Effects of Media on Youth Essay Sample

Effects of Media on Youth Essay Sample

Mass Media is a mighty informative weapon of modern epoch. Every day people all over the world watch TV, read newspapers listen to the radio and use Internet and this way perceive information, widespread by the mass media. Young people are greatly influenced by the mass media. Alcohol advertisements, cigarettes and junk food have negative impact on young adults and children. In addition, violence transmitted from different types of mass media created additional problem. All the problems mentioned above underline the importance of study the impact of mass media on the youth. Different scholars underline the necessity of different facts, which reflect the scope of the problem. “Additional effort is needed to develop theories that can identify underlying processes and mechanisms that link media influences to outcomes. Outcomes in turn call for tools that can measure, evaluate, and help explain how certain media experiences influence, and are influenced by, health and behavioral factors as well as cognitive and developmental processes” (Beatty). Negative impacts of the mass media on children are out of doubt. More information is needed in order to get the full idea about the possible consequences of this situation.

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Finally, government paid attention to this problem. Tom Curry, National affairs writer in his article presents a debate between Hillary Clinton, conservative Republican senators Rick Santorum and Sam Browncak and Democratic senator Joe Lieberman. Senators explained the importance of study of the impact of the mass media on youth. The impact of media on youth is a question, which must be paid great attention to. A research presented by Kaiser Family Foundation shows that average American child spends 6 and half hours a day watching television and surfing in the Internet (cited in Curry). Hilary Clinton also shares these concerns. She states that “we are exposing children to so much media that it is becoming the dominant force in so many children’s lives” (Curry). It is necessary to warn parents about potential risks, created by the modern mass media for their children. There are several ways of dealing with this problem. Governmental regulation of media contents is one of the ways out but this demand is controversial, since it deal with the freedom of media and censorship can help to protect children from the one side but at the same time it can create dangers for freedom of speech. Senator Ted Stevens proposed to increase penalties for media, who break descent limits and transmit contents which have potential danger for children. Warning parents through special advertisements can be another way out. This will become a reminder for parents and help them to control the quality of media information, which is available for their children.

Very often we see advertisements of cigarettes, alcohol products and junk food. Every day children and teenagers get under the impact of advertisements, where men and women smoke, drink or eat unhealthy food. This type of advertisements may have a negative effect on the psychics of adults and this negative impact can have dangerous consequences when we speak about young adults and children. Advertisements of cigarettes, alcohol and junk food create positive connotation in the minds of children. They feel that consuming these products is fashionable and useful. They get messages every day from different media sources. “Advertisers of tobacco and alcohol purposely leave out the negative information about their products. As a result, young people often do not know what the health risks are when they use these products” (Bosman, 2006).

Food advertisements also create dangers for young people. Childhood and the period of puberty is a time, when all food habits are formed. Advertisements of unhealthy food have negative impact on children. In addition, the idea of slim and sporty bodies creates a controversy in the minds of children. Advertisements of thin women and athletic men create unrealistic perceptions, which can finally result in nervous exhaustion.

Violence is another problem created by mass media. Children see violence on TV every day. They feel stress, frustration and can become aggressive under the constant impact of violence in advertisement (Craig A. Anderson, Leonard Berkowitz, Edward Donnerstein). In the beginning violence is perceived like something unnatural but later they get used to it, since violence is a part of everyday information transmitted by media. Such process is called “AVIDS – acquired violence immune deficiency syndrome”. Violence in advertisements and mass media does not only have negative impact on children and teenagers but can be extremely dangerous” (Grossman, 1999). This syndrome has a direct impact on the level of violence among children and teenagers.

All these facts explain the additional interest of modern researchs to the problem. This field needs a detailed study due to the importance of the problem.

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