Society - People
By: - at February 28, 2013

Media's Effect on Society

Teens Watching TVTimes are getting worse, adolescents are acting like teenagers, and teenagers are acting like adults. Everything is starting at a younger age, drinking, smoking, sex, mischief. Could the media have a role in this? Or is the media simply showing the reality of the situations that are already occurring?

Teen Life in Media
The messages communicated in the media about young people are getting better at portraying what the real world is actually like, and what happens in it. There are so many more TV shows and movies about teens in school; and what actually happens like parties, sex, and peer pressure. For instance, "The Life of an American Teenager" shows a high school teen who gets talked into having sex with a “dream guy” and becomes pregnant. On this show they are showing the realness of what could and does happen in life and the consequences after the fact, instead of the traditional position of "Just Say No". That phrase goes right over the heads of teens. The messages of these shows and stories are positive; it is showing the audience what not to do, because of the consequences. The show, "16 and Pregnant", on MTV also shows many teens who are now pregnant because of the decisions they've made.  It shows how their life is now and what they have to go through. Although adolescents and emerging teens are getting worse in behavior, as time goes on, media has started to portray the realness of situations young adults go through.

Media Vs. Truth
16 and Pregnant Television ShowMedia is showing the truth of the matter, rather than what they want to be the truth. These messages might influence our observations of the behaviors of young people and/or our opinions of adolescents/emerging adults by showing us that not everyone is perfect.  Not everyone listens to the "Just say no" speeches typically given. It may show us that our children, friends, sisters, and brothers are going to do what they want in the end no matter how much you tell them it’s wrong or how bad it is. Media is now showing the teen/emerging adolescent the consequences for their behavior. However, no matter what they choose, you should be sure to let them know you will always be there for them.

Media Influence
Media Effect on Young PeopleThese messages might influence young people’s image/expectations of themselves and their friends by showing them real life. You always get told, for instance, that sex “is so bad! Don’t do it. You could get pregnant or a disease”, from school or parents, or even TV.  But you are also hearing from people who are doing it, “everyone is doing it, it’s awesome", but if they see these messages of the real life pain, they may rethink making those decisions. Although you can always tell children/teens what to do; in the long run they will do what they want to do. Media shows inside situations, outside situations, and most important, consequences of situations that young adults should be aware of.  Most of them have already gone through the situations or will be going through them and should know what to do, how to act and what will occur because of their decision.





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