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The Effects of Mass Media on Modern Youth

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The 21th century has witnessed unprecedented advancement in virtually all fields of daily life, and the mass media is no expectation (Brown, 2007). However, the society still seem confused about the media influence children and young people, even blame them for much of society’s ills, such as crime, sex and vandalism(Agarwal, 2008). The report analyses and demonstrates the pros and cons of mass media for modern young generation. First of all, the report goes through the of mass media effect on youth action or behaviour to understand the role of media in youth. Secondly, the report illustrates and discusses the essential aspect of awareness created by media. Thirdly, it is going to education of media to determine the aspect of media. Finally, the report gives recommendations to media which to reach out the positive masses and influence youth thinking and decision making.


The media education will clearly continue to play a prominent role in society at present and they interpret and construct ways would direct affect the attitudes, behaviour and skills on teenagers by mass media (Australian Psychological Society, 2013). First of all, in the early stages of learning for children, television plays a powerful teacher (Jones, 2003). As an example of watching Sesame Street, toddlers can learn kindness, cooperation, simple mathematics and alphabet from their valuable lessons (Jones, 2003). Furthermore, the mass media education also provide professional development for human beings (Australian Psychological Society, 2013).

There is no doubt that today’s most popular internet as a medium, people can search variety of information. For most teachers, they need to have good media literacy skills in order to present media education to their students for deeply impression for them (Jones, 2003). Meanwhile, an actual world of violence, crime, racial diversity and even countless advertisement was portrayed by mass media (Australian Psychological Society, 2013). Due to accept the guide of media without any thinking, the violence and crimes portrayed in the media certainly contribute to juvenile delinquency (Jevtic, 2012).

With due education by extreme mass media, teenagers often do not have slightest idea of what constitutes a criminal offence. They regard it natural to settle a problem with violence and they are easily manipulated (Jones, 2003). For example, many are coaxed to sell drugs at disco, which seems to them a harmless part-time job. No till they are caught by the police do they find out it is illegal (Mental Health Commission, 2013). Moreover, some television program even inadvertently teach people how to commit a crime because every step of the crime is described in detail (Australian Psychological Society, 2013). At the same time, violence and criminals are often glorified in the mass media (Jones, 2003). The shooting and fighting seem manly and cool to the young.


Mass media plays an essential role in creating awareness. Media helps in providing information regarding such topic which is the argument carried on concerning sex education (Agarwal, 2008). Although sex is public topic in adult society, for young people’s society still remains a taboo. In this case, most young people willing to break the detention from their parents to enjoy passionate love affairs at an ever-earlier age without any commitment, responsibility or health concerns (Jones, 2003).As the result, the rate of teenage pregnancy is higher. Because of that, media is trying to highlight the aspects of the matter that sex education must be allowed in schools. In fact, using mass media for education children as purpose to guard and guide youth generation choosing the correct path and learn at the right instance better than hiding excuses (Agarwal, 2008).

However, a study by Australian Psychological Society (APS) in 2013 suggested that negative mass media spread lead to side effect attitudes towards those with a psychological illness. What is worse, the age of 24 years old, mental illness of all severe around 75% and 15-19 year age group and 20 to 24 year age group made up 17.8 per cent of death rate (Mental Health Commission, 2013).On the other hand, most teens often have uncaring by their parents who do not bother to find out what is happening to their kids. Gradually, those kids learn to take things into their own hands. They usually become introvert and sensitive. In some stage, television, network even music video tend to using violent, bloody and sex to catch audience’ eyes, and young people willing to enjoy copy actor’s action (Agarwal, 2008) . Even though they can distinguish between reality and fiction at normal, when a similar situation with television’ or movies’ plot, they hard to avoid impulse and difficult to control (Agarwal, 2008). Meanwhile, between control and release their emotions, teenagers are more prone to mental illness (Mental Health
Commission, 2013).


Youth behaviour is strongly affected by mass media. Based on research in Hall’s report (2013), the children spent 20,000 hours of television after graduate from high school and 3 to 5 violent acts show per hour. Moreover, those exposure places tend to dress up teens’ violent.

Meanwhile, compared with 3% crime rate of adult males, teens who viewing violence on television in their childhood, was accounted for 11% crime rate of males (Huesmann & Taylor, 2006). In addition, the availability of adult-only videos and sexually explicit pictures on magazines and various websites contributes greatly to the increase in teenage sexual activities and abortion rate (Agarwal, 2008). Furthermore, impulsive and easily influenced as young people are, they are constantly tricked by advertisements in all forms of media to purchase their product or spend hours practicing some new ways of keeping fit, which leads to a vast of time and money. (Agarwal, 2008). For instance, NIKE continue spending millions dollar on their product development including invite super teenage star as speak person every year (Agarwal, 2008). Also, McDonalds still using cartoon like characters to sell hamburgers and every season issued new happy meal with popular cartoon movies (Agarwal, 2008).

On the other hand, due to easily influenced as youth are, if a sport is getting much attention by media and gains popularity around young people and society, as result of that young people will practice the sport and try to be cool with their friends (Jevtic, 2012). For example, football is most popular sport in Brazil. Playing great football not only show young people up, but also become famous in short time (Jevtic, 2012).Another point is the youth survival rate is higher than before due to the spread of mass media. Except the nature disease death, young people almost learnt or understand how to protect themselves when natural human-making disaster happen (Mcquail, 2008). 5.0


To sum up, although mass media must not be defined in a narrow sense, prompt measure should be taken minimize the harmful effects of media. Especially, mass media can spread by various medium, such as television, video, internet, magazine and other else. For most teenagers with not fully correct value and ethic, mass media portrayed bad education, awareness and
behaviours is harmful to young people. Nevertheless, in the larger sense, the mass media is vital to human progress. Thus, government and young people’s parents should conduct massive educational programs to inform teenagers of the truth about sex, crimes and advertising. Teens need to be taught know to distinguish realities from illusions.


Agarwal, N. (2008). Effects of Mass Media on Young Generation. Retrieved from http://article-marketing.articlesbase.com/effects-of-mass-media-on-young-generation-562352.html

Australian Psychological Society. (2013). Media Representations and Responsibilities: Psychological Perspectives. Retrieved from http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/media_position_paper.pdf

Brown, M. (2007). Beyond the Requisites: Alternative Starting Points in the Study of Media Effects and Youth Violence. Journal of Criminal Justice & Popular Culture, 14(1), 1-20

Government of Western Australia Mental Health Commission. (2013). Youth mental health. Retrieved from http://www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au/ournewapproach/youth_mentalhealth.aspx

Hall, D. (2013). Does Violence on Television Cause Aggressive Behaviour in Teens? Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/224654-does-violence-on-television-affect-aggressive-behavior-in-teens/

Huesmann, L., R. & Taylor, L. (2006). The Role of Media Violence in Violent Behaviour. Annul. Rev. Public Health, 27(26), 393-415

Jevtic, N. (2012). The Influence of Media on Teenagers. Retrieved from http://www.nokesoft.com/fdv/Radovi_PDF_2011/The%20Influence%20of%20Media%20on%20Teenagers.pdf

Jones, A., F. (2003). Impact of media use on children and youth. Paediatr Child Health, 8(5), 301-206

Mcquail, D. (22008).The Influence and effects of Mass media. Retrieved from http://www.csub.edu/~mault/the%20influence%20and%20effects%20o.pdf

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