Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why Children Watch the Shows They Do.

Children today cannot get enough of their cell phones, the Internet, and the latest movies or shows. It never used to be that way. Children were depended on helping put food on the table, now days it is a more relaxed setting that involves some more fun. I'm not sure why we have gone from hanging with the family with interactive games to the over use of the screen technology, but we have. According to my research, Children and the Entertainment Industry, an anthology edited by Karen Miller, shows what it is like to be a child star.  One of the articles is titled "Production Studios Foster the Careers of Child Stars" and the author talks about how kids spend most of their time acting, leaving little time for anything else. The producers see more of the kids than their families once the children are in show business. Some children like to become doctors, engineers, firefighters, and some are dreamers. The dreamers that I'm talking about are the children who are old enough to know that they want to be famous, not the children who are placed into fame. Children are becoming singer(s), actor(s), dancer(s) or comedian(s) all in one big package, not just one talent, but as a mix. They know how to be funny, how to dance and at the same time others can sing and act. The children that people were looking up to just ten years ago were The Olson Twins, Lindsey Lohan, and Hilary Duff. Today's child stars are looking up to Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Raven Symone. All child stars are acting twice as much as they were just in the recent years and little less acting like a normal child. I did want to become a singer, but I did not think that I could handle all of the fame because I am a really shy person. All children look up to the one that they admire and now days it is not any different. Kids now days dream the same way as the children in the past according to the author of this article, "Productions Studios Foster the Careers of Child Stars." To close this blog up read the post right above this one and you will have an over view of the whole blog.

Ascher-Walsh, Rebecca. "Are Children in the Entertainment Industry Exploited?"
     2006. Children and the Entertainment Industry. Ed. Karen Miller. Detroit:
     GrennHaven P, 2010. 108-115. Print.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Product vs. Images

Products hardly ever look like in real life as they do in the pictures. The way that an adult views products is different than how children view them. Fast food is to look like it is a good way to get your children fed while on the run when the truth is that it is better to cook at home. The fast food ads are also misleading to children. How? The toys work on TV and hardly in "real life."  Judith Van Evra in her book titled Television and Child Development talks about everything that you need to know on how children view advertisements. One of the chapters that I'm going to use is "Celebrity Endorsement." Evra states " The combination of a famous presenter with perceptually exciting and dramatic material from the 'real' world would be a powerful message for children who are prone to believe adults, aspire to emulated heroes and are literal-minded in their interpenetration of sensory information." What I got out of what Evra is saying is younger children are easy to persuade to buy the product more so than an adult. Also if the adult is looked up to then the child is going to listen to what that person has to say.  The general ads for children to see are: Clothing, Toys, Toothpaste/brush, electronics, and musicall of which any child cannot live without, or so they think. Other advertising companies like to beef up what they are trying to sell, so it will sell. Take a place like McDonald's, the kids in the commercial are generally laughing having a good time, the toys always work, and eat healthy. The 'real' life situation is more like: mom goes through the drive through, the toy does not work, and the kids want burger and fries which leaves them tired and cranky. I see a little difference between them. According to Evra "There are children's magazines, promotional toys, cartoons characters, logos on clothes, and promotional giveaways such as McDonald's Happy Meals." When you think of advertising it is generally linked to a TV screen, and that is not always the case. Sometimes it is the clothing on the racks at the store or a billboard that you see going down the road. Next time that you want something that you see on TV do some research to see if it is worth buying the product; most of the time it does not work like the commercial said that it would. There has to be a reason why children are so involved with electronics more now than ever and I will cover that in my next post.

