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How the mass media has effected

Our Socializing, our Lifestyles, and our Living Patterns


Mass media has affected our way of lifestyle, socialization, living patterns and eavesdropping tremendously. It has not only affected us personally, but our young adults as well. The influence it has on our teenagers, dictates their actions. Weather it is by television or newspapers, our teenager’s is affected by it. The media has a way of sending subliminal messages through television and magazines. The pressures that young adults face to fit in, is tremendous. Movies, as well, have a large influence on our teenagers.

What are some of the media’s negative effect on teenagers?

Gary Jenson notes that the violent and social behaviors of teenagers in our society is under attack by ‘media violence,’ ‘school violence,’ ‘media effects,’ and peer pressure.  Accordingly, we know that human behavior is learned. We often see that when teenagers spend a large amount of time in front of the television, reading magazines, or on the internet, that there is a pro-founding effect on their ability to adapt to what they see and hear. We also learn from Gary Jenson that teenagers imitate what they see. Many critics note that watching violence can increase the likely hood of a person becoming violent, and their social behavior changes drastically. These mixed messages along with peer pressure put us all over the edge.

There are several negative effects on a teenager’s social well being. The media today is responsible for body image, and self worth, and this is where we see several teenagers suffer from inferiority complex, thus resorting to unhealthy eating habits and weight loss. The media sells sex, drugs, and smoking by the movies and advertisement they show. These negative effects of the media on teenagers are controlling every part of their social life. Everywhere they turn, television, the internet, newspapers, magazines, and advertisement bombard them. Teenagers are affected by the way the media portrays super stardom. Hollywood tells them they must look a certain way, so they develop bad eating habits, and lose weight to look like the ideal person on television. The amount of emphasis put on celebrity hype put on by the media definitely contributes to negative effects. They look in the magazines, and they see a pretty person that looks good, skinny, and rich and they want to be this person. This kind of pressure allows many teens to make irrational decisions and put demands on themselves. When they cannot fulfill their desires, they turn to the obvious, drinking, drugs, sex, and alcohol.

Many media outlets increases an aggressive tendencies in teenager, be it television, or a video game. Teens are on public display in front of their peers trying to keep up with the in crowed, and this does not always go over well. They demand from their parents, who sometimes become tired of molding them to go the right way. They want the latest clothing, the latest hairstyle, the newest cars, and so the vicious cycle continues.  The constant glorification of unhealthy habits becomes the main staple for their survival. There are millions of dollars are spent each year to attract teens to certain things. The media sometimes fail to tell the real deal about how one can obtain or achieve things in life. It is not always about money and fame. One must work to rise to the top.

Furthermore, family, friends, peers, school, and teachers cultivate teenagers, but some times these communities break down, because they are not always there for them to show them the right way to go. When this happens they have no choice but to turn to the media for help and attention. This is why the media as such an affect on their life. Where can they go to feel wanted, heard, and loved? Where can they go to fit into society? You often hear teenagers say, ‘they just don’t understand me’, and if this is the case, then we as parents need to pay attention to what they are saying.  Teenagers are always faced with challenges as they grow up. Their bodies change, their personalities change, and just changes to everyday living are hard. Adapting to change is always a struggle for the majority, especially in our society today. The need to fit in is important, as many do not have a strong homebody or role model to turn to. Parents are either divorced or too busy to see what is going on with their children.

Teenagers need a strong community to help them develop into positive young men and women. If they cannot turn to family and friends for help, they will turn to their peers for validation. The school system is another way for teenagers to grow, but sometimes there is a lot of pressure at school and college. With the emphasis on materialism and appearance, teenagers struggle to survive. Moreover, peer pressure is probably one of the hardest things teenagers face today, and in to not feel left out they follow the popularity group. These groups encourage a person to change his or her behavior, morals, lifestyle, and learning patterns. We know that teenagers face many consequences when they give into this pressure, it erodes their own identity, and aides in making flawed choices in their lives.

Living Patterns & Lifestyles: The 1950’s Vs today

The rock and roll music and drive in movies, along with new affordable black and white TV sets in the home made the 1950s a memorable family oriented decade. For the first time in history television, advertisers enjoyed a captured audience. Prime time shows such as “I Love Lucy”, “Leave it to Beaver”, and “The Twilight Zone”, promoted wholesome, rater conservative values. In the 1950’s family dinners was an occasion to sit down, relax, and enjoy a home-cooked meal with family members. The focus was entirely on the family, with morals and values relevant to the happenings of the day being discussed and taught to children at this time.
Post WWII economics led to a strong and thriving economy during the 1950’s. Work was plentiful and the majority of the population thought that they had finally made it, and began to enjoy the fruits of the labors. In the 1950’s, men were mostly the providers and the woman stayed home, cooked, cleaned, and reared children.
America’s growing obsession with the media has led to a decline in morals, values and lifestyles over the past fifty years. Today lifestyles have changed, and now consumed by technology every minute and hour of the day and night, may it be through television, mobile phone, IPod, or computer. Family dinners have been replaced with today’s media and technology. Lifestyles changes from the 1950’s include woman working full time and taking care of the house and family. Today it is almost a necessity that the woman and man both work to support themselves and raise their children. Men and women of today are equally the bread winners.

Furthermore, another major lifestyle change between the 1950’s and now regarding television advertisement is cigarette commercials. In the 1950’s quite frankly, if it were not for cigarette advertisement most of the family wholesome TV shows would not have existed. If it were not for the tobacco companies modern television would not exist. Furthermore, if you ask any kid under 25 today they would not understand the concept of wanting to advertise cigarettes on TV. Today children learn at a very young age that cigarette smoking is bad for your health. The majority of cigarette advertising is done through magazines and billboards, not television as it were in the 1950’s.


The mass media, mainly television, has worn down the barriers that have long existed between adults, children and teenagers. When children were present and were listening, parents and adults used to whisper to each other when they wanted to discuss something of a private matter, such as money issues, work, and even sex. However, today children can watch on television any soap opera, especially prime time sitcoms, and get the worst aspects of an adult life. Drugs, sexual content and infertility are right there on the big screen, in the children’s faces, in their living rooms for them to absorb with the click of a button. In addition, that does not include late night television and or adult stations on the cable channel. Instead of worrying about subject matters that you would not want your children or teenagers to over hear, now you must be vigilant about what your kids and teenagers are seeing on television. Today you would probably be shocked about what your kids would say on any of these given subjects, you would be surprised on what comes out of the “mouth of babes”. The ubiquity of television has rapidly replaced the necessities of parenting.



Jenson, Gary F. (2007). Social Learning and Violent Behavior.  In The Cambridge

Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression. Retrieved April 17, 2010 from

Research Library. http://www.credoreference.


"The 1950s: Lifestyles and Social Trends: Overview." American Decades. 2001. Retrieved May 03, 2010 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3468301956.html

The 1950s: Lifestyles and Social Trends: Topics in the News." American Decades. 2001. Retrieved May 03, 2010 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3468301957.html

Vivian, J. (2009). The Media of Mass Communication (9th ed.). : Allyn and Bacon.


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