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The Negative Influences of Media
“Each year, the average American spends 1550 hours of TV, listens to 1160 hours of radio, and spends 290 hours reading newspapers and magazines,” (Workingpsychology). Media comes in all shapes and sizes: television, radio, magazines, internet, music, video games, advertisements and movies. Media is all around us; in our homes, cars, markets and even schools. Teens and young children are easily influenced by media, which affects their character and behavior (Debatepedia). Parents should take actions to save their child from losing their morals. According to Workingpsychology, TV is the most popular form of media. Statistics say that, “Television is the best studied medium and the average teenager watches it for more than three hours a day,” (NYTimes). With all the TV that kids watch, it is no wonder as to why some kidsdisplay inappropriate behavior. Parents constantly tell their children to stop doing what they see on television, but wouldn't it be easier for them to simply censor the things they watch? Also, the “cool” things that media glorifies influence teens to want things that are not essential (Buzzle). Teens are also very active on the internet which has negative effects on their young immature minds. Media from all these sources can also mature a child too fast. Things such as sexual activities should be taught when the time is right, not when a child stumbles upon it (NYTimes). Media is everywhere you turn and kids are constantly influenced by it. With all this exposure to media, teens and children are susceptible to negative influences; therefore, parents should censor what their children watch and hear.
Teens and kids are negatively influenced by Hollywood movies, magazines, and videogames. According to Debatepedia, “Hollywood films glorify sex and violence, attacking the moral values of all societies and leading their young astray.” Teens that constantly watch movies that are not censored can easily lose theirmoral values. They also believe that the characters” actions are acceptable, so they imitate them. Celebrities that are constantly in the media, such as Amy Winehouse, glorify the use of drugs and alcohol (Buzzle). Some teens believe that celebrities are ideal role models and feel that it is okay to emulate their actions. This is wrong since celebrities are usually in the mediadue tosex scandals and drug usage. Kids and teens look at these celebrities and say that they want to be exactly like them (NYTimes). Most popular video games which many teens play also demonstrate violence (Buzzle). Parents should pay attention to the rating of the games in order to prevent the minds of their child from being corrupt. Parents and guardians should be aware of the movies and magazines that their children view to preserve their character and morals.
Teens are widely influenced by music and advertisements. Almost all teens and kids listen to music; however, some lyrics that kids listen to are not appropriate for their age (NYTimes). Kids that are only 10 or 11 years old listen to songs about sex. This is immoral, due to the fact that kids at that age are premature and should not be exposed to that kind of influence until they are ready. Also, advertisements on TV and billboards are displayed to children and teens daily. According to NYTimes, “Teens are showed an estimated amount of 50 advertisements per day.” Most advertisements that kids and teens see are regarding weight loss. By seeing the advertisements, kids are motivated to lose weight by enduring unhealthy diets and unhealthy techniques (NYTimes). When teens cannot afford the item that is being advertised, they find other ways to lose weight such as Bulimia (Buzzle). Teens are influenced into doing things that can potentially kill them. Advertisements on TV also influence kids and teens to want things that are not essential (Buzzle). This wastes their parents' money and creates a character that is spoiled and not knowledgeable. The influence of advertisements has proven to be negative because of the things that they promote. Both advertisements and music has a possibility of dehumanizing and corrupting a young adult's mind. Parents should censor the music that has bad influences. Parents should also teach and censor their young ones from believing advertisements.
By far, teenagers and children are the ones' who are mostly influenced by internet and television. As years go by, the internet is becoming more and more popular among the teenagers. However, if an immature teenager or child stumbles across inappropriate things such as pornography, it can artificially age them (NYTimes). Logically, children and teens should mature at their own paces. Instead of accidentally coming across these inappropriate things, students should learn about this at school. Instead of simply letting kids go on the computer, parents should censor inappropriate websites. Another culprit of media influence is television. Television is popular among kids; in fact, “Television is the best studied medium, and the average teenager watches it for more than three hours a day,” (NYTimes). Some believe that television is just used for entertainment, but they are oblivious to the negative influences. The shows that teens watch such as “Laguna Beach”, glorify sex and alcohol, which for some ages is not appropriate (NYTimes). These shows can contribute to negative behaviors of teens. Most teens take what they see on TV and reenact them in order to be “cool” (NYTimes). Also, most television shows that revolve around comedy make fun of nationalities and races (The CuteKid). This encourages kids to become discriminative towards others which can corrupt them and possibly turn them into racists (The CuteKid). As parents, they should either block certain channels or shows; or watch the shows with their children. If not handled properly, kids and teens can be corrupted by society.
Although the negative influences of media is widely recognized, some believe that media has positive influences on teens and children. Some argue that, “Media has enhanced overall knowledge,” (Buzzle). However if children and teens have knowledge of things that are not suitable for their age group, they can very well age too quickly which will affect their growth as adults. Others might argue that media is a good resource because it helps teenagers embrace technology (Buzzle). Although kids embrace technology, such as the internet, they are distracted from their school work and their other priorities. If kids take in too much too fast, they can be overwhelmed and be consumed by it. Others, might also plead that media informs kids about drugs, sex, smoking and alcohol (Buzzle). In response, children and teens that are informed to early about unjustifiable actions, can affect their aging process. Also, some kids, although informed not to do drugs and alcohol, are too young to understand the consequence; and in the state of being immaturity, might try it to be cool or to fit into the “in” crowd. With this vital information, it is evident that the negative influences outweigh the positive influences.
With all the negative influences in the world, teens should not fall into the trap of the media. Media can create a void inside a young adult's life that can be irreversible (Buzzle). Teens and kids should age at their own pace, not by listening and watching the media. Parents should do their kids a favor and censor the things they view. If parents do so, they can be a proud to know that they tried their best to raise an adult with good morals and ethics.
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"Media Influence - Bad Influence of Media on Children." TheCuteKid. Web. 21 Jan. 2010. <http://www.thecutekid.com/parenting/children-media-influence.php>.
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