Negative Effects of Mass Media on Teenagers

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“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses” (Thinkexist, 2010). The mass media, including news, movies, magazines, music, or other entertainment source has become a part of daily life for many people. As the quote mentions mass media and its power are capable of influencing people’s mind and behavior. Contents in the media introduced to young people make it difficult for them to distinguish between what is real and what is not, as a result stimulating confusion and blind imitation. The mass media plays an important role in the increase of violence, sexual activity, and risky behaviors among teenagers.

The first effect of mass media on teenagers is violence. Aggressive behavior is the first example of violence in the media. Aldridge argues that, teens who watch violent movies may behave in an aggressive way towards others for example bullying and fighting in school. This is important because there are high risks of teenage developing into aggressive behavior that may last into adulthood if they are not being supervised on what they see on TV (2010). Fearful of the world may also occur for those who watch violence television programs. According to children and television violence, teens that are being over exposed to violent on television may worry about becoming a target of violence. The relevance of this idea is that teenagers will more likely grow up thinking that the world is a scary place and that something bad will happen to them (2008). Imitative behavior is another major effect of seeing violence in the media. According to Weldon, two teens from Johnstown, Colorado, killed a 7 year old girl by beating her to death. The teens claimed that they were imitating moves from a video game called “Mortal Combat.” This is an example case which shows that violence in the video game may lead to an imitating behavior (2007).

Sexual activity in the mass media is another negative influence on teenagers. The first example is early sexual intercourse. According to Stockwell, a research shows that teenagers who are exposed to a lot of sexual content on television are more to likely to have sex by 16 years of age than those with limited exposure.
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