Mass Media

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Mass Media's negative effect on the younger generation

In today's society, mass media including television, radio, newspaper, and magazines have become very dependable sources for many. People spend multiple hours a day reading about celebrities in the tabloids, watching biased news channels, or participating in violent video games. Even though most media is highly entertaining, people have become so reliant on media that we seem to be harming our community in a very negative fashion. Nowadays, people are living in a world ‘saturated by media, sounds, and images’ (McQuail p.456). Mass media works as a socializing factor and affects the way we view the world and how we interact with other people. However, the messages that are seen in most of the magazines these days are negative images, especially for the youth of the world. With children having easier access to mass media and a wider variety of content, the possible negative influence on health issues, gender roles, and violence has increased tremendously.

The media makes billions of dollars with the advertising they sell and that we are exposed to. We buy what we are told to be good, by the influence of others. After seeing thousands of advertisings, our decisions are based on what we see on TV, newspapers and magazines. In order to be a product we can trust it is influenced on what everyone else we know is buying and their decisions are also based on the media. These are the effects of mass media in teenagers, they buy what they see on TV, what their favorite celebrities advertise, and what is acceptable by society based on the fashion that the media has imposed them.

In the figure above shows how society spends its money on advertising.
There are some positive and negative influences from the media in young people. Some may say a positive influence is if there is a sport that is getting a lot of attention by the media and gains popularity among your friends and society, you will more than likely want to practice the sport and be like all your friends. The result is that you will have fun with your friends and be more healthy because of the exercise your are doing. However, some negative influences in teenagers are the use of tobacco by celebrity movie stars, the constant exposure and portrayal of sexual acts, the excessive images of violence, and exposure to thousands of junk food advertisements.

Young people are in a stage of life where they want to be accepted by their peers, they want to be loved and be successful. The media creates the ideal image of a beautiful man and woman and tells you what the characteristics of a successful person are, you can see it in movies and TV ("HubPages"). It's a subliminal way to tell you that if you are seen as the ideal image, you are not cool yet, so it's time to purchase the stuff they buy and look like they look.

Another negative influence in teenagers that has grown over the last years are anorexia and obesity. There are millions of adolescents fighting obesity, but at the same time they are exposed to thousands of advertisements of junk food, while the ideas image of a successful person is told to be thin and wealthy. The number of children who are obese has tripled in the past 25 years, raising kids' risk for a range of health problems (Thompson and Shanley).

Type 2 diabetes, once a weight-related disease seen only in adults, is now appearing with alarming frequency in children as young as four. Elevated cholesterol and blood pressure are also showing up earlier. "Today's children may be the first generation in modern American history to live shorter lives than their parents," says Colleen Thompson, a dietitian and coauthor of Overcoming Childhood Obesity . "At least one child in five is overweight, the percentage of overweight children has more than doubled since 1970, and childhood obesity is now recognized as a national epidemic" (Thompson and Shanley ). Also more women are obsessive with losing...
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