Media Influence on Teens
By Anam Ansari

February 3, 2007
If you ask a teenager what their hobbies are, the majority of them will end up saying surfing on the computer, playing sports, sleeping, eating and watching TV. Ah, watching TV… a hobby of almost every single teenager. Ever wonder why it’s more teens who watch TV than adults? It’s because TV shows them what they like and what they want. A lot of the youth’s role models come from television. There is a lot which inspires one from watching TV, but you can’t blame it; TV has so many elements – commercials, songs, soap operas, reality shows and movies. We practically have access to anything, and with access to so many things through television, teens can get influenced so easily. After all, role models like Eminem, 50 Cent, Donald Trump, and so many other people, all in some way or the other begin from TV. I’m going to admit it, I love watching it, but hey… does it really deserve as much credit as humans give it? Maybe it does or maybe it doesn’t, I’m not so sure yet because I’m a great fan of television! However, I think the people who bring us all these great spectacles and shape our opinion have started to take advantage of it and use it in one of the most terrible ways, but not to mention, one of the smartest ways as well. Over the past few years, the media has promoted sexuality among teens, violence, coarse language, revealing clothing and the “perfect body”.
Since the media has so many ways of sending their message across, we become the “prey” to them. Young children who watch TV without supervision are sometimes exposed to violent language and inappropriate scenes. As they grow up, they watch the same thing repeatedly and become used to, what were once considered restricted images. Music videos and TV shows directed towards teenagers portray sexual activity during one’s adolescence and wearing revealing clothing as a normal thing amongst young people.
Adolescent girls who are growing up and are in the process of discovering themselves are influenced by thousands of magazines and celebrities. Magazines which promote “healthy” diet plans to get the “perfect body” succeed greatly because many girls make themselves vulnerable by feeling insecure about the way they look. As hard it is to believe, girls are becoming weight conscious from the age of 8. 80% of 9 year olds go on diets to make themselves look better. Magazines affect young boys and their views on the “perfect body” as well. Thousands of males are becoming insecure about their body because they don’t look built and buff. Boys start weight training fanatically and some even end up using anabolic steroids that assure finer muscles and more stamina to look perfect and fit in with the crowd.
Come on guys! Now that we know that the media targets us, we can prevent ourselves from doing stupid things which promote what they present. At the end of the day, we all need to ask ourselves one question… Are the images brought to us by the media affecting us, our friends and our families in a negative way? If your answer is yes, then it’s time we stop acting as the media’s puppets and create awareness. I don’t know about you, but in my opinion walking around and shooting random people as it’s a daily routine for me or going on pathetic crash diets which end up making me puke is a pretty idiotic thing to do. I’m not going to let myself, my friends or my family sit around and let the media control our lives, and if you’re smart, you won’t either.


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