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Media Studies

April 5, 2013Unit 3 – Lesson 14 – Key Question #30Keitlin Okell In today’s society the media can portray different “groups” in certain ways towards society. One of these groups are teenagers; the realities that are portrayed within this specific group can be very misunderstood or very accurate depending on what is “seen” and “not seen”, values are also constructed within the media around us as teenagers not valuing what was valued in the past generations.

Finally with the different media surrounding everyone’s lives, the commercial factors do influence the media with the “teenager” topic with giving teenagers a bad image sometimes but however the commercial factors can give a positive look on teenagers.

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If people were asked what their first thoughts of when they heard the word “teenager”, the first thoughts that come to their mind will probably shock you, with it being; negative, wild, irresponsible, immortal, violent, monsters, etc. These type of thoughts that are constructed about teenagers come from the media and what is “seen” and “not seen”.

What is seen in the media the “glamorous” lifestyles of teenagers that go out to drink, party, abuse alcohol and drugs, deal with violence, and other inappropriate actions; all these actions are shown within movies, TV shows (reality or not), newspaper and even music. An example is the movie “Mean Girls”, this movie is about cliches, and how the high school life “is”, with the lies, sex, drinking, and not showing the positives of being a teenager and the difficulties that every teenager goes through. The media doesn’t show the hard part of being a teenager such as being bullied, exams, stress and insecurities.

Also what is not shown within the media about teenagers is that they do care about politics, society’s issues, the environment, volunteering, their school work and other positive activities. Realistic wise, the media over exaggerates the topic of being a teenager because the media thrives on scandals even if that includes over reacting the “life of a teenager”; this is to get the audiences reaction, awareness and entertainment all at once. The values that are represented about teenagers are right but are also wrong.

The negative values that are represented for teenagers is that they don’t care about “anything”, self-discipline, self- control is not as important as it was before. Teenage girls seem to be known to have the values of “teenage pregnancy”, while other teenagers have values of smoking weed, drinking, having a good time rather than having a good education, a future and moral values that will be needed to everyday life. On the other hand the positive values that are shown about teenagers are their families, education, respecting ourselves including our bodies, and some people might think this is bad but it could be a good thing, technology.

Technology is growing every day and affecting everybody’s lives one way or another so the opinion that the teenager values technology all depends on the person’s thoughts. The social consequences of media portraying teenagers in this manner is that teenagers get a bad “image” and when someone sees a teenager now a days they will think they are up to no good, having no hope for the future generations including us and the generation after us. Teenagers have this “bad image” of being irresponsible, untrusted, and just unappreciated takes a toll on someone and they can act out and do the actions everybody expects them to do.

Also what could happen is that with such a high expectation for somebody it can just be too much for that one person and that is where more problems can appear. Other social consequences that the media can contribute to is when on the TV, teenagers see these celebrities eat so much but yet have those “perfect” bodies that everybody seem to want, having commercials with models that look flawless when in reality they don’t look like that but of course the media doesn’t tell the audience that.

The final discussion I want to talk about is the commercial factors that influence the media; the media mostly shows a Caucasian attractive person who is very confident and it seems to be that this “person” is in every TV show, commercial, movie, etc. The commercials that are shown in today’s society vary different objectives in the audience in what they want to sell or promote, it can be from a new smartphone (new technology) to a campaign about stopping bullying. The media is influencing the commercial factors by showing the audience of what “teenagers want” and what “teenagers need” as in help having a voice in bullying for example.

The commercials can either show a positive look on teenagers or a negative look, normally the media has a little of both and that can influence a teenager either in a good way or bad. For example you see commercials that set awareness of drinking and driving or texting and driving giving teenagers a new outlook of what could possibly happen if they do these actions which in this case will leave a positive influence on teenagers in making the right choice. Commercial factors can influence teenagers, but in the end it all depends on the eenager and their thoughts and values. In the end, media does influence teenagers as it also portrays a good and bad image even if it’s realistic or not. The media has two sides of this, the “seen” and the “not seen” realities of teenagers, the values can be depicted by the audience if the teenagers values are true or not. The social consequences can vary but can be very serious with the media surrounding everybody every day and with the commercial factors that are also influenced by the media the teenager topic can either be looked at in a positive way or negative.