Media plays a role in everyday life, and without much effort humans are becoming heavily reliant on the media outlets and technologies to get us through life. At a young age, many children are exposed to the advancements of technology and the media as a means of learning, entertainment and for most parents…babysitting. Sadly, as technology gets smarter humans are becoming dumber. It takes little activity to do things we once worked hard at doing. Children being raised by the media and with technology are lazier.
It seems morals, personality, and work ethic is determined by what reality show is hot. The drive and ambition that once intrigued people to want to live the American dream has been tainted by the perception that there are easier ways out. Strippers, video vixens, reality TV stars, rappers, singers, and athletes, are all advertised and endorsed heavily in the media. So much so that subconsciously, it is shaping who we are around what they have, and desires to have the same.
Doctors, lawyers, teachers, police or fireman, are not as poignant in the eyes of a generation who seek quick money and high priced fame. It is for these reasons; one can be convinced that media and technology in today’s times heavily influence self-Concept and moral values. (hub pages.com) The History and Development of Media/ technology
Over the last fifty years, the media has advanced tremendously with the advancement of new technologies. In a society that once depended on telegraphs, letters, switchboard phones, newspapers and radio as the sole forms of communication, we are now in a time where text messaging, social media, internet, ipads, and smart-phones are a way of life. Media or Mass Media as it’s commonly known is the means in which you reach or create a large audience. (life123.com) From the beginning of time, oral traditions created stories that eventually were written down, drawn, sang, danced and other forms of literature and art. Books were hard to publish in the beginning because it was costly for paper, and printing lacked the speed needed to produce to the masses. By 1400 A.D Johannes Guttenberg, created the printing press which allowed for faster printing, increasing the quantity of books that could be produced. With the rise of the printing press, came the invention of newspapers. “By the end of 1900, print media could be found in the form of books, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers. Newspaper provided all the necessary information about the world for the people at remote locations.” (buzzle.com) In 1844, the telegraph was created, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell created the telephone. Communication at this point had moved past print, and became electronic. People were able to actually talk to people in long distances. In 1885, George Eastman invented photographic film which helped put pictures in National Geographic. Even with pictures to spice up print media it slowly became less popular with the development of Television and Radio. 1894, Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio, which would be the primary source of entertainment and news. The radio was a technology developed through transmission of electromagnetic waves. Thirty one years later in 1925, John Logie Baird created what would be famously known as T.V. The first transmission happened in 1927; Walt Disney created the first full colored movie in the world. From its original creation in 1925 TV has both developed technologically and has become one of the main sources of the media. No longer was entertainment and news limited to paper and radio. People could now see what they heard and read. In the twentieth century, the internet was developed, along with emails and instant messaging. Now the world was connected globally, and any information could be accessed via the web. Some considered it the information highway. Presently, we have come so far with technology, smart-phones, tablets, ipads and other gadgets that allow us to easily access what took years to develop. Communication is much more open, fast paced and it has more than one outlet. Every day, technology develops more and more. With its advancement, it becomes easier for humans to become reliant on it to stay connected with the media. The Role of Media and Technology on everyday life
Remember a time when the paper boy delivered the daily’s on the front step? When Dad had coffee while reading the morning paper? Or mom knitted while watching the evening news? Remember when kids used their allowance to go listen to music at the music stores and to buy new records? Or when pen pals existed? It seems like centuries have passed since then with the way technology and media has developed we do all those same things just with gadgets and different devices. The paper is no longer delivered by the paper boy but can be easily accessed on the computer, or smart phone with a quick surf of the net. With the news actually changing in what is considered news, many people just catch the news on line, on demand or on dvr. People rarely buy music, and when they do, they buy it from iTunes to be put on mp3 players, iPods, ipads or the Smartphone of choice. If the option isn’t to buy music, there are multiple websites that offer free downloads in a world where that was once considered piracy. “It is a fact that social media has tremendously changed the way people interact and carry on with their everyday lives. With internet becoming a necessity in every home or office, majority of people who are online spend most of their time on social media sites. In addition, the rise in popularity of smart phones has also increased the number of people and the time spent on social media. With these phones, it is not a must for one to have a PC or laptop to be online.” (webmasterview.com) It’s as if Social media allows works, leisure time, business, and news all to be accessed in one domain.
