Dr. G. Rothwell
November 14th, 2012
The Negative Impacts of the Media on Children and Teens
Today in our society you can’t watch TV without seeing or hearing about sex, you can’t listen to the radio without hearing foul language, or hearing about drugs or related scandal. It’s affecting our society as a whole and more importantly, our younger generation. In a matter of seconds, most children can mimic a movie or TV character, sing an advertising jingle, or give examples of what they have learned from the media. Sadly, these examples may include naming a popular brand of shoes, striking a sexy pose, or play fighting. Children only have to put a movie in the DVD player, open a magazine, click on a website, or watch TV to experience all kinds of messages. The younger groups of children are most likely to imitate the behavior after viewing a movie or TV show.
Media offers entertainment, culture, news, sports, and education. Media is an important part of children and teenager's lives and TV has much to offer. But some of which it offers may not be what parents want their children to learn. Sometimes you can see the impact of media right away, such as when children watch superheroes fighting and then they copy their moves during play time. But most of the time the impact is not so immediate or obvious. It occurs slowly as children see and hear certain messages over and over again. Children who witness violence on a daily basis are much more likely to solve conflicts in a violent way. According to the article, “Sex and Violence, Is Exposure to Media Content Harmful to Children?” Kotrla states, “In children and adolescents, greater exposure to violence in media has been correlated repeatedly to increased aggressive attitudes and behaviors” (51).
Children and teenagers who identify with the sophisticated cool and the attraction of cigarettes and alcohol don’t see them as unhealthy or deadly. For some instances such as sex is portrayed on TV and it makes it seem like sex has no negative results, such has a disease or an unintended pregnancy. Whatever form they take ads, movies, computer games, music videos; messages can be good or bad for children and teenagers.
The effect of advertisements of food for children is quite a serious matter. Advertisers use specific methods to target children consumers, but these methods are not always successful or ethical. Children of all ages spend most of their leisure time watching televisions or surfing through the internet rather than engaging in physical activities. But sadly children today are less active than in previous generations. As a result of this lifestyle change, obesity is becoming an epidemic among our youth. The media plays a major role in the epidemic of childhood obesity since it greatly influences many aspects of the lives of our youth. Exposure to the media greatly affects the children's choices including the type of food they eat.
According to the article, “International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity”, Masi, states, “The influence of programmers ‘contents on childhood obesity development thus relies on two different aspects: (a) Television use of food: The present use of food in movies, shows and cartoons may lead to a misconception of the notion of healthy nutrition and stimulate an excessive intake of poor nutritional food. The potential of the movies or televised model of food use in terms of increasing industrial sales is confirmed by the habit of food companies to pay the movie or TV production to place their products in movies or programmes. (b) Television body shape depiction: This is a topic in which the ambivalence of meanings and feelings remains he main problem. Television programmes are criticized because obese subjects are shown in a much lower percentage than in real life and this is likely to...
Cited: A Masi, et al. "Role of Television In Childhood Obesity Prevention." International Journal of Obesity And Related Metabolic Disorders: Journal of The International Association For The Study of Obesity 28 Supplement 3. (2004): S106. EBSCOhost. Web. 14 Nov. 2012.
Beresin V, Eugene. “The Impact of Media Violence on Children and Adolescents: Opportunities for Clinical Interventions”. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry”. Web. 14. Nov. 2012
“Body Image & Nutrition, Fast Facts”. Teen Health and the Media. Web. Nov. 14. 2008
Kotrla, Bowie. "Sex And Violence: Is Exposure To Media Content Harmful To Children?" Children & Libraries: The Journal of The Association For Library Service To Children 5.2 (2007): 51. EBSCOhost. Web. 14 Nov. 2012.
“Media -- Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence, What can I do to keep the media from being a bad influence on my child”. US Department of Education. Web. 14. Nov. 2012.
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