Mass Media: Sending Out the Wrong Messages
Do the names, Snooki, D.J. Pauly D, The Situation, or J-Woww, ring a bell? What about the famous sayings, “grenade whistle,” “G.T.L,” or “Jersday,” now is it making more sense? MTV’s hit reality show, Jersey Shore, has coined these terms and has become a worldwide phenomenon. The cast of Jersey Shore started out as typical teenagers living their typical lifestyles. Before the reality show premiered, some of the cast woke up everyday to their monotonous jobs, while others attended college. These eight teenagers never knew that by starring in this one television show, their lives would never be the same. Jersey Shore follows eight hardcore Italians, four guys and four girls, who spend their summer months together. Instead of living like there is no tomorrow, these roommates party like there is no tomorrow! Everyday when they wake up, they get their “G.T.L” on, which means Gym, Tan, and Laundry. At night, they get completely drunk, go to the bars, and see how many guys/girls they can bring back home. Then, they wake up and do it all over again the next day. This does not sound like a normal, healthy lifestyle that these eight roommates are living now, does it? Unfortunately, these eight cast members have become idolized by young and old viewers all around the world. MTV obviously does not believe in censorship, and Jersey Shore’s lifestyle of alcohol and sexuality is being portrayed positively in society. People worship every little move the Jersey Shore makes. Advertisers are using the cast to promote their products because of how influential these eight roommates have become. Even as we speak, on television, Ron promotes a particular weight loss substance and Snooki promotes a certain brand of cashews. These partiers are setting negative trends in society because the large consumption of alcohol and sexual actions made these eight people known all over the world. By partying all day, everyday, these people went from driving Honda Civics to Range Rovers and Mercedes-Benz. This popular television show is sending out the wrong message to viewers and making idols out of the wrong people. It just goes to show how much of an impact the media can have on society. The media has an even bigger impact on the younger generation. Media has expanded from newspapers to the radio, the television, the Internet, cell phones, and gaming devices. Schools are even using media now, more than ever before. Granted, the media is an excellent way of educating our children. However, that education can only be positive to a certain extent. The media is no longer just a part of our society; this technology has taken over our world. Children are completely immersed in the media today, and parents and guardians should regulate how much time their child is spending with any type of media. A child’s brain is not fully developed until he or she is in their twenties. If children are being exposed to drugs, sex, and alcohol through the media, how can we expect children to have the knowledge of deciphering for themselves not to engage in those certain activities? It would be especially hard for those children whose parents are absent in their lives, and for those whom have parents engaged in the drug and alcohol lifestyle. There is absolutely no way for the children to know between right and wrong. Rather than parents educating their children about sex, the media is certainly doing it for them. Ideas of sex are frequently discussed in magazines, songs, television shows, the news, and movies. Jane Brown, a professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, reported “The word sex is the most popular search term used on the Internet today.” Also, according to Brown, magazines, such as Seventeen, promote the idea that sex is a tactic for girls to keep their boyfriends. “Only about one in ten of the programs on television that include...
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