The Desensitization of Media
Consistently we here parent groups, trolling Facebook and other parts of the internet talk about how there is too much sex and violence on TV. It’s one of those problems that seems to never be resolved. The decade before complained about it, the decade currently complains about it, and the decade after will complain about it as well. But one thing that has changed in our complaints of how explicit or graphic the media can be is our threshold for what is graphic or what is not.
Our desensitization, however, also presents itself in other ways in the media. For instance, the flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz in their time were as terrifying as a seen from Alien or Saw to audiences but as special effects technology became more advance and society moved away from more conservative stories, the flying monkeys lost their grandeur as horrifying monsters.
A more notable example of how the public’s sensitivity on controversial issues has evolved is the infamous “Daisy” ad for Lyndon Johnson’s campaign for reelection. A child shown playing in a field followed by footage of a destructive and monstrous mush room cloud struck fear into the hearts of millions. Though the images now to us display more of a nostalgia of 20th century politics, families were scared to turn on their televisions to witness horrifying images.
Regardless, our society has started a tradition. From flying monkeys scaring the pants off of us to people being butchered in Hostel: Part II, our threshold for disturbing is always pushed the limit and constantly evolving.