Media Influence on Teens

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Teens are influenced through a lot of mediums today. Some influences are often beneficial or actually go to a greater cause, but some are potentially detrimental to teens and their choices.

One thing that influences teens most in society today is social media platforms. Teens often spend a lot of their time on Twitter or Instagram. We tend to have set times in the day to go through our feeds or to post new content. Pretty much every teen with social media is guilty of using social media on a device for a large portion of the day. Social media can be used as a positive method to share information, but it is also sometimes abused. Something teens do not really understand is that if something is posted on the internet, it can probably be accessed by anyone in the world now and also in the future. Teens sometimes lack clear thinking when sharing media and often have to face repercussions when posting something without clear judgement. Celebrities often use social media as a way to communicate with their followers and fans throughout the world. However, some celebrities can be a bad influence because of the way they act in real life and online, too.

Everyone makes poor choices sometimes, but because celebrities are in the limelight, their decisions are projected to the world. While a celebrity going to jail might not cause an ordinary teen to do something equally as extreme, the influence of celebrities does partially shape teen lifestyle. Often, teens try to shape themselves to be like celebrities. Viral trends can shape teens to be someone they’re not or persuade them to do things that are not good ideas. Sometime last year, the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge” surfaced, which was a viral trend to make your lips bigger and plumper like Kylie’s. Even though this eventually turned into a massive joke, it initially started as a way to make an individual more “like Kylie”. A lot of teens want to be like their favorite celebrity and often want to change to be more like the celeb. Taking part in a trend can often be an easy way to be harassed by others you do not even know. Trends can also be positive and can spread a good message, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that was created to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Sometimes, the media’s influence on teens can be good. When terror or a major issue strikes, it is often posted immediately by news sources to social platforms and the message spreads quickly. Because teens spend so much time on media, they are often forced to be exposed to it. This actually makes teens more invested in the issue and more aware of what is happening. A lot of teens and people, in general, are oblivious to many of the current problems of the world, and social media helps to alert users of some of these terrible events. Social media is also used to share campaigns or programs. Sometimes, there are tweets that one can retweet to “donate a dollar” or a hashtag someone can use to spread the word. Having an account for a business or organization is a great way to spread the word of the business and advertise the company to large groups of people. Overall, the concept of social media benefits society in numerous ways, but it is often misused.

People and teens, especially, have to be careful on social media because if abused, someone could face serious consequences. If used in the right way, media can influence teens positively, but sometimes media tries to shape teens to be someone they are not. So, before you post or take part in something you are unsure of, stop and think for a moment. You’ll be glad you did.

Author: Hannah Borgh

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