July 3rd, 2012
How does the popular media affect the way teens think of themselves?
Music influencing teen’s behavior is a very hot topic nowadays because people think it influences us in very negative ways. However, others think that music inspires us in ways that give teens motivation to become better people. This is a very controversial topic that will always have different opinions.
Moral panic has become a contributing factor that make teens act in a way that their music suggest they do. Teens have a lot of role models that are artists and look up to them and want to become just like them. If artists act a certain way, then some of their fans will try to act in the same way because they admire them so much. Moral panic needs to be decreased because it is not a healthy factor for a teen that looks up to artists that are not the best role models. Yes, their top hits can be very well produced but those songs might not be sending the right message to an average teen.
Advertisements target teens because they have big allowances or have part time jobs that enable them to buy luxury items. Brands are smart about everything they sell and how they sell them. They know how to target people, when to target people, and of course, how to get them to buy their products. Teens can get addicted to buying from a certain brands because of the feelings the brand is selling them.
Kids have about 70% of influence on the items the family decides to buy for the household. Teens have the “Nag Factor” or “Pester Power”, which means that they have power to influence our parents to buy us the things we desire. The loyalty of brands helps brands know that they have a customer for life. The media makes teens think they need a perfect body in order for an individual to feel happy about himself or herself. For girls, a skinny and curvy body is usually recommended, and for guys, a well-built body is recommended to impress the opposite sex. The media makes teens think that sex is normal for teenagers because of the commercials on TV. 1 out of every 4 commercial has some kind of sexual attractiveness. Violence increases and makes teens think that there is always a winner and a loser.
The media has become a more negative influence on teenagers because our generation has become so adapted to adult life. It is unhealthy for teens to be acting like adults because they are still not of age and still live with their parents. The media needs to realize their negative impact on teenagers and that they ruin the lives of many teenagers.
Because of this, kids need to learn to avoid the brands that sell them a sense of insecurity and be smart about what they buy.
June 28th, 2012
Media has had a great influence in my life, mostly because it is all around me in just about everything I see and do. Most communications through media now involve some sort or aspect of technology. This greatly affects my interaction and how I view socializing. With little to no direct contact I feel like media is becoming more impersonal and made to only be consumed. However, Media has also altered my perspective on what can be accomplished, communication is just one of the many things that can be done with media.
Sharing ideas is now easier than ever, and letting others know of your goals and dreams has become quite easy, but for those who have truly understood what mass media is capable of doing, they have taken full advantage of it. Examples include those who use Piggybakr or those who go out of their way and make their own foundation to make change. Although Piggybakr is nothing more than a way to raise money it has changed how it can be done and then in turn be used to create change in the world.
”Piggybackr is a fundraising platform that teaches young people how to raise money for their teams, projects, and schools by using technology and real world skills. Piggybackr is designed specifically for use by young people and their teams. Team leaders must be 13 years or older or under the supervision of an adult team organizer (a teacher, parent, or other responsible adult). Piggybackr was inspired by one simple story: Andrea’s 11-year-old sister wanted to raise money to save the rainforest by selling bracelets for $1. Instead, with some help, she brought her fundraiser online, raised hundreds of dollars, and learned how to use technology to take action and achieve great things.
Our mission is to empower young people everywhere to achieve great things by thinking bigger about their potential and taking action.” (Piggybakr FAQ)
Piggybakr helps fundraise for just about anything, but these funds can be focused on a positive goal. There are the simple ones that include sport transportation and others like school field trip or help pay for new renovations, but there are always those few that go above and beyond.
Volunteering at a local youth commission or other volunteer program can greatly help a community, however one does not need to join a large organization to make change, they can make their own change and start their own foundations to create change in other parts of the world like Ryan did.
His success story of trying to create a well in a town in Uganda has created a foundation focused on helping communities that don’t have clean water. He also has continued creating free clean water resources in Uganda and in other needed communities. (Ryan’s Well Foundation). On his first trip to Africa he visited the well he helped construct, in the same village he met a boy who would later become his adopted step brother. Ryan and his family have become strong advocates in their cause for clean water for all.
