September 20, 2011
Media at its Finest
“Whoever controls the media controls the mind.” Technology in all its forms; television, radio, cell phones, music, and art, all play a part in our everyday lives. What’s more, is that the media we see is not always accurate because we do not necessarily see the whole story. Media nowadays consists of what the news wants the public to see instead of the whole story. Mass media has even become so influential in the 21st century, that local news channels have become segregated to either leftist or right wing opinions.
Mass media has attributed to every part of our lives. From the morals we follow, to the political parties we choose to support, to the products we buy, and even to our daily routines. Every part of our lives is a direct repercussion of what we have been exposed to on the television set and the World Wide Web. A popular part of media lies in the music people listen to. Adolescents are influenced by many of the songs played on hit radio stations because of the content of their lyrics. Many songs that are played nowadays involve intercourse, clubbing, and/or getting inebriated. According to recent statistics, “42% of the songs on the top CDs in 1999 contained sexual content – 19% included direct descriptions of sexual intercourse.”(“Teens Sexual Behavior: Issues and Concerns”) This percentage has only increased within the last decade with songs such as “Promiscuous” and “Party Rock Anthem” by Nelly Furtado and LMFAO. These songs instill values of constant partying and sexuality: especially amongst teenagers. As of the latest generation, sex appeal has been one of the most effective amongst minors. Television shows of today have also contributed to the growth in sexual promiscuity. Shows like “Jersey Shore” depict hormonal, irresponsible young adults spending their summers partying and “smushing” constantly. Others may say that there is nothing wrong with the reality show because it shows the actual life of American young adults simply having fun. While this may be true and while it may attract the oh-so-important ratings for MTV, adolescent teens are influenced by these shows because as developing minors, their minds are like sponges. Teenage kids are known to imitate these “role models”. “And for the kids who watch and love this show its sending them a very clear message. If you spend your whole life partying, getting drunk, having sex, and being a complete imbecile then you will get paid more for that than being a good, honest person.” (Kraus) Is this the type of lesson America wants to teach to the new generation? On the topic of teenage sexuality, adolescents have questioned their preference due to increased news coverage on the topic. In 2008, Prop 8: a bill that argued whether or not to legalize gay marriage in California, was introduced to the country. The bill set the entire state on fire. All media coverage of the year was dedicated toward the controversy behind whether or not the decision to legalize gay marriage in California would happen. Along with all the news coverage on the topic, celebrities including Steven Spielberg, Ellen DeGeneres, and many more also fought against the bill. “And so did Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who have vowed not to get married until gay marriage is legal in the United States.” (Weinstein) Celebrity testimonies have proven to generate massive appeal to a topic; especially toward the typical teenage consumer. In direct reaction to the spike in gay/lesbian marriage controversy, teenage consumers adopted the battle between “for” and “against” simply because their favorite stars did. And not only did they pay attention to their favorite stars’ views, they began to believe in them as well. In addition to picking a side to fight for, there was also a spike in gay and lesbian teenage couples. There is nothing wrong with teenagers choosing their sexuality or being gay or straight. However, there is...
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