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Media

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bulldog05
Words 1375
Pages 6
English 101
May 10, 2009

A Media Driven Society Raises Today’s Youth

“Beep!” “Beep!” “Beep!”… Its 7 o’clock am, I rise to an alarm set to 94.5 where I hear the latest news and media gossip. I jump into the shower where I continue to catch up on the world’s news reports. My pre-set coffee brewer has coffee already prepared for an on-the-go person such as myself. I grab my laptop, cell phone, ipod, and jet off to work. After work I stop at a local café where I can pick up free wi-fi and sign in to my online classes. I email a few friends in the process of emailing a professor about the assigned paper. I can’t forget to check my facebook to catch up on the latest gossip while listening to lecture notes podcasted from the previous day. Once finished, I stop at the local grocery store to pick up dinner and while standing in line at the cashier I feel compelled to buy a magazine to keep up on the celebrity gossip and check out new poperotsy photos. On my way home a billboard advertising the new corona makes me stop at the local 7-elleven for a six-pack. I speed home to pop my tv dinner in the microwave and sip a beer. While I wait, I turn the television on and watch the news on one screen while watching another show on the split screen monitor. After a long day, I set the coffee pot, my alarm, plug the ipod, computer, and cell phone in to charge and lay my head on my pillow. As I close my eyes, I think of all the information I’ve seen, heard, and communicated throughout the day. I sleep comfortably relying on the alarm clock to awaken my senses the following morning. Each day we awaken to this world of unavoidable influences. Everything from television, radio, Internet, billboards, advertisements, magazines, newspapers, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers force us to evaluate others and ourselves. It is virtually impossible to ignore these outward forces because even in solitude they cross our minds. Media infiltrates everything, everywhere in the United States, so much that the media has distorted the way we should view others and ourselves. The way we view ourselves comes from our daily social interactions, beginning at birth and ending at death. From the womb into this world of technology we learn the norms, values, and expectations of our culture through human interaction and by the media’s influence. Media has begun to influence our lives even before birth. Children are exposed to some forms of media within the womb. Baby Einstein is “a line of multimedia products and toys that specializes in interactive activities for children such as classical music, art and poetry” (Wikipedia). Parents expected these different kinds of learning techniques would be beneficial to their children’s head start to learning. In fact, the University of Washington did a study on Baby Einstein and found that children who watched educational videos didn’t benefit anymore than children who were not exposed to these forms of media, actually children who were read to had a higher level of competence in reading and writing later in life (Wikipedia). Parent’s use media to comfort and console children, by putting them in front of television children are consumed by Elmo, Barney, and Sesame Street. As infants become toddlers this is even more prevalent. Since mothers also work in today’s world, TV programs, videos, books, games, and toys are teaching our children. Parents depend on educational shows to raise their small children. These shows teach learning manners, ABC’s and numbers. This was not accessible a few decades ago; there was usually someone in the household who stayed home to teach those fundamental skills. The man of the house would provide for the family while the wife would take care of household chores, at the same time educating the children. In today’s world both parents have to work while their child is taught at day care center and at home forms of media fulfill the parental guidance. As children mature into young adolescence, the media begins to influence and change their perspective on life; it begins to shape their world-view. Children in today’s society are growing up too fast, due to shows like Disney, Nicolodean, and even PG films are teaching adult themes. Books and magazines like “Twilight”, “Thirteen”, “Seventeen magazine” and “Teen Vogue” are geared to influence young preteens even though their titles sound like they are focused for mid to late teens. “Facebook and Myspace have shown the extraordinary power of social networks to reach an enormous audience, but they have mainly provided a place for people to display and distract themselves in new ways”(Daniel Pinchbeck). Young adulthood is a crucial influential time in an individual. Magazines, television shows, billboards, and friends have an incredible impact on teens and preteens. Websites like Myspace, Facebook, Live Journal, Youtube, chart-rooms, web-cam and teen pornography opens the door for sexual connotation. This is what entertains pre-teens instead of physical activities. This kind of media is where they learn everything from how to dress to what makeup brands to buy. They even learn how to interact with the opposite sex. These things should be geared toward young adults, but they are influencing 8-11 year olds. While there are numerous aspects of life that help to mold the identity, the media and social interactions seem to have the most impact. In “Is Google Making Us Stupid” Marshall McLuhan says, “ The media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of a thought. And what the net seems to be doing is chipping away at my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles” (Nicholas Carr). The Internet starts to alter your mind, for children it distracts them from school. Kids in today’s classroom are so distracted that they can’t be taught in a traditional manner with a teacher and chalkboard. Teachers are competing with the Internet for their student’s attention. Today’s media challenges the teacher to learn all forms of media so they can keep their students involved in school. To students and teachers the Internet is becoming a universal medium. It is becoming an essential key to learning in today classrooms. Both Carr and Pinchbeck say, “People have not been encouraged to think or act for themselves”. We create ourselves over time through our social environment, but the media has created this place where a portion of the self can be self molded and sculpted, a place where the product is not merely constructed from society but through the internet we are able to modify it, the cyber self. Because the media and technology are so influential in today’s world, it is with no surprise that the cyber world has become so large. We are of the information age where the answer to almost anything is at the click of a mouse. People are meeting their significant others over the world-wide-web and it is unbelievable how many chat rooms are constantly being created. The cyber world is basically a world of it’s own with a whole new set of rules and commonalities. The greatest, maybe most dangerous aspect of this world is that you may be who you wish to be and accepted as such. “Because chat environments deny physical presence, everything must be communicated and one must literally write one’s self into existence. The individual behind the computer constructs the self and this is exciting to users because they are able to hide flaws while exaggerating and glamorizing those characteristics others appreciate. As adults we continue to be influenced by mainstream media. Through the Internet, newspaper, news, and radio programs, we learn how to raise our children; in actuality the media is raising America’s youth. Today adults put all their trust in media and technology; we are brain washed by the media. The media shapes the way we think, dress, eat, express thoughts, learn and basically live.

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