Evra, Judith Van. Television and Child Development. 3rd ed. 2004. London:
     Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004. Print.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Advertising To Children

For every product that is on the market there is an ad for it. Not all of the ads are for children to see. Some of the products that would not be good for a five year old to see are the underwear commercial and the children twelve years of age do not need to see birth control ads. Of course there are others and I can go on for a while, but I think that you get the hint. I found a book in the Heartland Community College Library titled Advertising to Children on TV: Content, Impact and Regulation, which answers questions that I didn't even know that I had. There are three authors who wrote this book and they are Barrie Gunter, Caroline Oates and Mark Blades. There are three key points that I'm going to cover: first we will take a look at the age that children understand the ad, second point is the memory of the ad and third the effects of the slogans. Children under the age of five have a hard time understanding the difference between the show that they are watching and the ads in-between them. That is saying that children can think that they are watching a continuing show. I know that channels, such as Disney Channel, generally just promote the upcoming shows. The understanding of the ads can be confusing to children because they could be watching a show like Hannah Montana and then it could be a commercial on the next season of Hannah Montana. The way children remember the ad or commercial is for the bright colors, catchy music, and the people who are promoting. Asking a child what they remember from the ad, it could be something like "the blue truck," or "the yummy Christmas cookies." Ask an adult the same ads and you may hear answers like this "0% down on your next purchase" or "there is a sale at Wal-Mart for the Christmas cookies." Music is the same way; children like the music and adults think that it is an annoying jingle just like all of the other commercials. The State Farm and Macy's ads are known for their jingles during ads. The ads can be on the radio or on the TV, and sometimes while you are surfing the Internet or on a billboard as you are driving down the street.  Ads are everywhere and children see them, remember them and understand the message differently than adults. Next in my blog I will be going over the advertisement and how it varies from the picture to the product according to Erva.

Gunter, Barrie, Caroline Oates, and Mark Blades. Advertising to Children on TV:
     Content, Impact, and Regulation. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum
     Associates, 2005. Print.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TV Zombies

When anyone has a screen in front of them they go into a state which is non-responsive. In children this is worse therefore it is important for them to have less screen time than an adult would have. The children become glued to the video game or television show to where the only way to communicate with them is to turn it off. Marie Winn is known for her books on drugs and she wrote the book titled The Plug-In-Drug. She says "We notice that they always come away from an hour or two of television watching in a terrible state: cranky, captious, tired, and ready to explode." I agree with Winn because I have seen this first hand with family members of mine. Any kind of screen interaction puts our body in a sleeping mode which lowers our metabolic rate; therefore it is like you are being interrupted from your nap before you were ready to get up or away from the screen. The next time that your little one is in front of the screen to pass time, suggest doing something that is a little more active.  Some solutions that children would love to do besides having a screen in front of them are: Jump rope, hide and go seek, tag, playing house, and all sort of card games. Metabolic rate affects the amount of metabolism.  Metabolism is the amount of calories that you have compared to the amount that you use. There are ads on every channel and everywhere in between. I will answer that question in the next blog post about children’s advertising and how they view them.

Winn, Marie. "A Changed State of Consciousness." 1977. The Plug-In Drug:
     Television, Computers, and Family Life. 25th Anniversary ed. New York:
     Penguin Group, 2002. 16-25. Print.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Physical Points

