Everyday, millions of people watch millions of movies, all around the world. The film industry has one of the biggest influences on society. I mean, who doesn't love a good movie, right?
What most people do not realize however, is just how much their love of silver screen classics has molded their frame of mind and view of life.
Through this popular form of mass communication, any kind of behavior or idea can be implemented. This is where we get our ideas about romance and love, gender roles, and even acceptable human interactions. The cult classic Mean Girls, for example, led us to believe that emotional bullying in an intolerable act that will have negative effects on everyone involved, including the bullies. While the Disney animated feature Mulan, taught young girls everywhere that you do not have to be a boy to be a hero.
Public displays of affection became popular because of the way romance was portrayed in early cinema in the mid to late 60's. Not only that, but because of films like Rebel Without a Cause youths began to question the very idea of happiness and began to pull away from the roles society had pushed on them.
Unfortunately, not all films share the same positive outlook of life. Movies like Jaws, which was meant to entertain, inspired an entire country's irrational fear of sharks. On the other hand, many real underground fight clubs sprouted shortly after the release of David Fincher's critically acclaimed film Fight Club.
Many studies show that watching increasingly violent films can desensitize the mind to real life violence. Meaning that we find blood, gore, and aggression more acceptable, which is UNACCEPTABLE! (pardon the redundancy)
Though is sounds silly, many people let Hollywood dictate how they live their lives. In many cases, instead of movies portraying reality, reality portrays movies. Among the most tragic examples of this is the death of young Mickey Culpepper, who lost his life at the age of 23 by playing Russian Roulette with friends shortly after watching the film The Deer Hunter.
I am not saying that movies kill people. They DO NOT!
The real danger posed by the film industry is that people are no longer thinking for themselves. Instead of provoking thought, films are implanting thoughts. It seems like now they tell us what to wear, who to love, what to buy, where to eat, how to interact with one another, and even how we should be having sex!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Movies are meant to inform and entertain, NOT to influence and manipulate.
The next time you sit down to watch the latest box office hit, don't just consider how it makes you feel, be aware of WHAT IT IS MAKING YOU THINK.