Positive and Negative Influence of Media Among Young People
Media plays an extensive role in an individual’s daily life. Right from the second you wake up till you go to bed after saying goodnight to your wife, kid, parents, siblings or friends, you are surrounded in a world built just for you by the media. With the advent of advanced technology, there has been a drastic shift from the telegraph, and then the radio, newspapers, magazines and now to the most widely used- the internet.
Our daily activities depend heavily on the information that is provided to each one, and the way that is communicated to them, be it entertainment, hard or soft news, personal relationships, travelling, or even healthcare.
This could relate to the decisions made at the workplace which may be based on the information that come from television, newspapers, the internet, friends, family or any other related individual. The mass media works is like a pull factor- it just drags you into its world, and makes you believe that whatever you do, you see and you hear is true, and the most trustable. They come to you, not just to provide information, but also to lead you into their world, which ultimately makes you realize that most of the decisions, values and beliefs are based on what we know for a fact, our assumptions and our own experience.
Media is basically dominated by five major companies. They are Time Warner, VIACOM, Vivendi Universal, Walt Disney, and News Corp. These companies own 95% of all the media we get every day. They cover up the major entertainment parks, entertainment movie studios, television and radio broadcast networks and programming, video news and sports entertainment. With different opinions and beliefs shaped by people depending on the various elements that are provided by these media companies, it is important to keep a check on how they might bring a positive or a negative impact into young people’s life.
Advertising is one of the most fundamental ways, where buyers are brought into buying what they are shown to be good, with their decisions based on what they saw on television, newspapers or on billboards. For instance, a celebrity star who is a famous football player might make an image in the minds of the young people whose favorite sport is football. A positive influence might mean your health will improve because playing sports is considered a good way of daily exercising, and is a good way to mingle with peers. But as a negative influence, young people might be dragged into the adverts, where their favorite celebrity stars are seen smoking cigars, different images of violence and exposure to thousands of junk food advertisements.
Young people are at a stage of life where they want to enjoy what they do, but in the right manners and ways available and provided to them. With the mass media, there is a creation of an ideal image of handsome men and a gorgeous woman, which shows the factors of a successful person. This method of advertisement is an unconscious way of telling the viewers that if they don’t become like them, they would not be cool or look so pretty. The media gives them a little warning which has a major impact- “It is time to buy what makes you look good, and soon you will look like one of your favorite star celebrities.”
The advertisements of junk foods have led to a growth of teenagers dealing with anorexia and obesity. Those who are anorexic are led into eating more and more of unhealthy food, and those who are obese and are suffering, are delved deeper into the consumption of oily and fattening foods. In addition to being anorexic, most of the women are obsessive with losing weight even when they look perfect!! In the race to have a zero-size figure, or let’s just say the figure of their most favorite star icons, they engage in eating disorders, which lead to several health issues and even death…
Media is a one-faced communication provider. It tells you what is there, and it pulls you into its grip, but it does not suggest you or tell you what problems you may face later with it. For instance, you may want to become super-anorexic now, and you may succeed too, but later the eating disorders might ruin your life… You might purchase a beauty product which is exactly the same to what your favorite celebrity uses it. With so much engrossment into advertisements, you later start facing skin problems or rashes that you realize are going to exist forever. Whilst watching violence on television, it may be entertaining at first, but what if the next day you see your kid carrying a gun at school- which according to him is “just for fun!!” Media succeeds in creating a current successful impact on its viewers, but it does not provide sufficient information about the after effects of such a success. So watch out for who is trying to hunt you down!!