For example face book and twitter act as a news source, a marketing tool for businesses, a place to network, and a place to go when you want to get lost from reality. It has gotten to a point where relationships are even started online. “By the time they’re 2 years old, more than 90% of all American children have an online history. At 5, more than 50% regularly interact with a computer or tablet device, and by 7 or 8, many kids regularly play video games. Teenager’s text an average of 3,400 times a month. The fact is, by middle school, our kids today are spending more time with media than with their parents or teachers, and the challenges are vast: from the millions of young people who regret by high school what they’ve already posted about themselves online to the widely documented rise in cyber bullying to the hyper sexualization of female characters in video games.”(cnn.com) Social Media has become a powerhouse so major it affects our present as well as the future, also known as the youth of this society. There is no limitation on the information that can be received. Nor is there a cap on the amount of time spent consuming media and technology. Elementary, Junior High and High School students used to spend time doing activities like school projects, science fair, and history fairs using hands on creativity. With the advancements of tablets, ipads, power points, and other Microsoft software it is easy to do work electronically. Where Kids would go to the library to do research, all that is needed is internet. Not even a computer is needed anymore. Homework has even advanced with the times.
There used to be a time where kids were reprimanded for watching TV before homework and chores. But for some, television, movies and music are prominent learning tools. Other ways media plays a role every day, is through advertisements. Walking, driving, sitting, reading or listening, at some point in the day people are exposed to advertisements on food, beauty products, cars, drinks, coffee, toys and the list could go on. Naturally, when we hear a lot about a store, product, food, drink whatever the product maybe we begin to wonder about it. There are five stages of how advertisements work. One, Education; Advertising is an effective means of communicating information about products and services to a large number of consumers at once. Two, Persuasion; Using creative techniques like direct brand comparisons, advertising can persuade people that one product will be better than another in improving their lives or delivering benefits they seek. Three, Reassurance; advertising can help her confirm that she is getting what she wants. Even after the transaction has been made, advertising plays a role by reminding a consumer why she spent her money and reassuring her that she made the right choice. Four, Simplifying Shopping; By reducing a consumer’s need to search for products or the stores that stock them, advertising makes shopping simpler and more time-efficient. It helps eliminate unnecessary risk-taking and facilitates easier decision-making at the point of purchase. And lastly five, Matched price; In many product categories, like airlines and cars, advertising stimulates direct price competition. More generally, it reduces marketing and distribution expenses over time by keeping people informed, motivating them to buy, and encouraging high-volume and repeat purchases. (ehow.com/money) Though advertisements help gain exposure and introduce families to new things, to a certain extent, it could be considered propaganda. Some may even call it trickery because adults are a bit more aware and understanding of the point of advertising. What about children and teenagers? “Imagery used on TV manipulates kid’s perception on reality. “In the US, research from the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that children under the age of eight are unable to critically comprehend televised advertising messages and are prone to accept advertiser messages as truthful, accurate and unbiased.”(globalissues.org) In a study done by students at Bowling Green State University, the question was posed, “Why do we advertise to children?” There has been a rising amount of controversy commercials that target children, luring them in. “Advertisers spent $105.97 billion in 1980. This number more than doubled in 2001 when it reached $230 billion (Laws, 2003).
