Social Learning from the Media
I used to love watch Boy Meet World when it was still playing on Disney Channel in the 90s. When I was younger I wouldn't understand why my parents would put parental controls on the shows I like to watch, but now I understand that I wasn't old enough to differentiate from whats wrong or right. Although certain things shown in Girl Meets World are seen as normal or OK, we are constantly learning through shows, movies, music, etc. As I was growing up, I learned that we mainly learn through observation & social learning, especially through the media, without even noticing it. Girls Meets World is a good show which took many similar aspects from Boys Meets World, but now that I'm aware with how society is, based on our children's attitudes & behavior, this show made me even more aware on how the media shapes society, & our future through young audiences. I just watched the first episode, and the first scene was the two young girls planning on sneaking out, or just going through the front door in-front of Riley's parents since they're supposedly not doing anything wrong, but they still go ahead & still try to sneak out, but Cory catches them & comes into the scene all cheerful & not mad at all for catching his daughter & bestfriend trying to sneak out. I think that this part of the episode shows young teens that it's okay to risk sneaking out, and even though they get caught - they won't get in serious trouble.
Another scene from the episode is when Maya talks back to the teacher, who is Cory, and fights for the cause to have no homework, & then all other students follow her lead. Although it gives a message about protesting on what you are against, but this scene it's protesting against homework which gives the idea to young audiences that its OK to not do homework, and possibly disobey their teachers.
Another example is when the main character, Riley, is trying to be like her best friend, Maya, who is obviously a bad influence. I think that the message that is being portrayed to our young audience is that it's normal or OK to give in to peer pressure. In addition to that, although Maya told the teacher that she doesnt do homework because no one is there to help her at home, they also give the message to the young audience that its OK to not do homework or act in such a behavior just because of what is going on in their family household. Another thing that caught my attention is that given with how young the character looks, and showing that its okay to be mesmerized with the opposite sex - just gives our children the impression that they are old enough to be feeling, behaving, worrying or thinking that way about the opposite sex at such a young age. Finally, GMW doesn't show any punishment or ground rule for their behavior. Even when the girls tried sneaking out or when Riley wanted to be like Maya when she talks back to their teacher or opposes on doing homework & basically doing whatever she wants even if its wrong, but still stood up for her, makes it seem that its OK to do such things, and doesnt give the message for kids to be careful with who they hang out that can bring them into trouble. Cory does say to her daughter/student that she should have known better, and told Maya that friends dont bring each other down, they don't really send out that message based on the main scenes thats being focused on.
There are many other aspects in the episode that caught my attention, and I still have the rest of the season to watch, but I hope that my review is understandable, and that I'm not being too critical of it. It just concerns me, because our children watch it, and through our children, it shapes society as a whole.