In response to a comment from this morning’s post:
Here’s my thought: Channel flipping is evil. It’s the equivalent of drawing a line in the sand and when I step over it, drawing another just a little further out, and on and on until I can no longer see where I started. For example, say I’m bored and just flipping channels and I happen on a show I know is typically immoral (to me) but right now it looks funny. So, I watch it and it gets a little bad but not too bad. However, at some point, it goes beyond my moral scope, for now. So, I start surfing again and come upon a show I don’t know. It doesn’t seem too bad, so I watch it. It starts doing the same thing as the other show and I keep making exceptions, etc. Pretty soon, I’m drawn into the plot of yet another show, and on and on.
Well, what I’m going to call partial filtering gives me a false sense of security. I believe the government has filtered out the crap I don’t want to see, so I brazenly surf channels, believing there will be nothing offensive. Obviously, I’ll be burned by this.
So, to answer your question, yes, I propose complete deregulation of television and radio. Think of it like a mine field. If you don’t know you’re in a mine field, but believe that the most destructive mines are taken out (with smaller mines left in), you walk through without regard to the mines that are there. You may or may not hit one, but with each successful trip through the mine field, you walk through with more and more reckless abandon.
However, if you know you’re in a mine field, with more destructive mines than in the previous example, chances are you won’t go through it until you have an accurate map. The more accurate the map, the more willing you are to go through and the greater the chance you get through it safely.
So it is should be with media. If all channels had the ability to show anything from Disney to hard core adult entertainment at any time, you can be that I wouldn’t turn that on without knowing what I was looking for and where to find it. You can also bet I wouldn’t channel surf. Does that make questionable content available to kids? Yes, which is why we would teach our children why that is wrong and to avoid it. We would also be sure to have some sort of protective device on the channels we didn’t trust or at the times we don’t like.
This way, each family has censored their media according to their own values and are completely comfortable with whatever is showing on TV at any time. With a policy like this, I believe all but the most depraved of parents would monitor their children’s TV watching much more carefully and we would see an overall rise in the general morals of society.
What do you think?