In the year 2000, the Census reported 105 million households in America, meaning advertisers spend an average of $2,190 on one household per year. Advertisers spend this much money because of television. The average child sees an estimate of more than 20,000 commercials every year – that works out to at least 55 commercials per day (Laws, 2003).”(bgsu.edu) Because of the amount of TV that children watch on average they are likely to fall victim to commercials. Commercials that will show toys, some violent, games, some sexual, and movies that they will beg their parents to have. And if they live in a household where allowance is received, or the teen is old enough to work, they are being influenced and spending their own money to have the latest, and newest gadgets. According to global issues.Org, Teens in the US spend around $160 billion a year. Children (up to 11) spend around $18 billion a year. “Tweens” (8-12 year olds) “heavily influence” more than $30 billion in other spending by parents, and “80 percent of all global brands now deploy a ‘tween strategy.” Children (under 12) and teens influence parental purchases totaling over $130-670 billion a year. (Global issues.org) With those, it is easy to see how media plays a role in not only everyday life, but into consumerism. Another way that the media attacks the youth is through celebrity advertisements. If a teen especially sees their favorite celeb purchasing a product, it is more likely that they will want it. Because in their mind, the product associates with the celebrity, and if they have it, they will be too. The lifestyles of the rich and famous is most people’s ultimate fantasies and if you see that from a childhood age into adulthood, there is a chance you will aim to live that life. And whatever it takes to get there, some will go the mile. And this is where we see the media beginning to affect the behavior of young people. The effects of Media Technology on the behavior on children and teens. Before young people are able to properly develop, they are aware of material possessions.
As discussed before, advertisements prey largely on young minds. It’s to a point where it’s in movies, cartoons, and books. Media has taken over the world. Psychologists, bloggers, and people of today’s society debate over who is responsible for the way media influences children, parents or the media? On one end we have parents who are judged and accused by society of letting their kids be raised by TV programs and game apps on smart phones and ipads. And on the other side we have parents who blame what is shown in the media, and its easy accessibility for the influence on children. Parents can use parental control on TV, but there’s always the chance that they can access it on a computer or phone, or when they’re not home. And even with limiting the amount of time spent on different technologies, there’s still a chance that in that time, they will see plenty of commercials, or something that will influence them. There are many affects the media has on kids. “Some studies indicate it can shorten attention span, create fear, and increase aggressive and anti-social behavior if exposure is unmonitored and unlimited. Time spent watching television takes away from important activities such as reading, school work, playing, exercise, family interaction, and social development.”(studymode.com) With the advancement of new technologies, even children programs are more advanced. Cartoons are no longer as simple and innocent as they used to be.
Cartoons are also teaching kids things that they may not be aware of. For example, cartons like family guy, American dad, SpongeBob, phineas and ferb, just to name a few all have some form of violent or inappropriate content. Not to say that it’s done purposely, but in many cartoons kids pick up violence because there is a good guy and a bad guy, and the good guy uses violence to defeat the bad guy. “Rather than learning to compromise or use discussion to settle differences, children, especially those under the age of 8 for whom reality and fantasy are strongly intertwined, turn to violence as they’ve seen it portrayed in the media.”(livestrong.com) If the reaction to the violence that they consume on TV doesn’t make them a defensive violent person, it will cause them to fear the world. That can create an anti-social individual afraid to explore the world because in their minds TV represents real life. And if real life is depicted negatively, kids will think that’s how the world is. Violence is also depicted in video games like the walking dead, halo, double 07, and call of duty in which the objective is to shoot and kill people before they kill your player. In many of the games the player seems to be in a military assignment, which makes them think they’re doing it for good. And it doesn’t stop there, rock, heavy metal and rap music is known for its violent lyrics. These types of music are usually in the background of the games to entice the player.
“The average American child will witness 200,000 violent acts on television by age 18. Kids may become desensitized to violence and more aggressive. TV violence sometimes begs for imitation because violence is often promoted as a fun and effective way to get what you want.”
Though all the ways the media influence young people aren’t negative, many of them have bad effects on how they develop. With the right guidance, not all children will allow the influence to overcome the person they are. But for some, where the media is a placement for the lack of attention from a parent, the effects could be detrimental. Another way the media influences kids is through promoting risky behavior such as smoking, underage drinking,
and having premarital sex. “For example, studies have shown that teens who watch lots of sexual content on TV are more likely to initiate intercourse or participate in other sexual activities earlier than peers who don’t watch sexually explicit shows.”(kids health) It could be commercials that suggestively sell through images of sex, making the viewer believe if they have the product they will be wanted. Alcohol commercials consist of very debonair men drinking and to a kid that seems cool, same as with cigarette commercials.
