Negative Influence of Social Media

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Today, Mass Media is notoriously known to project a negative influence on teens and society. It manipulates several aspects of our lives including, but not limited to, the choices we make about our overall physical appearance, how we perceive beauty, healthy decisions we make regarding drug and alcohol use, engaging in premarital sex, and our peer and social interactions. We emulate what the media portrays as acceptable and desirable, though it goes against the norms and values put forth from society. As we mature, our goals and values seem to change as we break from the traditional values and connect with those portrayed as cool and current, through the media and pop culture. During adolescence, one often struggles with choosing between what is right from wrong and the media often accentuates the lives of celebrities. Young children are known to emulate their role models, unconscious of the consequences that may result in their actions. The media has been proven to be detrimental to the health and lifestyle of the youth. The media has a strong impact on the appearance satisfaction of today’s youth. Young women are constantly comparing their bodies to the ones seen advertised on television commercials. Around 10 million females and 1 million males in the United States are suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, etc. After seeing these beautiful and flawless models on billboards and advertisements, many women are disturbed with their personal body images. This is known to be a main contributor to eating disorders around the world. Thus, the media has the effect to change one's mental set up.  “Beauty and Body Image in the Media” is an article that explains the negative affect the media has on young women and how they view themselves. Images of female bodies are seen in films, TV, magazines, ads, etc. These models are engraving the perfect body image into the minds’ of the youth. Women’s magazines are full of ads influencing women that if they lose weight they’ll have it all. Researchers have observed that these images of thin and airbrushed models are associated with depression, loss of self-esteem, and the development of harmful eating habits. It’s been suggested that almost half of all preadolescent girls are dissatisfied with their appearances and either diet or think about dieting. Further, 50 to 70 percent of average weight girls feel that they’re overweight and 90 percent of women are frustrated with their body images. These advertisements are not only advertising their products, but they’re also selling an entire way of life. The media promotes tan, fit, and outward physical perfection in men and women. It is not only middle-aged adults who seek cosmetic surgery to alter their appearance. Today, children also undergo cosmetic procedures. In fact, in 2005 it was reported that children under the age of 18 underwent approximately 333,000 cosmetic procedures. Some included liposuction, breast augmentation, otoplasties (ear pinnings), and rhinoplasties (nose jobs). Teenagers of both genders are trying to acquire a perfect figure rather than living a healthy lifestyle and appreciating themselves for who they truly are. The media also has a reputation for promoting unhealthy choices, such as unprotected premarital sex and drug and alcohol use. The media is sending the wrong message to young adults that taking part in these activities is okay. The article, “The Media’s Influence Undermines America’s Morals”, by Tim LaHaye contains numerous examples of how the media is detrimental to the future of the United States. AIM, Accuracy In Media, and PMRC, Parents Music Resource Center, are organizations that support government regulation of the media. They believe that the media is destroying our culture and altering our values. Moviemakers, producers, and journalists are provoking sexual immorality in our society by explicitly exposing and promoting sexual relationships. The media is even found...
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