This story is a year old but I’m going through my backlog of saved links, and it’s a nice look at the screen problem and the commercialization problem and the violence problem with kids media.
I love that Sweden does not allow commercials aimed at children. We only watch the public kids channel anyway – and shows streamed from the US without commercials – but I only appreciated the quiet we live in when we visited Turkey earlier this year and the kids saw all these commercials for toys, and they were both fascinated then bored and kind of horrified.
“Oh, no! Not commercials again!”
They’re still plenty affected by consumerism, but it comes through friends and merchandising, which seems less harmful to me. So my son loves Star Wars because that’s what his friends play. So my daughter wants to watch Winx Club (she doesn’t get to) because that’s what her friends play at school. I can deal with that. It’s better than getting the messages mainlined from the amoral heart of the advertising industry and the timeless world of international toy conglomerates. Instead, they get the characters and stories filtered through play, transformed into a mythic shape, and I don’t care what the mask of the heroine looks like at that point.