“Alcohol ads on TV have actually increased over the last few years and more underage kids are being exposed to them than ever. A recent study by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) found that youth exposure to alcohol ads on TV increased by 30% from 2001 to 2006.”(kidshealth) One of the number one problems in America is Obesity. And with the rise of social media, advertisements and commercials, it is becoming an even larger problem, especially for kids and teens. Being so exposed to these different forms of media through the numerous types of technology, they are being programmed to eat poorly. McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell to a name a few, are all fast food restaurants that spend millions of dollars to advertise their products. Double Baconators with four beef patties and five pieces of bacon cheese, large fries and a drink? That is what is being promoted to kids when they watch tv, visit Facebook, listen to the radio, or riding on a highway seeing billboards. It plays over and over in their mind, and suddenly the home cooked meal isn’t satisfying, and kids want to eat out more. The process alone of just sitting for hours watching tv, is another reason obesity exist. While kids sit for 5 hours watching TV, they are not moving, exercising or being active. And on top of that they are more than likely snacking on junk food. “Children and teens who watch more TV consume more calories, eat higher-fat diets, drink more soda, and eat fewer fruits and vegetables. In addition, advertisements for foods high in fat, salt, and sugar and low in nutritional content encourage children to choose unhealthy foods.”(pediatrics.jw.org) How the media affects Self-Concept
In addition to obesity rates increasing, eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia is also increasing. One of the main reasons is beauty image as
portrayed in the media. With advertisements, and reality stars like the Kardashians as examples of what beauty and body image is, it is no question that media helps develop how adolescents self-perceive. “These aspects of the media (body image, sex) permeate through society and affect our adolescent’s self-concept negatively particularly since the ages in which an adolescent is growing and taking in information willingly are the ages that an adolescent is most vulnerable and sensitive to their surrounding environment.” As many young girls begin to develop, they begin to compare themselves to women they see on TV. Models essentially influence girls the most, and with shows like Americas Next Top Model, and the Face, the pressure to be thin is overwhelming. In shows like that and even in ads and commercials women are glamorized, beautiful and always skinny. Not that one should be praised for being overweight, but beauty ads don’t advertise a heavier woman to identify with a girl who may also be. So in a world where media is perceived as reality, a kid would perceive themselves as less beautiful or attractive because they don’t see people like them on TV, considered beautiful. And because of that, some suffer from depression, mental disorder and eating disorders. Anorexia is the most common eating disorder characterized by regurgitating after eating to prevent weight gain. “Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat. People with anorexia nervosa attempt to maintain a weight that’s far below normal for their age and height. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia nervosa may starve themselves or exercise excessively.”(mayoclinic.com) What they fail to realize is the work that goes behind creating an illusion of what beauty is. Instead they are willing to harm themselves to be accepted by society, through the expectations of the media. “The media is always soliciting a new form of a pill or company to jump on board with to lose weight; showing gorgeous, tan, cardboard abs, perfect figured girls next to the ad. Seeing this gorgeous girl no doubt would motivate anyone to want to workout to look like that. Many girls though have been choosing the easy way out to losing weight, feeling the need to starve themselves and thus developing an eating disorder. “Women may directly model unhealthy eating habits presented in the media, such as fasting or purging, because the media-portrayed thin ideal body type is related to eating pathology”(Stice,
Schupak-Neuberg, Shaw & Stein, 1994).”(divinecaroline.com) As discussed before the more we are exposed to a medium, the more we associate it with reality. And what was once something created for entertainment begins to affect us physically, socially and psychologically. Another aspect of beauty and body image is the portrayal of plastic surgery being a social norm to create the ideal image. It’s no longer a matter of just being thin; it’s about being curvy, having big breast, a nice behind, and expensive hair. An example of this is seen even in toys like Barbie, who is the plastic picture perfect woman. That look is becoming more and more popular in pop culture. Nicki Minaj coined the idiom “barbs”, an affectionate nickname for her fans who worship her Barbie doll image. “Even toys such as Barbie dolls play a significant role in developing body image. With unattainable proportions, the doll perpetuates the ideas of materialism, beauty, and thinness at an age at which the child is very impressionable.” (Cal poly.edu) Although it may not be directly aimed for adolescents, as they get older young women, crave these bodies because men lust after them. For Men, it’s not as big to meet the media’s expectations of them, as it is to be accepted socially and financially. Yet, they too look to the media for how they should want a woman to look. If they admire an athlete, lead singer of a band, rapper or actor, and he has the nice cars, fancy career, jewelry, homes, and women who chase after him, he will want the same. He will equate being rich and famous as an easy way to pick up women, and he will allow that to determine his success. If he views himself as successful, and wanted he will expect the type of woman that he has been pre exposed to on TV and in videos. She will be his definition of perfect and any woman who doesn’t look the part is unacceptable. And as adolescents get older they further this psychological cycle in the way they build relationships with each other. Not always based in character but in physical appearance. The physical identification that adolescents experience as influenced by the media is only one way self- perception is developed. When kids begin thinking about what they want to be when they grow up, it innocently starts as a princess or a superhero. Why? That is who they see on their favorite TV shows and movies. As they get older, a boy may want to be an athlete, while the girl aspires to be a model. By the time they are teenagers it is more likely that they will have chosen a career in the entertainment business.
