Influence of Mass Media on Youth

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In the last 50 years, media influence has grown rapidly with an advance in technology. First there was the radio, then the newspapers, magazines, television and now the internet. Today, we all live in a media-dominated world. Media is a way for the members of the society to keep themselves informed about what is happening around them. It is also the major source of entertainment. By creating an image appealing to the youth, media controls the variety of material youth incorporate in their daily lives. Their images, which mostly consist of sexuality, violence, coarse language and revealing clothing, have a negative impact on the youth. Media should be forbidden from advertising and telecasting shows pertaining to violence, sex and unhealthy living because it plays an important role in shaping the opinions of the younger generation. Media violence has lead to increased rates of youth violence. Exposure to violence in the movies, video games and music videos increases the likelihood of physical and verbal aggressive and violent behaviour, thoughts and emotions in youth. Researchers have examined various communities before and after the introduction of television, to find a link between violence and real-life aggression. They found that after the television had been introduced, the incidents of fists fights and black eyes among the youth had increased significantly. Several days after an episode of Happy Days (a television show during 1970s) was aired, in which one character joined a gang called the Red Demons, children in the community created rival gangs, called the Red Demons and

the Green Demons and the conflict between the two seriously disrupted the local school. Media violence desensitizes people to real violence. A number of studies show that children/youngsters who are constantly exposed to media violence tend to be less disturbed when they witness real world violence and have less sympathy for...
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