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The Negative Effects of Social Media

Discussion
Apr 18, 2013
by: mahkim
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!

Comments

Muy Interesante! ;)

Submitted by sancla on Mon, 2013-04-22 11:15.

Dear Kimbo,

The media is definitely impacting the lives of many teens worldwide! I would call it a worldwide epidemic. I’d love to say that the media has had some positive influences, because it has helped us, as youth, become aware of community oriented issues. Along with keeping in communication with relatives and friends about issues that may or may not concern us. Although the media can be portrayed as a demonic thing, it is what is used day by day. I really agree with your statement on how the media has a secret influence on people psychologically, because it does happen. Without knowing it so many people, youth in particular, are forming opinions on matters that are not necessarily the best. It’s scary to know how big of an influence one TV show, magazine, or movie can have. Maybe if society lets go of the media we can become self aware, but there is that possibility that, that might not even happen. It is interesting to know the negatives, but the positives are something to look at too. In most cases the positives also share the negatives. In a way there is no definite choice of right or wrong; it is just based on opinion.

I totally agree with your statement of, “ 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.” Yikes! It is true, and frightening. The media is so powerful, that even my comment right now is probably being monitored! Happiness is a concept that is very confusing and troublesome. I guess the media only portrays their “definition” of happiness and subsides anything or everything that goes against it. Dealing with situations should be solemnly based on the individual and not what he or she sees and copies. Thank you so much for posting about this topic. It is super interesting and I would love to read more!

Nice Post!

Submitted by ramaar on Mon, 2013-05-06 12:54.

Dear Kimberly Mahahahahahdeo,
I am interested in you article “Negative Effects of Social Media” because in our day and age, social media is very popular. I always thought that social media was affecting the way we think and act, but I thought I was the only one thinking this. One sentence you wrote that sticks out for me was “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 nail on the head with this statement. I think this because it directly shows how powerful the media is to its audience which mainly consists of teenagers.” This statement stood out for me because it shows how the media negatively affects people and the way they think. One particular part of the statement I agree with was that the media promotes different types of stereotypes. One of the most popular stereotypes is the raspy and annoying voice that female Caucasians talk in. I believe this stereotype is promoted by the movie “White Chicks. Another sentence you wrote that stands out for me is “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.” This stood out for me because there were instances where the media tried to promote healthy ideas instead of negative, like non smoking campaigns. Thanks for writing, this was a very interesting article and I look forward to what you write next.

Yas!

Submitted by sanfra on Tue, 2013-05-14 11:13.

Kimberly,

This is an interesting topic, since it is something that most teenagers are caught up in. New music , movies , and televisions shows can influence the mind of any individual. The scariest influence is the “denial” one. A point you made that stood out for me was “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.” this drew my attention, because it is something that is true. The media started off as a place for information , education, and a bit of entertainment (sports wise). But the big question is are these things influencing the entire society? This quote from your post “ It is bad enough that the media has a negative impact on people, but what makes it worse is that those people are teenagers.” is strong, because teenagers are a high percentage of those getting influenced by the media. Teenage years are the years where everyone is trying to find themselves, and a teenager may believe that the media has a few “good” tips. Not always is the media wrong though, Kimberly. The whole idea of television can help a lot of students learn more through visuals. Videos and televisions are basically the same thing, so, why do teachers present videos for students? Because it varies the type of learning a child can be presented with. Despite your great points, the media is something that will always continue. Even though, the media does have some bad effects, it has amazingly great ones as well. Nothing is perfect. Another point which stood out immensely from your article was “Several of the most prominent negative influences the media has on teenagers of America are school, obesity, advertising, stereotypes, violence, and sex.” The media allows a lot of people to look at a group of individual differently, but it takes a lot of ignorance for a teenager to ramble on about these stereotypes.

Thought-provoking post!

Submitted by MisterL on Tue, 2013-05-28 09:06.

Dear Kimberly,

I am interested in the topic that you have discussed in the post "The Negative Effects of Social Media" because this is a huge issue today, and not just for young people. Everyone who uses social media is affected in terms of attention span, brand preferences, and so forth. I myself have noticed that I now prefer shorter, You-tube-length clips to longer, full-length shows and movies.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is, "This statement and statistic actually surprised me even though deep down I actually knew it but just never had proof and looked into it." How fascinating! I think we often find that hard data and other forms of research can highlight the things that we know deep down but perhaps don't think about very much.

Another sentence that I liked was, "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." Great point! I think we also have to consider the effects of factors other than the media (such as parents and the decline in parent-child time spent together, not watching TV or other media), even though the media certainly does have a strong influence.

Your post reminds me of a study I read recently that showed a negative correlation between time spent playing video games and GPA. Perhaps this is just a function of not getting enough sleep (staying up late to play video games), or perhaps there is something more to it.

Thank you for your insightful writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because it is so important for young people to think about the many factors that affect them--their behaviors, their media preferences, how they spend their time, etc. Self-awareness is crucial!

--Mr. L

comment

Submitted by Scarlett Anthony on Fri, 2013-10-11 09:53.


Dear Mahkim,

I enjoyed reading your comment mahkim, and i found it very interesting. “The Negative Effects of Social Media” was a good post, and I agree with your opinion on the issue. Studies have shown that media has one of the greatest impacts on teenagers, and you had good statistics to back up your opinion. One part that you wrote that stood out to me was, “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.” Many teenagers strive to be just like the “perfect” person on TV or any social media. In reality, the skinny model on TV is not perfect, and young girls should not think being skinny is the only way to be beautiful. Another thing that hit me hard was, “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.” I know personally that teenagers get false hope by what can really make you happy. Many people at my school rely too much on media related things to make them happy, and it is not a good impression on life. Thank you for your writing, and I look forward to what you will write next because I enjoy learning about the studies and statistics related to this topic. It is interesting to me how social media changes so much over time.

Sincerely,

Scarlett Anthony