One of the benefits of having a blog is that you can ramble on and on, without worrying if anyone cares. This is one such post. I am just putting my thoughts “on the paper” as I bang the keys on my keyboard and let the thoughts flow. I am trying to explore what is the relationship between your Netflix history and your language? Let’s find out.
This information I am sharing is partially based on research and partially my personal thoughts.
What the heck!
“What the heck!”. “Jesus!”. “Dang it!”. As soon as those words come out of my 10-year-old, I look at him, without saying anything, and he goes – “What? Our teacher says that too. It’s not a bad word!”. It then starts a 10 minutes argument about why you are not supposed to use those words. I could be a little strict on the use of language and why certain words should just not be part of your vocabulary, but a lot of my friends and family members disagree. I have this ongoing debate with them – and by now most of them have given up on me. It just ends up with someone rolling their eyes and moving on.
This led me to my research – am I the only one who thinks we use too many bad words every day which we can avoid?
Profanity on TV and its Impact
We all know that too much TV is not good for anyone. Now, research shows that for younger kids, watching television can profoundly affect their development. These effects include obesity, language delays, and learning disabilities. In a study of 223 middle school kids in the US, researchers found that those exposed to more profanity-laced TV shows or video games tended to use the blue language themselves. Another impact of using profanity, in turn, resulted in more instances of aggression. Now, this was limited with TV and Radio, because obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment, it is prohibited on cable, satellite, and broadcast TV and radio. With the advent of streaming services though, the same rules for indecency and profanity do not apply to cable, satellite TV, and satellite radio because they are subscription services. That’s where Netflix, YouTube, and other services come into the picture.
Many TV shows that were playing on CBS or ABC have to maintain the level of profanity. Now, they switch from a network show to Netflix – exclusively for streaming. As the rules are not strict for streaming there are fewer restrictions on profanity. And we end up with shows that have nothing but bad language, cuss words, and visual profanity.
Agreed, there is an audience for those things and ultimately its up to the viewer to decide what they do want to watch and what not. The problem is when there is only 1% shows you can watch with the family and 99% you can not.
Garbage In Garbage Out
I have some close friends and family members who binge-watch every new series on Netflix, HBO, Prime, and then I can see the difference in their language. Someone who has watched 20 hrs. of nonstop F&$% and A$^@#% words, is likely to say those words more often. It’s a simple case of Garbage In- Garbage Out. I am a big believer of feeding your brain good stuff, so it comes up with better idea and moves you in the right direction. Spending too much time watching TV, and on top of that watching Garbage TV is not helping.
If your Netflix watch history has 80% movies that you can not watch with the family, I can promise you, you use 20% more vulgar language than what you used to before. You may not notice this, but you are probably also 20% more aggressive than what you were before. And most importantly – in short term this may not be visible and obvious, but you may be hurting your relationships because of this. Well, unless of course watching these things together with your better half is your way of satisfying your relationships, then its impacting both of you equally. The way you do anything, is the way you do everything! So, if you take these things for granted, you are bound to take other things for granted.
Your Language – Your Destiny?
I don’t mean to preach, so I’ll end my ramblings here. If I can only leave you with a few thoughts – be careful what you feed your brain, because it’s known to process the inputs and come up with outputs far better than the inputs. The good stuff goes in, Better stuff comes out. Bad stuff goes in – worst will come out.
You are the master of your own destiny. And yes, your Netflix history, does impact your language, your actions, and in turn, your destiny!
For those who are serious about this, there are some solutions that I found on web, but if you have any other suggestions, feel free to share!
- Netflix Profanity Filter Google Chrome Extension
- CommonSenseMedia.org for knowing ratings and then deciding to watch something
- “Nofanity” is an app that scans YouTube audio and bleeps out curse words. Nofanity | Swear Word Blocker
- You can purchase a service called VIDANGEL for about 9.99 a month and it removes profanity and other things for all or most movie services.
I found that someone actually started a Petition for a Netflix Profanity Filter, but it died after 200 votes. https://www.change.org/p/netflix-create-language-filter