The Influence Of Media On Youth

1618 words - 6 pages

An outsider looking in could see that America's society has much work to be done. Today's youth focuses on nothing but the media and how to be the next Kim Kardashian or Lil Wayne. The media, 9 out of 10 times, is a negative device used to convince younger minds what it means to be beautiful, cool, popular, or anything else someone younger may want to strive to become. The media attacks younger minds because they are more vulnerable and open to believing what they see. The issue with the media is becoming bigger and bigger because we as Americans don't take time to teach the youth right from wrong, we rely on the media to do the job.
In the past, things shown to younger children have made pathways for the lives of those children. Rappers are always talking about how smoking and drinking are the things to do because they can make one look "cool" or "awesome", when in reality, the effects of these things hold severe consequences and can lead to a terrible life of addictions or lack of positive opportunities. You also have people promoting violence and killing. America's young women see how certain celebrities in the public eye show the meaning of beauty. They don't go out "au natural". They put on make-up and tight, short clothing. This leads our younger girls to think that they cannot be beautiful or attractive without wearing this type of clothing, covering their faces with make-up, and showing off their God-given assets. All of this stuff sits in the minds of the youth and guides their future.
Turning youth away from media and more towards reality, giving them a way to form their own opinions instead of having to climb into someone else's bandwagon, is the greatest solution to this problem. If enough people attempted to make a change in the lives of younger people, the worst that could happen is failing, but that does not mean that it cannot be tried again. With much effort, the youth can overcome their beliefs in the media and create their own definitions of beautiful or cool. The sooner someone tells a child that they can be beautiful or cool or awesome by being themselves and turning away from the media, the better.
It may not be known by many, but children do notice more than they are given credit for. In an article written for USA TODAY in November 2008, Joe Saltzman states the fact that "children not only are listening, but watching and reading" (60). The article focuses mainly on how the youth notices how they are presented in the media. This shows them that they are seen as this and this only. An example is that African- Americans are seen as only doing "bad things, like crime or drugs or some other problem" and Latinos explaining "the coverage this way: "Gangs. Accidents. Drug dealers. Churches. Murderers."" (60). How can a child decide what they want to be when they are depicted in the media as one way? How can one develop his or her individuality when the world has already labeled their race?
It is a difficult...

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