For this segment of my New Communications Technology class project, I have taken on the experience of keeping a blog revolving around the antisocial and prosocial material found on television and the internet. What affects do these programs, images, and campaigns have on us and the children of our society? If something shares antisocial behavior, can it also be a tool for prosocial education?
Antisocial behavior is defined as something that lacks social grace and may cause damage to society. Within this broad category, there are a few distinct themes that are relevant to the media. Violence can be seen on any cop drama, video game, or action film, and ultimately places little positive influence on those watching. Many children’s shows present a trivialized version of violence, which some studies show that the viewer in question often mimics these transgressions as a norm. Then there is the question of sexual promiscuity or content. Sex and the City (while not the HBO version) plays on repeat on E! and TBS at all hours of the day, often glorifying the idea of sleeping around with multiple partners. It has risqué topics and scenes, including conversations on dildos, pubic hair, and even threesomes. There are popular teen dramas that show sex scenes that are often only a bra away from full nudity. Even something as simple as stereotypes is considered antisocial content. With this, there are tons of television shows, advertisements, and movies that stick to preconceived notions on others in society. They create images of gender roles and of racial context that especially in today’s society, should be broken more than affirmed.
On the other hand, there is prosocial behavior, which can be defined as content or material that encourages the good in society. This includes informative campaigns, political communications, and education. It encompasses the values that society wants our children to soak in and reiterate in their life, in essence, the exact opposite of antisocial content. For example, this course can be considered a part of prosocial behavior. Since it is education based off the internet, it utilizes new world media to conduct an old world task. Other examples of prosocial content include anti-drug campaigns, advertisements promoting safe sex, or even educational children’s shows.