Lessons I've Learned From TV: Stay safe, watch 'Dexter'
Before it began to spiral downhill into a giant pile of burning garbage, 'Dexter' was one of my favorite shows. The first few seasons were incredible, but were unfortunately followed by formulaic nonsense filled with cheap thrills and forced plot developments. What I always found interesting about the show was the way it depicted the world. According to "Dexter", there is more evil existing in the world than most people would like to believe. While at first this intrigued me, I found that eventually it the show began to kind of push the idea too far.
One of the show's underlying themes was how you never really know someone. People have their secrets; some even live dual lives. The example the show focuses on is how serial killers operate in complete secrecy while living normal everyday lives, shielding themselves from suspicion. While this may be true, the show began to take it too far. As Dexter began to hunt down a different killer each week, it eventually turned into something else. The world was no longer a place where killers and monsters blended into the public eye, but rather it became a strange world with only two kinds of people-serial killers and the people who stop serial killers. I'm not sure if I buy into this bleak depiction of our society, but it certainly is scary to imagine.
The show did have some real life lessons about safety and protection. As we watched serial killers hunt their prey, it was amazing to see how easy it was to kidnap and assault innocent people in public. First, do not walk alone at night in strange places. Everyone has heard this before, but it still happens. Second, if you must walk alone, don't walk alone under the influence. Third, be careful what kind of information you make visible to strangers. I'm not just talking about monitoring your Facebook posts for private information. There was an episode where a serial killer simply looked at the back of an SUV to find a bumper sticker of family stick figures with names. All he had to do after that is approach the children and say the parent's names in order to abduct them. Don't make it simple for somebody to abduct you or your family.
Finally, be careful who you date or become involved with. Everyone may seem nice and trustworthy at first, but you unfortunately cannot really trust anyone too soon. Avoid being alone with people you do not know that. This may sound paranoid, but it happened on the show and can happen in real life. It does not take too much effort to gain someone's trust to take them out on a date alone somewhere isolated from others where you can easily be abducted. I don't mean to scare people off from of dating, but you should always be careful. "Dexter" may just be a show, but unfortunately there are sick people out there.
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