I remember when I was in grade nine, my English teacher gave us a comprehension. It was followed by a series of questions pertaining to that very specific composition. After reading it multiple times, I failed to grab an answer. I asked her, how to find the answers which are not there? She smiled and said, “Read between the lines.” Now I know how some messages are subtle.
Have you ever encountered a situation when you unknowingly reach for an unknown product on basis of familiarity? You do not know anything about it, but have seen it thousands of time on television set, and have heard its name multiple times via media means. Media has bombarded the minds of viewers with massive promotional advertisement. What is seen is what is selling. The message stored in our subconscious. The tactic is exposure -to show them explicitly that it gets stored in the brains. Is everything we are being exposed to worth watching?
All that glitters is not gold
Media magnificently wraps the slime and slut into the realm of doubtless, envisage, mushy, and cheesy stories. This all causes their heart to skip a beat and they long for all this in their lives. It is for this fantasy that they go for unlawful relationships. Hearts and flowers steal the show. What are we offering them? A world where-
Personal matters publicized
Bypass your conscious mind Have you ever heard of the word,“subliminal message”? It is anything that sends you a message without your knowledge, which is usually picked up on by your subconscious mind. It might be a text, graphic, pictorial or any other auditory means.
You will find numerous examples of these explicit messages that are hidden in cartoons. Cartoons are no more cartoons nowadays. They offer violence, aggression, erotic messages, brutal killings, and homosexuality. Don’t brush it under your carpets. It is time to recognize the problem and to work for its eradication
A known cartoon lion king has been objected on a scene when the lion blows off dust from a cliff. The dust forms a word SEX which is a subliminal message. Kids absorb it and it surely messes up with their belief. Why do you see such crimes appalling and common?
This is another example of a hidden message that we parents are blindly offering to our little ones with innocent minds. We are the reason behind exploiting their minds. If you love them truly, you will surely make a way to filter and detox the receiving grime in the name of entertainment. In a lighter tone- just for a laugh- when your husband asks you to not to spend much time in shopping, you spend hours and hours by ignoring his reprimand. You do what you want. We are all in our comfort zone, happily spending time on cell phones, video games, televisions, and other electronic gadgets. We are badly snatching the right of our kids and spouse upon us. The situation turns bleak when family time is replaced by screen time. We are now introverts and lack the empathetic skills to socialize. We lack time for our kids; have no devotion to educate them, to protect them. Later, we have no right to cry over the spilt milk.
Some adverse effects of media exposure
- There are various types of physical mutilation that media entertainment provides. Long hours of screen time badly effects
- attention span
- Impaired Eye sight
- Weight gain.
- A kid who is exposed to all sorts of filth gets immune to the depicted sins; hence, readily absorbs on both levels of consciousness and unconsciousness.
- High level of anger and violence. Sample of Wisconsin and Maryland high school and junior high school students confirm the correlational link of aggressive behaviour and delinquency.
- Indecency in dressing. Princess Jasmine and Ariel half naked. Our girls dream of those dresses as they are worn by princesses.
- Blindly following the cartoon characters- nearly worshipping them. A kid jumped off his roof by wearing a cloak and died, as he dreamt to fly like the spider man.
- Lost heritage, cultural and Islamic values. Doctor Victor b. Cline, the psychologist, says that: “the media are powerful teachers of values and ethical behaviour, and sometimes may play a more significant role than the church.”
- Sleep and eating disorders. Media wrongly inform our opinions and desires. To quote, leading to the desire of white skin and zero figures through persuasive ads and programs. Leading to disorders such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.
- Today Video games offer life-like characters and rich, graphic imagery that delivers very realistic experiences. Studies have shown a correlation between playing video games and unhealthy outcomes for children, such as isolation and loneliness, obesity, belief in gender stereotypes and increased aggressive behaviour.
- Violence and massacre. Tom and Jerry shows extreme brutal hitting.
- Hidden erotic messages mature the reproductive system and sex hormones; thus, kids today are reaching their puberty earlier.
- Increase rate of rapes.
- Learn abusive language.
How can we protect them?
Befriend your child and educate, do not dictate!
Being parents, we are responsible to instill the love of Allah (swt) and educate them about the things which are disliked by Allah (swt). Start telling them at an early age about the things that pleases and displeases Allah (swt) as young minds are more absorbent. We often offer them screen time because we have work to do, or to have some me time, or to keep them calm and motionless, tied to their place. Everything can wait but time will not. This is the crucial time as iron can be molted when hot. This is the high time that you divert their minds towards healthy habits like book reading, helping around the house (for instance, to pick cushions up and put on right places).
