Say Good-Bye to Disney Channel?
My generation is society's future. We are incredibly media-centered due to the advancing technologies. Some may hold a false preconceived notion that this progress would enhance the minds of my generation. Unfortunately, the media is not always wholesome. Disney Channel is an excellent example of an insalubrious channel that is raising insipid, inane children. With my generation being the one to run our country in the future, should we allow Disney Channel to pollute our minds by promoting mediocrity, conformity, disrespect of authority, and disrespect of women any longer?
The mediocrity that Disney Channel promotes is within the individual cast members themselves. Although the shows have some wild situations in the background, the cast members are very common. None of them have any specific attribute that sets them apart from everyday people. Although the people playing the roles of characters on Disney Channel shows may have some form of physical beauty or talent, they are not too much different than what is seen in a school hallway every day. The averageness of the people in the shows is creating idolatry from younger children. Idolatry is forming through the older casts and younger audiences. Since young children have not yet figured out who they are, they look up to and model older people—especially celebrities. These kids, in return, are modeling contentment in being normal as this is the attitude that the characters of the shows portray. Even characters like the popular "Hannah Montana" are striving for conformity. Hannah Montana even lives a double life so she can live "a normal teenage life." It is in this way that Disney Channel is succeeding at teaching kids that it is not necessary to strive for excellence or work assiduously to obtain something that is a little out of their reach.
Conformity should be something that makes people cringe. Rather, it is strived for because it is within one's comfort zone. All of the Disney Channel shows have similar themes, with almost identical characters and situations. The characters wear similar clothes and act in a similar way. For example, Hannah Montana is the new Lizzie McGuire. Although Lizzie McGuire had a different situation in the background and played during different years on the channel, the shows are similar. This channel is encouraging conformity through the cloning of their shows and characters. It teaches people to stay within their comfort zone and never move past where they are in the moment and what is "in". Will any of our future problems be solved if everyone is taught to think and act in the same way?
Disney Channel distorts a child's view on their elders. In past generations, respecting elders was a priority or could have even been considered a way of life. That mindset has since faded through media that makes adults seem foolish. In reality, adults are not really as ignorant to children's imprudent behavior as this channel makes them seem. In the show, "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody" the mother appears to be stupid. The channel constantly shows the actress playing Zach and Cody's mother with a deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on her face. Through media like Disney Channel, kids do not recognize that adults have lived so much more life and even tried to pass stuff on their parents when they were younger, too. Children are being taught that their parents are idiots. Is that an appropriate attitude for children to have towards those that have walked the same paths? Could children lose wisdom through their disrespect towards their elders?
Women have been looking for respect for ages. Media is constantly disrespecting women because of the interest that it holds in their viewers or consumers. Disney Channel is no exception. In the show, "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody", the character Maddie is constantly being "hit on" by the twins Zach and Cody. More than this, Maddie and her friend London are completely stupid. Maddie, the "smart" one, is constantly making herself look like an idiot. In the process of making all the female characters on this show look completely unintelligent, the channel is making women appear to be that way.
Disney Channel is lacking of anything to better our future generation. A common argument is that something so mindless is used as an escape from the real issues of everyday life. What happened to the art of reading? That is intellectually stimulating and enjoyable. It takes imagination to create pictures that are not fed to one. Or how about listening to music? Groups like Relient K use higher level vocabulary words such as volition, premonition and monotonous while playing with adequate music abilities and using a lot of unique analogies. Relient K exercises the figurative language that was taught to them in their English class. Even some channels are still appropriate. Channels such as the History Channel, Animal Planet, PBS or Noggin are some examples. None of those activities are mindless actions promoting any of the qualities that are detrimental to our country's future.
Mediocrity, conformity, disrespect of authority, and disrespect of women are not things that our world needs. Through Disney Channel, such ideas are being presented as acceptable. Not only are such concepts being presented as acceptable, such concepts are being encouraged through this form of media. My generation does not need a channel like this weighing it down. An argument may be presented that abolishing Disney Channel or changing the content that the channel provides its audience with is dampening the writers' freedom of speech. This may or may not be true; that is open to interpretation. In order to fully argue that, one would need to define by the Constitution what exactly freedom of speech means to them. As far as I am concerned, it has nothing to do with that. Freedom of speech is usually looked at as the right of speaking one's mind directly. The values promoted by Disney Channel are implied by plots but never stated directly. Without freedom of speech being an issue, should we let Disney Channel poison my generation any longer?