Violence in the media is nothing new. We see violence in all forms, whether it’s through movies, tv, video games, or simply from watching the news. It’s an unfortunate reality of today’s society. But does the violence depicted in the media, especially the dramatized and graphic versions we see in movies and tv shows, cause more harm than good? At what point is the line between entertaining and traumatizing crossed?
In my experience, I’ve noticed that the people of my generation can’t seem to get enough of the stories that make their skin crawl. Often these stories are filled with twisted plot lines, violence, and similarities to horrific events that people experience in their personal lives. Some could argue that these violent plotlines serve as a cautionary tale.
The reality of violent situations may not be as intensely dramatic as those viewed on screen, but they are still real threats. Of course, I am also fascinated by these stories and depictions. But I often find that I leave my viewing experience feeling more paranoid than before. As a woman, I am constantly looking over my shoulder for unseen and unprecedented dangers, and these depictions only add to my overly cautious behavior. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good thriller; but sometimes I wonder if I am further traumatizing myself with this form of entertainment.
On the other hand, I’m sure I’m not the only one worried that these violent depictions may serve as a guidebook to some disturbed individuals. Part of the draw of this media is the unexpected strategy enacted to commit horrific crimes. Every clever bad-guy movie and tv show may only serve to make more clever bad guys in real life.
All of this being said, the line between an entertaining and a traumatic viewing experience is thin. While some may not be affected by the horrific events depicted in media, some leave knowing the reality of being consumed by a similar situation.