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The Influence of the Media on Todays Teens.

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Today’s television and magazines are influencing many people all around us. Many teens and young people look up to celebrities in magazines, young men look up to the good fighters in action movies, and everyone looks for the perfect diet. Life was so easy when the children looked up to mom and dad for answers, instead of today, where everyone looks to the media for answers. Not all people fall into the trap that the media throws out there. Media has thrown so many distorted images of suicides, sexuality, eating disorders and violence. Many people who grow up with the media feed on these issues end up with problems.

When people commit suicide, it is often described in detail somehow or another in the news. The way the media shows suicides may be helping more people to choose suicide. Reporting and portraying suicidal behavior maybe prove to have negative influences. The impact of the medias influence on suicidal behavior is normally when a method of suicide is specified. Then we have what is called the modeling effect. When one person watches the news and sees a suicide they cringe, in disgust, but another person may watch and want to do the same thing. It might come as an answer to another person’s problems.

A famous celebrity committed suicide in Taiwan the year 2005. All suicides during 2003-2005 in Taiwan were deeply studied and researched. When the celebrity suicide was all over the news, studies showed that in the four weeks following the death, the suicide rates went up considerably. The suicides that happened in those four weeks were all mainly the same kind; they all hung themselves as the celebrity. This is an example of modeling effect.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in teens ages 15-19 in the United Sates. Suicide attempts are not easy to count because many of them were not studied in a hospital. Most youths who attempt suicide are experiencing a psychological problem such as depression or bipolar disorder, a substance abuse problem, or both. There are many issues that are overlooked when a person commits suicide. A person who commits suicide normally has gone through something very hard to deal with, or has many feelings of neglect in their lives. When one considers the persons personal life, it seems that the medias influence was there at the right time and right place, causing the depressed person to think suicide as the right way out.

Another study showed websites such as Bebo and Myspace becoming a suicide influence. On these sites teens are able to post anything they want. Teens post their feelings and thoughts about everything. The sites of the people who committed suicide, had many statements that no one took seriously. Friends of teens who committed suicide made a new page of dedication for them. Anyone could view these pages, and from looking at these pages, it is almost as if they were praising the suicide victim. More suicides were committed by teens seeing this page as a chance to be seen. When they died they too were put up on this page. Parents soon complained to the companies to take down these pages that were “praising” the suicide victims.

Suicide is happening all around the world. Media may not be the cause for many people’s suicides, but it is definitely a major factor. The news talks about local suicides, the movies show people committing suicide, and everyone watches these things. Showing suicide in a film should not be right. People all around the world see these images, and the wrong people will copy these things.

Early sexual intercourse among American teens is a major problem. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61% of all high school seniors have had sexual intercourse, about half are currently active, and 21% have had four or more partners. There are many studies that show televisions powerful influence on teens sexual attitudes, values, and beliefs. Teens are very vulnerable to what they let influence them. In film, TV, and music, sexual messages are becoming more explicit in dialogue, lyrics, and behavior. More often than not the message they portray is a false unrealistic, and misleading love that teens accept as fact. Teens have said that media is second to sex education programs as their source of information about sex.

American media is said to be the most sexually suggestive in the Western Hemisphere. The average teen will see nearly 14,000 sexual references per year, but only 165 of these references will deal with birth control, self-control, abstinence, or the risk of pregnancy or STDs. Even the TV channels said to be watched during “family hour” has an average of more than eight sexual incidents. MTV, a pop music channel often displays suggestive sexual imagery. Experimental studies have shown a correlation between early or risky teen behaviors and viewing music videos. With almost everything that we turn on these days

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