Being the youngest child of four (the eldest three all being males) has definitely lowered my levels of regulation on the types of media I have consumed over the years. I don’t think this was done so on purpose, but my parents didn’t have a whole lot of control over the movies I watched when I was younger and in the company of my brothers and their friends. In recent years, I have re-watched the films that I saw many times at a young age and have been knocked over by the amount of crudeness that was in front of me.
Look at ‘Scary Movie’ for instance, definitely up there with a lot of other inappropriate movies– regarding drugs, sex and violence. I think I may have been between the ages of 6 and 8 when I first saw this film. I’m fairly sure my parents were aware that I had seen this movie (only after the fact) and while yes, they may have been uncomfortable about it, what could they do? It wasn’t going to stop me from experiencing these films. And maybe that’s why I’ve always been slightly more mature from a young age. I had seen and experienced things I didn’t really know about or understand, until later in life when they had some relevance to me. It was earlier that I began to see these things, because I was thrown into that media space, with no regulation.
In terms of how the media regulates this kind of consumption, there’s the obvious things– film ratings and recommended viewing audiences, advertisements etc. These all work to a certain degree. But without digging myself into a massive hole, I’ll admit that I have dabbled in illegal downloading of films and music. I don’t anymore, but that’s because of access to new and innovative sites that help prevent pirating.
I am a subscriber to Spotify Premium, which costs me a mere $11.99 a month, directly debited from my account which I hardly even notice. This prevents me from illegally downloading music, there is a such a wide selection on top of my already existing music library that there is basically no need for me to download illegal files. $22,500 per song really ain’t worth it.
Then we’ve got our best friend, Netflix. We are all so so grateful for this creation. It supplies us with a wide arrange of movies (which yes, we all get bored of quite easily) to choose from. It’s the range of genres we have access to that stops us from illegally streaming or downloading (at least for a little bit). I just make sure I get addicted to a new show on there every so often so I don’t stray into the illegal side of things.
The great thing about Netflix and Spotify and all those kinds of sites, is they remember you. You have an account, you listen to certain songs or watch certain documentaries and the website makes a note of this. “Hey Annika, since you watched ‘Stranger Things’, we thought you might like, ‘American Psycho’.” You know what, Netflix, I think you might be right! It’s my media space, it’s a world of my movies and my music. And it’s a perfect way to keep me from dabbling in the illegal stuff.