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Media Influence Essay

598 words - 3 pages

The Influencing Machine
Within the last fifty years, the world of technology has advanced considerably, namely the media. First there was the telegraph, then the radio, the newspaper, magazines, the television, and finally the internet. Today’s society is one that depends on technological communication to keep up with school, work, and relationships. Most people wake up and read the newspaper or watch the news, then spread the knowledge they learned with family, friends, and coworkers. Most of our decisions are based on the things we see and hear in the media. We rely on the media to get the current news and facts about what is important and what we should be aware of. We put our trust in the media as an authority to give us news, entertainment and education. However, the influence of mass media on children and teenagers and society is such a widespread ...view middle of the document...

However, it can influence viewers to make poor food choices or to overeat. Excessive television viewing can result in inactivity which obviously contributes to weight gain and poor fitness. Children are specifically targeted by some advertisements and are even more vulnerable than adults to their influence. Girls who pore over magazines adorned with pictures of super thin and beautiful models are more likely to develop low self-esteem or even an eating disorder. Teens who watch violent television shows that involve violence, drugs, and alcohol are likely to repeat what they say, or think it is okay. I can say from personal experience that whenever I see a skinny, beautiful celebrity, I instantly suffer a drop in my confidence level. However, there can be positive influences. For example, if there is a sport acquiring a lot of attention by the media and gains popularity among your friends and society, you will be more likely to practice the sport. You will have fun with your friends and be healthier.
The influence of media on children also extends to how we view ourselves and others. Television shows portray women in a certain way. It generally focuses on Hollywood’s narrow-minded version of beauty. These images from movies, television, and other advertisements influence women’s poor self-esteem. Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, among other issues can be a result.
The influence of media on children also effects how kids perceive what is and is not acceptable. For example, smoking, drinking, and doing drugs. When celebrities are depicted doing these things, it appears to be an acceptable behavior
We are all susceptible to the messages we see in the media, but the influence of media on children is particularly powerful. Many of our values and morals are structured at a young age based on what we see on television, what we read in magazines and newspapers, and etcetera. It is important to structure the values and beliefs of our children based on morals, not what the media projects.

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