There are many ways to introduce change, regardless of age. Age is hardy a factor, but rather the motivation and commitment to an action is what will cause change. With 44% of mastering playing computer games between the ages of two to five learning how to use media to one’s advantage is soon to follow. With expectation great change is short ways away.
You have to be the change you wish to see, and thankfully now days there has been a large increase of such motivated youth. At my school there was a senior, Danielle, who started her own organization and was offered a full ride scholarship for making a change in the world. In my community a new group recently started to help girls prepare for prom/parties, they receive help finding dresses from a donated selection. (Dream Closet)
Opportunities to be apart of change are all around. There is the local youth commission, Piggybakr, and other volunteer programs.These proud few, decided to use funds for change, rather than for some sort of entertainment or pleasure, there pleasure comes from the joy they bring to others. These great human beings such as Ryan and Danielle give me hope that one day I’ll be able to create my own change. This opportunity gives me inspiration, and it was due to the influence media can have.
June 28th, 2012
Music is just like time, always changing and moving forward. From classical music to disco to electronic, music never stops to develop and manifest itself in different ways. Nowadays, music has taken a darker turn to the more seedier aspects of human indulgences. We constantly nowadays, see references to drugs, alcohol, and the subjugation of women, rampant in multiple musical genres. Usually, this would not be an issue, but as music has become increasingly easier to acquire, the youth of our age listen to music much more frequently. The high amounts of exposure to this risque music is seen to give off a negative influence to teenagers.
One of the most negative influences of music, are that of underage, unprotected sex. Music today, in most cases rap, casually talk about performing sexual acts upon women, as well as being a misogynist in general. The question arises; how does this affect the youth? According to Livestrong.com, “The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world. The Center for Disease Control says that one-third of girls get pregnant before the age of 20.” That means that, of all the women that have gotten pregnant, 30 percent of them were in the target age for music producers. The message delivered in the lyrics may not seem to be persuasive, but they still are subconsciously affecting the communities in which they are played.
Another aspect of modern music, is the reference to illegal substances, namely marijuana. According to a 2005 study by U.S. news, “Researchers who looked at the bestselling songs in several genres from 2005 found that 37 percent of top country songs featured references to drugs or alcohol, compared to just 14 percent of rock songs… But country couldn’t hold a candle to rap music, whose singers referred to substance use in a whopping 77 percent of songs.” Across all genres of music, the idea of abusing illegal drugs is rampant. This further leads to the image of doing drugs to be “cool”, and teenagers, looking to fit in, experiment with them.
Musical artists, in some cases, have become idols for their fans, and in this day and age, that may not prove to be pleasant. For example, those who are fans of the artist “Ke$ha”, would probably indulge in massive amounts of alcohol, and partying, because if she does, it must be “cool”. The biggest names of today, whether it be Drake, Lil’ Wayne, or Katy Perry, all make reference to drinking, and doing things that minors shouldn’t be doing. Regularly, that would not pose a problem, because they are adults, and free to express themselves, but the fact of the matter is, that teens are their target audience.
Last, but not least, it has been exhibited that the violence presented in today’s music, namely rap and metal, influence violent behavior among listeners. According to a study done by Western Connecticut State University student Eliana Tropeano, “This study examined whether or not watching a violent music video would provoke individuals to answer questions with violent responses. Eleven participants watched a violent music video, 11 participants watched a nonviolent music video, and 11 participants were in the control group and did not watch any videos. It was found that watching the violent music video containing violent lyrics, aggressive behavior, and degrading behaviors toward women did make an individual feel and react more violently with regards to responses to questions about fictitious scenarios. The conclusion was that watching violent music videos does negatively affect behavior.” It is relatively clear that, based on professional studies, that modern music is definitely causing for a negative impact on today’s youth.
