“Mass Media (Television, the Internet, Advertising) Influence Youth Too Much Nowadays.” to What Extent Is This True?

794 Words Jan 30th, 2012 4 Pages
“Mass media (television, the internet, advertising) influence youth too much nowadays.” To what extent is this true?

In the recent years, the prevalence of mass media has been undeniable. All over the world, youths have access to mass media through their smartphones, television sets and computers. In such a media-driven world, it is no surprise that mass media has come to play a substantial role in the attitudes and mindsets of youth. To a large extent, mass media does have the power to influence youth too much nowadays as seen through increasing consumerism, commercialised perceptions of beauty and loss of individuality. However, it is also true that the youth are not completely controlled by mass media as seen through innovative
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Models in commercials boast perfect hair and figure and actors flaunt their picture perfect smiles through mass media and end up defining the societal perception of looking ‘beautiful’. In extreme cases, the yearning to look ‘perfect’ manifests itself eating disorders and depression. The rising number of young people with eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia is not surprising in a society where people are constantly faced with images of stick-thin models. Similarly, the influence of mass media leaves several young people feeling inadequate, leading to depression. Therefore, mass media does influence youth very much, playing a large role in their emotional well-being.

The influence of mass media is also made obvious in the loss of individuality amongst youth. Mass media portrays its singers, actors and other media personalities in a very positive light, making them appear very appealing and likeable. We see them on television, hear them on the radio and read about them in tabloids. These ever-present media personalities come to have a lot of power and influence over youth as they acquire a loyal fan base. Youth easily begin to look up to media personalities and immediately try to imitate their appearance and behaviour. This was clearly portrayed when hundreds of youth clamour to get the same new haircut as their favourite media personalities. Such fandom leads to individuals losing their own sense of identity. In addition, with

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