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We Don’t Run Things, Things Run Us: The Effect Of Media On American Society

2231 words - 9 pages

Just like the age-old question about the chicken and the egg, what came first, America’s change in social morals and behavior or the increase of the entertainment media’s exposure? Nowadays it is easier to find profanity because it is omnipresent everyday. Profanity is widely used in television and is commonly used; this bombardment of profanity around us could find its way into our homes. The language on the streets has become dirtier and filled with more hurt that sometimes people don’t even know what manners are anymore. Now look back to the times where television was mainly clean, fun entertainment. Even then, exposure of any inappropriate or negative content was only premiered on certain channels late at night when less people were tuned in. But now, in modern times, even prime time television discloses disturbing contents such as on-screen sex, excessive violence, and drugs/alcohol. People from other countries that do not have disturbing content in their media would think of Americans in a negative light. What does the mass media in America describe our morals to be? “…Americans believe the most important moral problems centered around matters or civility, family structure, and religion rather than political issues such as abortion and gay marriage” (“Americans Negative About United States’ Moral Values”). According to their recent poll, eighteen percent of poll takers find that our tolerance and respect are the most important problems with the state of moral values in our country today. However, coming in second, ten percent of poll takers would say that the lack of family structure/divorce is an issue of our moral values (“Americans Negative About United States’ Moral Values”). Do these two issues in society have any relevance to each other? Perhaps they go hand in hand. There is a problem with respect and tolerance for family, thus affecting their structure, resulting matters such as divorce. The same goes for the media. The American media negatively affects, and does not just reflect, today’s societal morals because of its influence on the preoccupation on perceived beauty, on teenagers’ conformity to media pressure, and on children’s behaviors.
The very media that we see daily affects our American morals and values, which can be quite upsetting to some. “There is no doubt that technology, Internet, and social media have a great influence on our values…Is the influence negative or positive? I think it is mostly negative because kids would want to experiment [what they see]” (“Social Media Has Great Influence on Our Values”). The Internet and media definitely have a negative influence on us, especially on our children because they imitate almost everything they see and hear. Children of such young age are not capable or knowing not to do something, so they turn to people older than them and copy what they do. To children, since an adult says it and does it, it means that it is acceptable to copy as well. Plus, there are very many...

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