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Modern day media sculpting modern day teenagers

Tatiana Botero, Discoverer Editor

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Every book, every movie, every TV show. Everything that flashes through your eyes every second of every day shapes the person you are becoming. The escalating influence media has on modern day society, which most commonly targets teenagers, is creating individuals more susceptible to act and think certain ways that aren’t necessarily coming from their own criterion. It is no secret that the internet and social media have shifted the way young people think; however, other mediums such as books, movies and TV shows are also silently, yet powerfully sculpting young minds. Slowly and unknowingly modern individuals are becoming the raw product of their surroundings. The question here is not whether this clear influence is positive or negative, but whether or not society understands its extent enough to cease it.

Ever since the revolutionary birth of the social media era, its effect on people’s behaviour has been crystal clear. It’s quite impossible to imagine our modern world without cell phones: with no instagram, snapchat, or facebook. Yet, these concepts were actually introduced to the world only a couple of years ago. However, TV shows, movies, and books have been around for a much longer time and have similarly influenced their watchers and readers. For example, movies and shows have the power to shape a child’s mind since a very young age, and according to lds organization, “scientific evidence had been assembled from a number of behavioral studies that showed a causal link between the exposure of children to televised violence and their subsequent aggressive behavior.” Not only is this true regarding violence, but it expands to the extent of teenagers adapting all types of behaviour portrayed in the popular movie or show they are all surely binge watching.

More specifically, this phenomenon is specially experienced by teenagers in the school environment because of influences by academic work. Even though to most an assigned english book seems insignificant, its content does imprint into students’ minds when it deals with sensitive topics. For instance, TCS sophomore english teacher Andrew Ambron, has widey noticed his students acting certain ways due to the example of the media they encounter daily, “I think that media in the modern day like books and TV shows have a big impact on deformation  of teenagers’ perception of themselves and how they should act to fit in.” He continues to explain that activities such as fast driving, partying or acting “cool” are often mirrored by teenagers because of the example set by the media that surrounds them.

In fact, as a clear example of this, TCS sophomores recently read the book Go Ask Alice, which focuses on the compelling story of a teenage girl struggling with drug addiction. Even though the author is supposedly anonymous, the book is actually written by a therapist as a way to warn teenagers about drug addictions.  TCS sophomore, Sofia Vasquez explains that by reading the book, “my perspective on drug abuse changed completely due to the book, because it showed me how susceptible some teenagers are to consuming drugs and how quickly this addiction can get out of hand to eventually cause mortal consequences.” As experienced by Vasquez, media can also impact teenagers positively by raising awareness on controversial issues that they might face in the future.

On the contrary, media could be the cause of teenagers’ vision and criteria to be subtly shifted for the worse. The highly acclaimed TV show Money Heist, focuses on the planning of an enormous heist by a group of individuals towards the government’s money factory. Junior Isabel Arias at TCS, a huge fan of the show explains, “It is crazy what the show is capable of causing. Even though the robbery by the main characters is clearly illegal, the whole time you are rooting for the bad guys not to get caught. It’s as if the cops were the ones acting wrongfully by trying to catch the criminals”. The audience is clearly influenced by the perspective the TV show is trying to create about the robbery; downplaying its consequences as if weren’t really a crime.

Even if it might go by unnoticed, media such as books, movies, and TV shows are unconsciously shifting people’s vision and perspective on modern day matters. From drug abuse to criminality, media encounters issues of all types targeting teenagers’ minds and pushing them to digest them certain ways. The fact that media has such an extensive influence on teenagers, creates individuals with eventually noticeable behaviour mirroring that could lead to become someone they don’t even themselves recognize.

 

Source:

“How Do Movies and TV Influence Behavior?” Ensign, www.lds.org/ensign/1972/10/how-do-movies-and-tv-influence-behavior?lang=eng.

 

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Modern day media sculpting modern day teenagers