Mass Media and Youth

Youths today are growing up in an era that that no other generation had experience before. Due to the advanced development in technology and internet, youths have greater accessibility and exposure to media contents to the extent that it results in moral decaying. These media contents include traditional media such as newspaper, television, advertisements, movies, and music as well as new media such as internet, video games, CD-ROMS and DVDs.

Therefore, violence, materialism and superficiality arises due to how mass media shape and influence the youth culture, where young adults watch movies and music videos full of violence, wear only trendy and branded clothes, obsessed with losing weight, and use the ever dangerous internet for facebooking or twittering. Firstly, mass media violence had led to youth violence, both physical and verbal. According to a journal article by Craig et al. 2003), it states that “Research on violent television and ?lms, video games, and music reveals unequivocal evidence that media violence increases the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both immediate and long-term contexts”. This is evident in an example of Heath High School Shooting in 1997 where fourteen-year-old Michael Carneal killed three students and injured five others in a shooting spree inspired by a violent scene in the movie “Basketball Dairies” (Cable News Network (CNN), 1998). There are also cases of youth imitating and re-enacting violent scenes they saw while playing video games.

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For instance, in the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered a total of 12 students and one teacher by shooting and fire booming after playing violent video games such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D (Wikipedia, 2013). This indicates that mass media had result in youth desensitization where adoption of hostile behaviour occurs because some adolescence are unable to differentiate reality from fantasy. In addition, due to the prevalence and the amplification of violence in mass media, youths will view violence as solution to solve their problems, therefore leading to aggressive behaviour and thus moral decay.

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