And with so many talent shows, who’s to blame them? That is what is associated with success, TV, movies, magazines, and social media. People will love you, everyone will know you, admire you, and you will get paid for the lifestyle. Psychologist George Herbert Mead, developed a theory on “self.” This theory states, “The self is not so much a substance as a process in which the conversation of gestures has been internalized within an organic form. This process does not exist for itself, but is simply a phase of the whole social organization of which the individual is a part. The organization of the social act has been imported into the organism and becomes then the mind of the individual. It still includes the attitudes of others, but now highly organized, so that they become what we call social attitudes rather than roles of separate individuals.”(media.pfeiffer.edu) This theory of self proves that the media does influence how people identify themselves. From this they begin to also create expectations of themselves, their life and the people around them, placing value on their life in comparison to someone’s on the television. The Media’s Influence on Morality
Morality deals with the values in which one governs themselves in their beliefs. Morals are the one thing that parents and family can instill into their kids that can counteract the negative effects of the media. But for some adolescents, moral value means nothing in comparison with fitting into the flow of society. Although the topic of morality can be very broad, because each person, culture and society moral values vary, there are some things that seem Universal. Killing is wrong, Teen Pregnancies are frowned upon, and in some cases sexuality can still cause a stir. Media influences and exposes adolescents to different types and forms of sexuality. With cartoon characters with very shapely bodies, to video games that allow women to perform sexual acts, to young girls and boys sending sexual pictures and messages through text messaging, sex is definitely no longer a behind closed doors activity for married adults. Too early are kids learning and experimenting with sex. The music they listen to is sexual, it talks in detail about how to have sex and they see kids their age in music videos dancing on each other suggestively being sexual. The problem with this is that the media is exposing this to kids while they are in that developmental stages of discovering gender roles and their sexual attitudes. “this group
may be particularly at risk because cognitive skills that allow them to critically analyze messages from the media and to make decisions based on possible future outcomes are not fully developed.” (ncbi) In other words they are again just puppets, interpreting what they see. The reason this conflicts with whatever morals they may have is because they have no fear of the unknown because it is portrayed as being fun and safe. “They are all based on the fundamental notion that greater exposure to the media leads to the adoption of the values, beliefs, and behaviors that are portrayed, particularly when they are shown to be reinforced or are unaccompanied by adverse consequences.” Say for example, if a young girl from a conservative is taught that sex before marriage is a sin, and she will go to hell if she does it. She may at first take it to heart depending on how she was taught, but if she is constantly on social media sites or watching tv, the content being portrayed will make her curious. She will watch and notice the behavior of what she sees, look for the consequence of pre-marital sex, if there is none; she will open her mind to the possibility. She may even look for sex in other places to try to grasp a better understanding. With sex as a prominent part of the media, it is no shock that the increase of teen pregnancies is sky rocketing. Not only is sex overly exerted in everything we see, we have reality shows like 16 and pregnant and teen mom, that are praising teens who have become pregnant. Dr. Drew claims to be trying to educate young girls that having sex young does have its consequences. Yet he has done it in a way that has glorified young mothers, commending them for being able to handle a child while they are kids themselves. By exploiting these young girls, he has allowed other young girls to believe having a baby isn’t so bad, because the girls on the show handled it. So now the reverse has happened, and some girls begin to lack the fear of pregnancy. “ Among adolescent girls in the United States aged between 15 and 17 years, 75 per 1,000 become pregnant each year,18 a rate two to seven times higher than rates in other industrialized nations.” (ncbi) Where 10 years ago it would be an embarrassment or outrage that a teen is getting pregnant at 13, it has become a norm that many people are becoming desensitized. So desensitized that if a child is having sex, parents quickly put them on a contraceptive or they choose abortion, which again is just another sign to them that they can do what they see on tv and get away with it. After all, that is the
