Some parents have blamed gengetone music to how children are turning up. Of course, gengetone, with their bawdry, crass and all the ass shaking has taken over and I have seen men and women my generation enjoying the song. Recently, I said Meja and Parotty’s Lewa, may well be the most Kenyan song in the last decade.
The truth is, the media can influence you how you think about someone. For instance, our Deputy President has been vilified as the most corrupt politician, but in reality, he is small beer, and the big cojones in the game are never mentioned.
My best media theory is George Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory. In simple terms, it states long-term exposure to TV or the media in general, starts to affect how you view the world. The world presented in the media (often dark, violent, scary) begins to inform your world-view. Now, as human beings, we generally like bad news, because evolution has wired us to always sense and smell danger.
The most obvious example of cultivation theory is Donald Trump who is a product of Reality TV. As in he lived his fantasy, until he became the president. And he became the president by being super negative, playing to people’s fears (some or most, founded), but in the long run, you can see what happened.
Back in Kenya, kids in cities are often considered spoit than their village counterpart. For the simple reason, they have access to the most damaging of human inventions: Television.
But I have some good news.
I have observed my daughter. There was a time she was addicted to TV and the phone. But soon we discovered, she prefers outdoor games, board games and playing with us. This was something positive for me. That at 5, we can actually detoxify her and offer alternatives was a good real time experiment.
Personally, since I bought a TV, recently, my productivity has tanked by 75 percent. Today, I have not switched the damned thing on, and I think, it has been my most productive day of life. Generally, I am not a television person, I haven’t watched news since 2017 bungled elections and I hold a generally positive attitude to life.
So, if we want our kids to turn up right, we must strive to give them alternatives to TV. My policy is like 80 percent physical activity, and 20 percent television. This, way, its effect will be less damaging. Secondly, we must monitor the content. TV, used well, can be used to pass on knowledge, good knowledge to kids. We can pique their interest so as they can aim for bigger things in life.
Sex is all good. Dancing is all good. Music is all good. But all these things are good, when they are compliments and complements to life. Not the main things. I know adults whose lives revolve around food, drinking and sex. You can’t blame them, because their minds were not tuned at a young age to be naturally curious. So, their minds can’t be used for anything higher than food, alcohol and sex. And that is a scariest position.
So, deny your kids access to TV. I know for those living in neighbourhoods without fields to play on, or money to afford amusement parks, invest in good educative video, and other games that will not influence kids negatively.
The same cultivation theory stipulates if we feed our mind god stuff, we turn up good.
By Silas Nyanchwani via FB