The Negative Effects of Social Media
Something that I have been interested in learning more about has been the media’s effect on teenagers. I remember one of my teachers talking about it awhile ago, but I haven’t been interested in it until now. Lately, the issue has caught my eye again. I know that many people feel that watching the latest movies and keeping up with celebrity gossip is completely harmless. From what I have heard, the media has the most impact on teenagers. For example, I heard that one contribution to the increased rate of teen pregnancies is the large amount of nudity and sexual involvement portrayed. Now that's just what I've heard, it may or may not be true.
One thing that I know for sure about the media is that the things exposed on the media has changed over time as well as the behavior of society. Now, I've studied my share of the effects of media, for example: sociology, and it’s safe to say that society and the people in it are no longer the same. I believe that the media has a big contribution to this. Personally, It's funny to me how people complain of having unstable households and terrible childhood yet they go and ruin it even more by taking part in things they know are wrong.
The media was not always so provocative. Before, the media tried to prevent certain instances from occurring by setting positive examples and portraying happy healthy lives of the people they adore. The media is not only the news people tend to watch in the morning before they start their day, but it is also movies, television shows, magazines, etc. The purpose of these things are to inform, entertain and eventually have some affect on peoples lives. The media is very different from the way it is now; not only has technology advanced, but what technology is being used for has changed as well. I think a major contribution to this is the increase in the availability of technology.
Being that I didn't have a lot of background information on this topic, I chose to do some research on it. As I searched for blogs and news articles on Google, I came across this one article: “Teens and the Media” http://www.pamf.org/teen/life/bodyimage/media.html This article provided a lot of information and opinions on the media and its effects. Some people felt that the media affects other aspects of individual’s lives as well. These aspects include physical appearance, social behavior, educational performance and your state of mind.” Many teens want to be like the characters they see on TV. Also, some forms of media do not show the real diversity of the world. According to Common Sense Media, 74 percent of the characters on TV are Caucasian, and 64 percent of videogame characters are males.” This statement and statistic actually surprised me even though deep down I actually knew it but just never had proof and looked into it. This statement intrigued me for many reasons. It is very true and made me think, also it supported my claim stated above. I know this is true from personal experience, most of the time the media portrays happiness in many ways and it makes others believe that what happens on television will happen to them too but I think its just false hope. Not only does it give false hope but it also gives readers the wrong impression of life and the outcome of situations.
In another article I read there was this one statement that made me nod my head in agreement with the writer. It was: “Although people receive much joy from the different forms of media, it inadvertently affects the way they think and feel about themselves.” This affects teenagers in such a crucial way because they are always questioning their identity, and the media is always there to answer those questions either in a positive or negative way. The media is so strong that it can change an individual’s perspective on life and many things within it. It can also give people the wrong impression of who they are suppose to be or what is suppose to happen in their lives.
“Several of the most prominent negative influences the media has on teenagers of America are school, obesity, advertising, stereotypes, violence, and sex.” This is so true; I believe the writer hit the hammer on the nail with this statement. I think this because it directly shows how powerful the media is to its audience which mainly consists of teenagers. It is bad enough that the media has a negative impact on people, but what makes it worse is that those people are teenagers. I say this because the hardest part of being a teenager is figuring out who you are, and I speak for almost everyone who has been a teenager at some point in their life. When the media confuses teenagers and puts the wrong messages in their head it, makes it even harder for them to mold their identity.
All of this makes me think that the media is hypocritical in a sense because they talk about how the rates of everything negative in teenagers are increasing and that they have been losing their inhibitions, yet the media itself is the cause of it. How could you spend so much money to produce literature that is poisoning the minds of our adolescents then turn around and wonder why there is so much corruption in this world? I say it is time to stop worrying about making millions and stop worrying about being famous and well known and start worrying about the effect you are having on other peoples lives. The media is using its power for evil upon the ones who have gotten them to their high point in the first place. Stop thinking about plans and programs to help the situation, it is time to extirpate this situation. How do you do that? The first thing that pops into mind is very simple; it is self-reflection. Think about what you have done and are going to do, and predict how it will impact others. Stop being selfish!