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Letter to the Editor: Violence in Media

In 2015, 42.5 billion hours were streamed by members of Netflix. This would mean that on average each member spent about 568 hours watching Netflix that year. People spend a lot of time watching media, not counting the other media they see everyday such as billboards, magazines, and social media. Media is important in a lot of people’s lives and they should know the impact it has on them. For my senior capstone project I chose to research Violence in the media. I watched the last two episodes of seasons three, four, and five of the popular Netflix original television show Orange Is The New Black. Doing this project opened my eyes to many things. I learned how violent television shows can impact our society. The portrayal of violence in the media is shown so often that society has become oblivious to how it can affect the actions of people around them. It is crucial that people understand what impact violent media can have on our society. The amount of violence in the TV show Orange Is the New Black normalizes violence in prison as well as in everyday life. It shows extreme violence in the prison such as drugs, overdose, fighting, riots, and even murder. It also shows flashbacks including violence from the inmates childhood or the reasons why they ended up in prison. Showing and normalizing these violent acts in media can lead to violence being done more often in society. When studying this television show, I found that the inmates went through with violent acts and rarely got reprimanded for doing them. This is bad for our society because it could make people participate in violent acts in the real world. It is a violent television show and could give the wrong impression to people about violent acts such as doing drugs, yelling, and physical and verbal violence. What we watch in our free time can shape who we are as a person in our society. I decided on violence because I feel that it is a growing problem in our society and violent media could cause this problem to worsen and influence more people to participate in violent acts. Knowing that violence is a problem in society people should think about if they would let their little siblings or their future children watch violent media.

-Kacey Hubbell