An Analysis of How Mass Media Affects the Youth

AN ANALYSIS OF HOW MASS MEDIA AFFECTS THE YOUTH Imagine a world without media. Can limiting the amount of media in today’s society, decrease the affects it has on the young minds of today or not? Can their minds develop an intellectual way of thinking and behaving under a restricted amount of media? Being so, media everywhere has both negative and positive influence on the youth. This essay will discuss such influences of the media on the youth as well as how they can be addressed. First, the mass media affect young people’s fashion sense.
Simply take a glance at the way young people around you dress nowadays, it is probably something they have picked up over the internet or magazines. What they are wearing may look similar to what famous actors or singers have worn recently. When choosing what to wear, most of young people have a tendency to choose what is said or shown to be fashionable by famous people. We cannot deny that the mass media have a great contribution to shaping the young people’s way of thinking. What they watch on TV, radio and what they read in newspaper and magazines affect, without their awareness, a great deal to their thinking.
Does what His Majesty the king or the honorable prime minister say on TV mean anything to you? Does what your music idols wear affect your taste of fashion? I definitely believe the answer will be “yes”. (Berger, Gilda. Violence and the Media. United States of America: Moffa Press, 1989) Although most of our media appears to be superficial and meaningless fluff, violence and chit chat, it is also a source of education, wit and non-violent entertainment. Both salesmen and individuals wishing to promote various things have at some point made use of the different forms of the media.

They have used the media to promote what people should wear, eat, do and even value. The effects of media will vary with a child’s age and stage of development. (McQuail, D. , 2008. McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory. 5th ed. London: SAGE Publications Ltd) Another positive side of mass media is that it keep the people updated with the happenings in the world, the internet brings so much knowledge at our disposal, television entertains us, there are so many informative channels like discovery, national geographic, the history channel to name but a few.
In brief, it can be said that if the media plays negatively, it can be disastrous, but when it plays positively, it can bring satisfaction, happiness and a feeling of awakening among the masses and the youth in particular as it informs the society about what is occurring around the world and even acts as the surveillance part of the society by giving advices, how-to’s, warning the people about oncoming natural disasters like storms, earthquakes to name but a few. (http://www. cps. ca/english/statements/PP/pp03-01. df) Although it is good that young people have such a variety of choices, some of the ideals in our culture are pressed upon them so heavily and are sometimes even demanded of them that they could leave them with no choice at all but to turn to the media. Magazines, television programs, movies and advertising are very well known forms of media and are used constantly in our society to influence young people’s lives. Some people complained that the youth nowadays tends to be lazier and more violent and want to come in for a share of social’s product as much as possible.
This is simply the result of bad programs shown on the media, incontrollable websites and even the carelessness of parents. To be free from their children, some people allow the children to surf the webs, without noticing that there are plenty of disasters on Internet which the young have little experience to deal with. People, especially teenagers, always have an idol and they tend to follow what their idols do and say no matter these things are good or bad. (Ruddock, A. , 2001.
Understanding Audiences: Theory and Method. London: Sage Publications Ltd. ) Media is a large part of the lifestyle of young people. The negative effects of the media in television, internet and magazines are problems that need to be dealt with promptly. The only solutions that can be given to minimize these problems are parental and school involvement. To address these problems, schools have programs that promote media awareness. These programs would allow teenagers to understand how media has an impact on them socially.
Parents also have the ability to enforce media awareness on their children. It is their duty to control and monitor their child’s viewing habits. If parents do not influence their children, the media will do it for them. If these problems are not dealt with, young people are going to be less confident, more violent and possible drug abusers. In conclusion, we have absolutely no control over the media. However, we do have the final decision on the path we choose to take. The extent of the power mass media s able to influence us only reaches this far; the rest is really still within our control. As individuals, young people also must control their actions and learn to grow safely and healthy in the changing environment. REFERENCES 1. Berger, Gilda. Violence and the Media. United States of America: Moffa Press, 1989 2. http://www. cps. ca/english/statements/PP/pp03-01. pdf 3. McQuail, D. , McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory. 5th ed. London: SAGE Publications Ltd,2008 4. Ruddock, A. , Understanding Audiences: Theory and Method. London: Sage Publications Ltd,2001

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