As any aspect of literacy, television literacy refers to the ability to understand televised events and their impact of individual perception; a child’s literacy level is the measure of the distinctiveness the child perceives between televised events and the actual application of real life. This is basically the line drawn between what happens on television and what happens in real life and how the two are not always the same. This is specifically important in regards to violence and aggression, and that the child is able to understand what is being used in the televised show is not intended to be replicated in daily life.
The debate centers on the child’s responsiveness to perception and antegrade cognitive scripts. This makes the intentions of the debate much more ambitious then the application, because much of it is centered in assumption then in principle; there is no way to accurately test children on television impact because by the time they become adults, the culture has experienced catalyst enough to render previous data invalid. A real example is any coffeeshop; one may frequent a coffeeshop, but overtime the staff and management will change and it can be argued whether it is the same coffeeshop or not, or if the building is the only constant. But that does not make the discussion a waste of time, it is prudent to be mindful of any action’s perception and likelihood of replication so that prosocial actions can be cultivated and maladaptive traits can decline.
The crux of the debate is not that it focuses on future behavior, but current temperament. This brings the development of a child back into the domain of the parents, not the culture, since the culture cannot focus on the individual value, nor assess the individual needs of the child. The culture debates to find a mean heading, but it is the parents that actually set course of the ship in life: as nautical analogies go. I suppose it can be argued that the tip of the spear in the debate must be less of a debate and more of an assessment of cumulative education experience, because in the end it comes down to advertising and numbers then child health.
There is no value in public discussion if the parents are not willing to moderate their children’s perception. I believe children should be encouraged to develop as they naturally are, but until they are able to stand on their own feet (not literally, that happens around two), they should be instructed and moderated, encouraged and challenged, helped and led by example. To base a child on their assumption that they can rationalize television on their own apart from parental discussion, is to assume youngsters will always make the best choices. I can look at my own life and say without a doubt, they don’t.