For younger kids, install software that will limit their view of things that they are not supposed to see. In joint family, it is rather difficult to convince about the hazards of television. Supplicate a lot to Allah (swt) and with wisdom limit and distract your kids. Do not run after your kid every time you catch him watching television by saying Haram Haram (unlawful). Your role is to educate and not to compel. It is normal that a kid will fall for the beats and cartoon. Offer him with a substitute. There are many Islamic cartoons available on ytpak.com. To name few, learn Quran with Zaky, Adams world, Hurray for Baba Ali, and nasheeds without music. If they have seen anything, that carries a bad message. Try to detox it later by talking about it. Make a list of things that fall under sin and things that are worthy of rewards. Make them yearn for Jannah (paradise). Islam is not about individualism, but rather it talks about communism. Build an ambience around that is free of the things which Allah (swt) doesn’t like. This will take time, but it will surely bring sweet fruits later. Tell him television itself is not bad. What it advertises and displays is wrong. Tell him how we can make good use of it by watching animal channels and others educational programs.
Mirror mirror on the wall
Yes, your kids follow like your own shadow or reflection. Model the behaviour you yourself want them to have. You need to limit your screen time. There should not be a television in bedroom. When dramas and movies are your weakness, and you fail to resist the allure to watch; when you are glued in front of the television and ignore when your husband shows up; when you give your kids a shut up call because they are interrupting while you are involved in a mesmerizing scene- then don’t expect them to be away from this filth. Neither, demand them to obey you or respect you. You are committing a sin and this sin will follow even after your death too. Your kids will follow your footsteps. As it is said in Surah Yaseen,
Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them), and their traces, and all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book. (Surah Yaseen 36: 12)
Don’t try to fit in, when you are born to stand out!
Peer pressure is the most important factor that regulates our thought process and desire. I remember during my schooling, I used to feel like a fish out of water. I was not allowed to watch movies alone without my mother’s supervision. My classmates would talk about all sorts of movies, scenes, slang words and my jaws would drop to the floor. Be very vigilant when it comes to choose an education system as kids blindly follow the crowd around in order to fit in. In addition, a time comes when teachers have more powerful impact as compared to parents. Bon fires, farewells, trip to Cineplex, movie nights, are the events endorsed with music and filth. During my college years, a friend of mine refused to pay for the farewell arrangement charges. Her father said that I will not spend for unlawful things. Hats off to her and her parents for bringing her up in the most desirable way, that will gain the pleasure of Allah (swt). Give your child confidence that the false opinion of his peers will not shatter his roots nor tear apart his self-worth. Backward, extremist, loser are some of the attributes given to such kids who don’t watch television, or are unaware of the upcoming song or movie. Again it goes back to parenting. Be your kid’s best friend, before the world offers him wrong friends. I was uncomfortable to read that it is Talibanization and extremism to say watching television is sin.
It’s high time
Do we need a trumpet to be blown on our heads? How are we turning a blind eye to the so openly served nonsense to our kids and youth? Dating, extra marital affairs, polygamy (yes, it is allowed in Islam; for my male readers but only if a man can afford and do justice), betraying your spouse, drinking, gambling, myth of eternal love, dancing parties, you name it and you get to see it. Everything is becoming a norm and our kids are being brain washed to accept the immorality. Who is to be blamed? Is it the fault of media for dishing out such lustful and indecent dramas and music? Or is it entirely the fault of your children who are not more than a couch potato? A kid of today is passive and aggressive; he contempts elders and ridicules their principles; he burns his lid off mostly by throwing tantrums and fit.
Nevertheless, it is not too late. Make intention and then fasten up your belt. Do your best and supplicate to protect your kids from the trials of today.
A note for media people
Media people are responsible for what our kids see and they will be held accountable for what they offer. Be cautious! As you will soon be standing in front of the Lord of the worlds. They are holding the blame of others sin too. A movie is ban on account of being x-rated. The tactic is simple. If you want to have a mega hit and massive sale, ban the product. Out of curiosity, people will come to see. Allah (swt) knows the intention behind. Whether the Niyyah (intention) behind naming it eighteen plus is to limit the audience or increase the viewership.