I look back over the past years and notice a significant social change in our entertainment. Look at some of our popular television programs today such as Modern Family, Family Guy, and The Simpsons. They may be entertaining but they leave me a little uncomfortable. I ask myself how are today’s programs different than The Cosby show, Full House, Boy Meets World, or Leave it to Beaver? The major thing that becomes apparent to me is that the way parents are presented has changed. In programs such as leave it to Beaver the parents were seen as intelligent and respected but in today’s programs parents seem to have no control of their children and are depicted as ignorant and lazy. When you would watch a program such as The Cosby show or Leave it to Beaver the parents were hard working and respected, you can remember when the parent from one of those shows would sit down with their child and explain right from wrong and that sometimes it is hard to do the right thing. Did you ever see Ward Cleaver or Cliff Huxtable do something that made you lose respect for them, no.
Today’s programs focus more on laughs and in many cases ignore the social ramifications of ones actions. This makes me wonder if programming is not being socially responsible. I understand that the goal of these programs is to gain viewers which in turn will generate income but is it at the expense of our children? It is clear that we do have the choice to either let our children watch these programs or not but one should consider the long term impact of our choices carefully for our children’s future. Could we let our children watch these programs and use them as talking points for discussing right from wrong? If so we could use the programming as examples, but in order for that to work parents would have to present themselves in a proper manner and provide a positive example for their children. So we should ask ourselves is the programing a portrayal of the truth or is it a socially irresponsible depiction of parenting today? If it is true we have an even more serious problem and we need to strongly consider what are we going to do about?