Reading about how much screen time a child should be able to watch makes me want to get up and do something active. I mean that your brain is affected by too much screen time. That is true according to Marie Winn. Winn is known for books on drugs and since the television is called the plug-in drug she wrote a book about every aspect of the TV.  The book is titled The Plug-In Drug and the chapter that I'm going to focus on is about the effects that it has on the human body. She talks about the physical effects on children. In fact the whole chapter is just about children’s health. I agree with Winn when she says "I blame it on all of the 'educational' shows and how kids are learning from what they are seeing on the screen." There are more and more education devices that are trying to teach children their ABC's and 123's. Also how to get along and play nicely with others are more educational shows' main points. That is where the problem comes in. The best way to learn how to work nice with one another is to play a game or read a book together. Not only will you be teaching your children the facts that they will need for the rest of their life, but it will also raise their metabolism. Metabolism is the amount of activity that you can handle without getting overly tired. It also affects your metabolic rate. The metabolic rate is a state that a body goes into when he or she is asleep. Children of all ages go into a low metabolic rate when they are watching the TV, playing a video game, watching a movie, talking on the phone too long, or on a computer. That makes you gain weight and want to be less active for the rest of the day. It also can make you tired, grumpy, or angry toward everyone from the interruption from your screen, also known as your awake nap. That is why it is not good for children to have screen time right before they go to sleep. There are some other health issues that Winn states in her book as well. They are having lower back pain, sleeping disorders and they could end up with diabetes for the lack of exercise. The lower back pain is from sitting too long and your tail bone begins to hurt. Not all of the time you sit up while watching TV, sometimes children like to lay on the couch. Sleeping disorders can come from something that they saw that makes them scared therefore they do not want to go to sleep. Also the sleeping disorders are linked to the metabolic rate as well. The diabetes is linked to the lack of exercise that the child would be having. Winn says it best "Don't have a screen for a babysitter, pass time, or a relaxer to fall to sleep and you will have well behaved kids who go to sleep on time." I like that statement because I see that in my own life with my younger siblings. If they get permission to stay up later than normal to watch a show that is on TV, they tend to stay up one or two hours after the show is over due to the metabolic rate disorder. The following post is about the reaction of children when they have a screen in front of them.

Winn, Marie. "A Changed State of Consciousness." 1977. The Plug-In Drug:
     Television, Computers, and Family Life. 25th Anniversary ed. New York:
     Penguin Group, 2002. 16-25. Print.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What Would You Allow?

There is something called too much TV, video games, computer time, and cell phone use. The younger the child is the less time a child should have to utilize them. I spend different amounts each day. That is due to the amount of homework that I have and if I work on that day or not. Children do not have that problem of working and most do not have computer assignments until they are older. Children three years old and younger should not have any screen time at all as you have read in my brain development post at the beginning of the blog. Children the ages of four to nine should only allow thirty to forty-five minutes a day. That is depending on what homework they might have and how much free time they have outside of sports. Children the ages of ten to fourteen should have sports to keep them busy therefore only one hour per day for them. They have papers that they have to do and are talking on phones more. Children fifteen to seventeen have an hour and a half to use any of the above resources. They are generally hanging with friends at the mall or playing a sport. After the time that they have at school working on homework the time at home should not be that long.  Adding up all of the time for the week per age group it comes out to be ages under three no time. Ages four to nine is between two-hundred and ten to three-hundred and fifteen minutes a week, which is around five hours per week. Ages ten to fourteen comes out to be four-hundred and twenty minutes a week or six and a half hours total. Children ages fifteen to seventeen are at ten hours a week on average. It did not sound like a lot of time per day, but instead of doing everything in one day spread it out throughout the week and you should be fine. Knowing the amount of screen time that should be allowed for a child during a certain age, take a look at the physical reasons behind them in my next post.

Ashley. Weblog post. Screen Wars. BlogSpot, 7 Oct. 2010. Web. 8 Oct. 2010.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Moving From One To Another

We have looked at many different aspects of children's TV programming. First thing was the online chat program that is there for children and parents. Next was the history of the first TV, how screens affect the brain, then some pictures of little kids in their stare expressions, and then history of the phones. After that we covered all of the ratings: US TV ratings, US video games ratings, and what I would consider to be a good rating system for all things with screens. Also, I talked about how other countries have different systems than ours. I compared the number of shows that was in the nineteen eighties to the present two-thousand and ten top shows followed by how many shows there were, there are and are going to be in the future. There are some shows that are for older children that younger children watch with them. Those shows are: Modern Family, Tomorrow Pioneers, and Lazy Town, all of which seem at first glance good for children's shows or programs. Now let's take a look at the following part of my blog. I will talk about what the right amount of screen time for children is and what the amount of time that they do have does to their bodies. There are different effects like physical and developmental as well. Also advertising to children and how their views are different than adults. Lastly I will discuss why children want to watch the programs they do and play the games that they play. Let's start off with what the approximate amount of time is.

Ashley. Weblog post. Screen Wars. BlogSpot, 7 Oct. 2010. Web. 8 Oct. 2010.