistic that people can't filter the difference between facts and fiction? Good and evil? The moral integrity of this world has become unbalanced and everyone makes excuses for it. "That's just how the world operates today!" It may be, but should it?
I know that this won't make a change in the way that tv is perceived and I know that even though I'm writing about the evils that some shows present, I will watch them too because they are good entertainment and binge worthy.Might I suggest that we keep these shows to adult eyes only? Can we filter what our kids watch? I know that it's not completely possible to keep everything out of our children's view, there is internet and friend's houses. If they really wanted to, they could find a way to watch something they shouldn't. Can we all just agree to keep their eyes out of it when we can?
Now, once the toddler has gone down for his nap, I think I shall watch Grey's Anatomy for a few hours...