Instructor Corinne Tatum
English Composition I
Youth’sUtilization of Mass Media: A Positive Impact
Themass media is a mechanism which disseminates information to peoplewithin a short period of time. Television, newspaper, radio and otherelectronic media play an important role in spreading informationglobally (Kundanis 46).Unlikein the old days where information took days to spread, today, withtechnology advancement, information flows at a quicker rate. Theinfluence of media on psychological development of young people isprofound hence the need for discussion with parents on their child`sexposure to media. The influence of media operates with an aim ofproviding more information than what one might be expecting. The massmedia including television, radio and newspaper has more positiveinfluence on young generation as compared to the negatives (Luke 79).
Whereasthe mass media has been accused of exposing the young generation tovarious evils, research has indicated that the mass media such as thetelevision are important avenues through which the young generationgets opinions, as well as get information on the happenings acrossthe entire world.
Tostart with, media acts as a powerful teacher. The public televisionprograms encourage visits to libraries, museums, zoo and otherrecreational centers acting as teaching devices (Kinder 54). Watchingeducational videos such as SesameStreethas shown to improve learning skills of young adults as well as learnvaluable lessons about cooperation, racial harmony and kindness andhence the need for media exposure. A research conducted byInternational Reading Associations Surveys Literacy Leaders showsthat young people who frequently read the newspaper enhance theirvocabulary. Newspapers act as the best beginners in developing betterreading habits. Young people who listen to educational programs,questions and speeches by famous personalities from different fieldshelp improve pronunciation and listening skills unlike those lackingmedia exposure (Kinder 66). Further, studies have concluded that thetime children spent on media is related to increase virtual and realworld empathy and these are always a good thing for them.
Thesecond effect of media is pro-social behavior learning (Bure 103).This behavior refers to actions that benefit others such as sharing,comforting and helping others. Psychologists argue that most of thechanges in a child’s behavior are accounted for by observingothers. Young people learn through observation and imitates a certainmodel`s behavior. Programs tailored for prosocial behavior learningteach young people to practice social behaviors which in turn helpthem interact socially and respond to problems they encounter in theoutside world like in the community and at school. A study conductedby Mares suggested that viewing of prosocial television programsincrease positive interactions among young people and increasesaltruism (Bure 113). Young children are more adaptable to pro socialteaching as compared to older children
Advertisementson mass media are another influence that portrays positive effects onthe behavior of young people. For instance, majority of alcoholmanufactures spend part of their budget warning about theconsequences of drinking and driving(Bure122). A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,2011 shows that the number of young people who drink and drive hasreduced by half in the past ten years, zero tolerance laws andparental involvement proving to be effective deterrents. Further,advertisingis the most essential way, where buyers are persuaded to buy what isgood and they base their decisions on what they saw on television andnewspapers. For instance, a celebrity star who is a football playercan make an image in the mind of a young person who aspires to be afootballer. This influence help improve one’s health as playingsports is regarded as a good exercise and way to mingle with peers.There are lots of celebrities on the media whose lifestyles, behaviorand values provide positive influence. Their hard work and successare inspirational to the youth with media exposure as compared tothose without (Kinder 72).
Themedia also influences the youth positively by encouraging them tobecome more involved as citizens in their communities. For instance,young people who are exposed and have interests in the news arelikely to be interested in major political and social issues(Kundanis 32). This helps educate as well as encouraging them to beresponsible citizens. This positively influences their behavior andas they grow up, they adopt good Leadership roles.
Theother important positive influence is that young people pick upcrucial health promotional messages from the media. For instance,messages aimed at encouraging healthy eating habits (Kinder 87). Thishelps improve their diet leading to healthy lifestyles. In addition,young people benefit from programs aimed at preventing and protectingthem from suicide and depression.
Finally,young people should participate in media watching and listeningbecause it is used to promote cognitive skills and social growth.Television and other new electronic media have a great potential forlearning and development as they give the youth different mentalskills in reading and writing. Television proves to be a bettermedium than printed words as it different types of information (Luke67).
Theyoung generation should be allowed to interact freely with the massmedia as this is the best and easier way to influence their behavior.Watching anything through television, newspaper or listening to theradio makes one believe everything and this influences the youngergeneration as it is viewed world wide by millions of people. There islots of wealthy information on coping with the resources of massmedia and young people are at a stage where they demand to enjoywhatever they do in better way (Kundanis 67).
Onthe contrary, it is imperative to note that the mass media can haveextremely detrimental influences on the youths if measures are notput in place. It is vital for the parents to limit the time theiryoung ones interact with the mass media such as televisions. It isevident that the mass media such as the television might affect thechildren negatively (Kinder 76). This may happen through theconsiderable amount of time, which young ones might spend watchingthe television at the expense of studying. In addition, research hasindicated that the content in the mass media might not be in linewith the societal norms of a particular group which the young peopleascribe to. In this regard, the mass media might expose young peopleto anti-social behaviors, which might be unacceptable to the society.
Bure,S O. Childrenand the Mass Media.Prague: International Organization of Journalists, 2011. Print.
Kinder,Marsha. Kids`Media Culture.Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009. Print.
Kundanis,Rose M. Children,Teens, Families, and Mass Media: The Millennial Generation. Hoboken: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2013. Internetresource.
Luke,Carmen. Constructingthe Child Viewer: A History of the American Discourse on Televisionand Children, NewYork: Praeger, 2010. Print.