Published on July 27th, 2015 | by Robyn Purchia1
Creepy Pictures of Kids Watching TV
“…when media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously. In this context, the great sages of the past run the risk of going unheard amid the noise and distractions of an information overload. Efforts need to be made to help these media become sources of new cultural progress for humanity and not a threat to our deepest riches.”
In this quote from his environmental encyclical, “Praised Be,” Pope Francis issues a dire warning about the growing presence of technology and media in our lives. It is disconnecting us from nature and each other. We’re forgetting what it means to be human.
Pope Francis’s words come to life in the images of Australian-born photographer Donna Stevens. In her series, “Idiot Box,” she captures creepy pictures of children lulled into a stupor by the unknown happenings on the screens before them. There is no recognition of the photographer or the fact that they’re being photographed. The children are completely disconnected from the world around them.
“They say photographing kids is hard work but this shoot was simple,” Stevens said. “I experienced first hand the power of the screen as it lulled my subjects into a TV-coma before my lens. None of them talked or moved during the shoot. I didn’t direct them in any way. And even though I was positioned right in front of them with my camera, they barely noticed me.”
It is no big shock that prolonged exposure to TV is bad for kids. Studies have shown that children who spend more time outside have more self fulfillment and purpose, a deeper appreciation for beauty, and feel a greater connection to nature. Children who spend more time inside watching TV don’t develop these skills as quickly. Instead they are exposed to more violence, risky behavior, and advertising through the programs they watch, and have a greater risk of being obese.
Although the findings of these studies aren’t surprising, many kids still watch too much TV. There seems to be something that keeps calling kids, their parents, and everyone, to tune in and tune out their minds.
“TV is just one of the ever present black screens through which we negotiate our lives today,” Stevens concluded. “‘Idiot Box’ hopes to explore the darker side of our love for technology. Should we exhibit more caution about the role of technology in our children’s lives? Is our techno-paranoia warranted? No matter what gadgetry we may possess and blame for our undoing, do our problems still just remain human?”
Check out these photos and see whether TV makes us human or inhuman.
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