The Effects of Media

An image, disturbing to picture, of a child’s mind and inside the child’s
mind is a schema of every concept the adolescent has ever taken in. A Nazi
swastika symbolizes an evil hatred from history, the child has learned that
prejudice is wrong. A mental picture of a young bride walking down an isle, the
child knows marriage is sacred and that the woman can take pride in her white
dress. A Coke bottle brings the sweetness of cola to the youth’s taste buds.
This person was biologically determined to be female at birth. This person now
has a role in society to play. We refer to her as female because she is not male
and there is no in between in our culture, she is female because of her physical
features. We have a schema of what a female is expected to be. She probably has
hair with length. Her features should be soft and luscious. She will not fight;
she will smell good. She isn’t impressed with extremely large spiders; she
will be impressed with beautiful flowers. She should desire to look sexy, to
dress sexily, to be sexy. Certain things are expected of her. She is to learn
the behaviors, beliefs, and values her society presents her with. Not only will
she learn those requirements but she will also learn from the environment around
her. All the information she is presented with she will accept and decide where
to put it. She will be forming her opinions, beliefs morals, behaviors and
values of her own. The average youth will watch 10,000,000 advertisements before
the age of eighteen (Hull). Reading through an average teen magazine, a teenager
can read about how to be popular, how to apply makeup, how to style hair, even
how to dress next month. The average movie is filled with advertisements just
slipped in casually. Not to mention regular tv has eight minutes of commercials
for every 22 minutes of television (Hull). I ask my audience to consider the
information received by their children and evaluate the choices of media in the
environment your children live in.

Everyone has their own set of values. Similar to fingerprints, no two sets of
values are alike. Values evolve and change depending on each individual’s
experience, age, education, culture, etc. A major influence in today’s society
is media, it is everywhere and contains an immense amount of messages. Youth in
general have become the number one target of Media. Why is this? Teens spend on
average 100 million dollars a year. In addition they spend more than $50 million
a year of their parent’s money(Merchants of “Cool”). This is a big
business! 75% of teens have a television in their room. 1/3 of teens have a
personal computer in their room and the average time spent online per night is
two hours (Youthworker). With all this mass amount of media being taken in every
day how do we know exactly what teens do with this information. These are
questions parents must ask themselves: How much of this information effects my
child’s values. How does this information effect my child’s personal
success?

The personality development begins day one on this planet, according to
Freud. Every age has its own learning experience that must be accomplished to
fit in society. Let us look at our female baby. She is born and immediately
categorized as a boy or a girl. She will be dressed in dresses and other
exclusively female clothes. Her welcome home sign will indicate her gender. This
is when Freud says we act from our id, or our basic need drives. We know when
something is needed and we demand instant assistance. Every minute to a baby is
an eternity. The comprehension of time isn’t acquired until later in life.
First she will learn what is considered to be right and wrong. Her family plays
a huge role in her facing this challenge. The child will learn the meaning of
the word “no.” This is often even a child’s first word. As she graduates
from early childhood she will begin to learn consequences. Reasons why things
are right and wrong. She will learn self control and confidence. She knew that
mom would not let her near the wood stove and now she understands the
consequences of a burn. The understanding on basic explanations for right and
wrong is called the ego. She will act by these now. Once she accomplishes these
early lessons she will go on to learn that not only does the stove burn but mom
is concerned for her and that is