Media and Children’s Well-Being

On Wednesday May 2, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Tim Kasser to Cuba, IL to share his presentation titled “Media and Children’s Well-Being”  (The first 30 minutes are Tim’s talk while the last 20 minutes Tim answers some questions from the audience). This presentation was part of our Screen Free Week Activities that took place in our community (April 30 – May 4).

After receiving his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Rochester, Tim Kasser accepted a position at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he is currently Professor & Chair of Psychology.  He has written over 100 scientific articles and book chapters on materialism, values, goals, ecological sustainability, and quality of life, among other topics. He is also the author of five books, including The High Price of Materialism (MIT Press, 2002) and the cartoon book HyperCapitalism (The New Pres, 2018).  Tim spends a good deal of his time working with activist groups that protect children from commercialization, that promote ecological sustainability, and that encourage a more “inwardly rich” lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism. Tim lives with his wife, two sons, and assorted animals a few miles south of Knoxville, Illinois. And his work has been a big inspiration for why we wanted to participate in Screen Free Week activities this week.

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Value Pollution

The following is a portion of the transcript from our interview with Tim Kasser about value pollution.

On this edition we return to our conversation with Dr. Tim Kasser, a psychology professor at Knox College who is no stranger to rural living. We were extremely fortunate to speak with Dr. Kasser, he is the well-known author of a 2002 book called ¨The High Price of Materialism¨ which explores the undesirable effects that living in a consumerist culture has.  He´s also featured in Andrew Morgan´s 2015 documentary ¨The True Cost¨ which examines consumerism and the mass media; this film and 2011s ¨Happy¨ are both featured on Netflix and I highly recommend you watch immediately.

Dr. Kasser spoke with us about a topic he is very passionate, one that we´ll refer to as value pollution.  He’s studied value pollution for over 20 years and finds, among other things, that there are some very harmful effects advertising in particular has on children. While this may not seem like an issue unique to rural Americans, perhaps rural areas are better equipped to deal with this problem due to our ability to organize and come together.  Our essential questions today are why should we ban advertisements in schools and what would alternative, intrinsically-driven ads look like? We will do our best to tackle this important, eye opening topic and more on this edition of Forgottonia.

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