The Influence Of The Mass Media

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The increasing popularity of television and the internet has allowed the mass media to influence its users, especially the juvenile population. As stated in Media Violence and Youth, “99% of homes in America have at least one television giving children the opportunity to view unsupervised television” (Beresin, 1999). Bradley Okdie reported that the average person spent over 3,515 hours using media in 2012 (Okdie, et al. 2014). A study done by Friedrich and Stein found that “the average 2-5 year-old views about 28 hours per week of television”, while Lyle and Hoffman found that “by the age of three, three-quarters of the children can name their favorite television program” (Meltzoff, 1988). With ratings as the driving force of the mass media,…show more content…
“Researchers have suggested that the effect of pleasant arousal followed by violence desensitizes viewers toward violence. It not only makes violence more acceptable and exciting, but also, one could argue, more pleasing” ( Sgarzi, 2003). News outlets source the mass media as one of the driving forces behind violence in our youth. They reference the shooting in Columbine, Sandy Hook, Colorado movie theatre shooting, and Virginia Tech massacre to show how the mass media has influenced our juveniles to become more aggressive. Even though a majority of these shootings were done after the shooter was an adult, it is though that a majority of the anger stemmed from their influence as a juvenile. The history channel stated, in regards of the Columbine shooting, “There was speculation that the two committed the killings because they had been bullied, were members of a group of social outcasts that was fascinated by Goth culture, or had been influenced by violent video games and music” (History, 2014).These real life situations have only strengthened the fact that media violence has a direct link to violence in the juvenile population. Even though there is evidence that shows the connection between media and juvenile violence, others argue that violence in the media is not connected to the violence in the juvenile
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