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Digital migration and parental control

Friday, October 30, 2015: The thought of the much-talked-about digital migration makes me wonder whether what I once witnessed in the home of the Mwilas in the year 2008 will not multiply in many Zambian homes. It was a most embarrassing situation.
I had gone to visit them after a Bible study in the evening. They asked their kids to leave the TV room so that we could chat there. The kids forgot to change the channel or switch off the television, and the parents simply reduced the volume so that we could talk.
Before long we saw a stark naked woman join a stark naked man and things which are supposed to be totally private began to happen, . Mr Mwila was so upset when he realised that this is what his kids had been watching. It was a most embarrassing moment!
There is no doubt that the introduction of digital migration in Zambia will bring a new lease of life on the Zambian TV screen. Before these changes began, many people spoke of TV in Zambia as being boring. You needed to pay for DSTV to watch interesting movies.
Now with digital migration there is need for more care in choosing programmes that will be screened in Zambia in order to protect the morals of our young people. Businessmen know that sex sells and so public morality will not be their number one priority.
Some of the programmes on cable television networks give the impression that sex among unmarried people is a normal part of life. There is a perennial diet of explicit sexual scenes beamed on TV screens. The message is, “Everyone is doing it!”
We should exercise some caution in all this and should ensure that parental control is kicked in more vigorously. The fact is that some programmes are not fit for young people or family viewing, as we witnessed in the home of the Mwilas that day.
Even in Western countries, where these programmes largely come from, the programmes are rated so that there is some warning to viewers about the content and possible effect of the programmes. Parents are encouraged to use the parental control option.
Where this is totally absent, you can be sitting with your children watching a programme when all of a sudden, on the screen right in front of all you, an act of sex begins! Who will you blame? This, no doubt, will be a wake-up call for many parents soon.
It is not only sex that is glamorised on television. Violence is also the order of the day. Each day, guns blaze, bombs explode, people are tortured, human heads are chopped off, cars crash, and kung fu fighters spill human blood like paint all over the place.
Whereas it is true that these people are merely acting, with new technology in the filming industry everything looks so real! As a result, human life is cheapened in the eyes of people who view such scenes everyday because they see people being killed like rats.
In the USA, where most of these movies are made, school children are now shooting fellow school children and teachers. Therefore, you do not need to be a genius to guess where the influence is coming from. The channel is the TV screen.
As we go through this digital migration as a nation, we must take our parental moral responsibility seriously. We cannot plant moral filth into our children’s minds and claim innocence when an epidemic of immorality and crime breaks out in Zambia.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:7, “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!” God will hold us to account if we corrupt the morals of our children through carelessness.
We cannot totally keep moral filth away from our children. Some will find it with friends at school while others will find it on the Internet. Let us talk with our children about the moral degradation that comes from moral filth. Then, let us add parental controls!
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