In essence, teenagers are exposed to drug, alcohol, and misogynist ideals almost daily, and thanks are awarded to the “artists” of today’s music. Since 1985, juvenile female rates have doubled, whereas male juvenile rates have risen 30 percent. (Crime In America, 2010). The music we have, and the ease in which teens can acquire music, throughs means legal or otherwise, has caused a rise in the misconduct of teens around the nation. Modern music is truly a negative factor in adolescent life.
June 28th, 2012
Media is a powerful instrument that has the power to break even the strongest bonds of trust between humans. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and out of control riots are the fuel that feed the ugly beast of a stereotype that is imprinted on nearly every teenager. Shows and movies like Skins, The Secret Life of the American Teenager give the wrong idea to parents and adults around the world by portraying that teenagers are untrustworthy, irresponsible, and reckless. However, not all teenagers are like this and it brands all of us, regardless whether you are or not participating in said events (doing drugs, drinking, and having sex). This makes it unfair to those who don’t do these things because then parents may not let them go out with friends out of fear and due to the fact that they have seen what other teenagers are doing in shows that really only relate to a small portion of the total teenage population.
Teens are branded and judged by their parents by what they see on the television. For example in the trailer for the show Skins, we see a group of teens walk into a house party where there is a high amount of alcohol and some people that are clearly on some sort of drugs. If a parent were to see this commercial they would be struck by fear that their child goes out and also does these things. This breaks the trust bond between the teen and parent and also creates a stereotype around the teenager that whenever we go out, we go out to get drunk or high. Now I am not saying that all teenagers are completely clean because that would be a lie, for I know a large percentage of kids at my school that do use drugs or drink, however according to a study 40.2 percent said they had used marijuana, and one might think, “Wow that is a huge percentage of kids that are doing this!” However, you don’t look at the other 49.8 percent that have never touched drugs in their lives. They are subjugated to the stereotype that all teenagers get high and party. I cannot stress enough that this is not true.
The movie Project X also supports that all teenagers are crazy partiers and wrongdoers by showing the teens having a huge house party and turning into a riot and eventually destroying the entire neighborhood of the teenager who hosts the party. The media again brands us as crazy teenagers who only wish to cause destruction. When my mom saw the trailer for this movie, I could see the discomfort in her eyes and I knew that she was beginning to gather suspicions about what I was doing when I went to go hang out with my friends. This simple trailer that only lasted about 45 seconds had already successfully damaged the trust that my mom and I had. After seeing this trailer she began to question me more about who I was with, where I was going, and what I was doing. I was doing nothing wrong, but a simple piece of media framed me in the eyes of my mom and forced on the stereotype that I was doing illegal things with my friends just because we are teenagers. It is not wrong for parents to question what their kids are up to when they go out with friends, but in my point of view, this questioning should not be brought into action just because of a piece of media that is completely irrelevant to the teen’s life.
Another stereotype that is put upon teens is that we are all sexually active. A study showed that only 3 out of 10 teens are sexually active. Visual media also brings on this stereotype, specifically by the show “Secret Life of an American Teenager”. The show is about a teenager girl who gets pregnant and has to go through high school dealing with the social pressure from her peers and the pressure from her parents. Nearly all of the characters in the show are sexually active, which provokes the idea that all teens are sexually active which is untrue. Obviously to most parents being sexually active is frowned upon due to the risks of pregnancy at such a young age. This again brings more suspicions and unnecessary questions about whom you are hanging out with, especially if it is someone of the opposite sex. Again, it is not wrong for parents to ask these questions, but it is wrong if they are asking these questions out of fear that their teens is partaking in these actions completely based off of a television show that has several sexually active teens in it.
Society has inappropriately punished teens with the stereotype that we are all crazy party animals, we use an assortment of drugs, and we are all sexually active. Sure, teenagers are always looking for a way to have fun, but not all of us resort to partying, drugs or sex. Society should not be focused so much on the few teens that are sexually active, or using drugs, but instead try and open their eyes to how many teens aren’t doing these things. In the end it is up to us the teenagers to try and change the mindset of society and hopefully end the unfair and untrue stereotypes that revolve and torment us everyday.