reality media portrays right? Besides Sexual activity, and pregnancy, sexuality can also compromise morality. In the news often is the fight against homosexuality and lesbianism. In a world where same sex relationships were once shunned, by many religious believers, there are now many places that allow same sex marriages. Because of that there is some controversy. It becomes a heated debate because for some people being Gay, or a Lesbian came naturally at birth. While for others it was a conditioned behavior brought upon by one’s environment. Or in other words media and its influence of society’s ideals of what can be accepted as a norm. Reality shows like real world and the bad girls club promotes not only sex, drugs and alcohol, but also same sex relationships. Though it can cause a debate about different religions, many believers are taught that man was made for woman and vice versa, so that they may reproduce. Though it’s still a tense subject, homosexuality and lesbianism has become accepted around the world. The issue that some people have is the way it is promoted and portrayed, just as sex amongst a man and woman on tv for children to see. Again at ages where children are very impressionable, seeing that type of relationship on tv can lead to a curiosity in a child to experiment. If they are born that way and need the outlet for support, there Is an understanding, but for a lot of kids In today’s society being gay or a lesbian is a trend. Its considered cool, and schools even give scholarships for it. Some young girls decide to be lesbian because on TV, men think it’s sexy for women to hook up. Conclusion
To become so advanced we had a lot of pioneers, who set trends, broke barriers, did research and educated themselves so that we to could have the opportunity to learn and grow, continuing on the legacy. Unfortunately, with technology advancing a cell phone can also serve as a computer, tv, camera, music player and phone all in one device it is way easier to be drawn in by the media. With that we work less hard everything is about entertainment, beauty, who hot, what music is in, and what you’re wearing. Kids are being made to believe that if you invest in your looks, rather an education; you’re one step closer to making it. People will buy clothes they cannot afford just to make others believe in them. This brainwashing starts as a child, when an innocent child just wants to watch a cartoon. The
entertainment business is one has yet to die. And the belief is that it never will because technology continues to advance, businesses grow and media is needed. Therefore there is a higher risk that adolescents and children will continue to advance along with it, in a way they are not prepared. It is not understood that they are being consumed, used as pawns to help make money for big name brands, and celebrities. The world has just developed so much not only with the media and technology, but with the way people allow it to shape who they are in the world. To think humans were the first species on the earth and now like walking robots, programmed by a false sense of reality. Everyday Kids are being brought up by different forms of the media, teaching them how life should be. It is the belief of some researchers, that Adolescents are being programmed by the media to be puppets for whatever it is they are selling. Whether it’s a lifestyle or an image, if the media captures a child’s mind young, they will always have it. With that power it will be, and has been easily to manipulate their thoughts and beliefs. Continually seeing it every day, in every form of media is certain to overwhelm the minds of the youth. Some too vulnerable to see the trickery used. As technology continues to grow, and the media exposing more…what does that mean for the future of children? Will there be such thing as childhood? Will the legal drinking age drop since kids are influenced to drink, party, have sex and live a life with no consequences? Is the media, ruining the experience of innocence, by polluting children with adult pleasantries? Or do parents need to step up and evaluate parenting? So many questions, but one that everyone should ask, is TV a reflection of reality or is reality a reflection of what is seen on TV?
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Cite this The Influence of Media Technology on the moral development and Self-Concept of Youth
The Influence of Media Technology on the moral development and Self-Concept of Youth. (2016, Dec 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-influence-of-media-technology-on-the-moral-development-and-self-concept-of-youth/