Where Do You Draw The Line?

Censorship has an obvious presence in almost all parts of society, particularly media. But when it comes down to your own usage and presence in the wired world, where do you draw your own line? 

When I was growing up, I was absolutely infuriated with the fact we were forbidden to watch Home and Away. I made a strong case for my parents; all the kids at school watched it, so why can’t I? The same went for Big Brother, The Bachelor and Futurama, and I thought Mum and Dad were the worst people in the world.

While it wasn’t a formally identified form of censorship, this was perhaps my first recallable experience of having media filtered from me,  something very much out of my control. I spoke to my parents this week about their fundamental logic for filtering out shows like this from my sister and I.

Essentially, our television exposure as children was centred around being mainly shown things that aligned with my parent’s values. Mum explained that the superficiality and absence of reality in the aforementioned shows were concerning for her, as she didn’t want her girls to grow up thinking this was the “norm”. This thinking is iterated by the The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), who state “children’s exposure to media during their early years can have long-term implications for their cognitive development and future media use. While new forms of media become available at an increasing rate, television remains the most used” (2011). In research conducted by the ARACY, categories that parents found to be appropriate for their children to be exposed to included:

Educational, no violence, innocent, entertaining, fun, interactive, age appropriate, real people, music, dancing, involve real children, bright, vibrant, happy, positive, bit of a story, children enjoy it, authentic genuine presenters, good stories and narratives.

Ten or so years later, I now find myself as an adult considering my own personal values when it comes to self-regulating the media that I wish to observe. No longer is there someone over my shoulder doing it for me.

How often? How much? Who wrote it? Do I want to see that image? Is this video relevant?

Facebook, while known to be quite filtered and selective in the content displayed, is the main occasion where I find myself considering just what it is I want to see. Where is the line?

To click, or not to click? (I rarely do) [Source]
Self regulation of media is so much more than deciding on the content we want to witness, but also the amount of time we spend browsing this media. And to be honest, this takes a very high level of motivation and self control. Increasingly, I find myself absent-mindedly browsing the newsfeed, even though the content may not be interesting or beneficial. According to Asano, “the amount of time people spend on social media is constantly increasing. Teens now spend up to nine hours a day on social platforms, while 30% of all time spent online is now allocated to social media interaction”.


The web is a big place, and now more than ever we can find content covering literally any area, to very varying degrees of applicability and suitability. What are your personal strategies when it comes to media management? Where do you draw the line?



Featured image: “censored” by Tom Woodward, licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) 

Published by susiealdermann

Fifth Year Bachelor of Communications and Media/ Bachelor of International Studies (Dean's Scholar) student

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