There are numerous prevailing issues which involve the media and its audiences, and how these audiences actually use the media can arguably shape their persona and lead to consequent behaviours. One such issue that I will be targeting specifically is the affect of some forms of media for entertainment on the minds of young individuals.
So, let’s explore this concept further.
We, as 21st century beings, now have a much broader spectrum of choice when it comes to immersing ourselves in the world of media. Currently, there are concerns revolving the indirect influence of the media on its audiences e.g. exposure of adolescents (particularly males) to violent imagery and coarse language in popular TV series such as Game of Thrones, video games such as Call of Duty and audio i.e. song lyrics (take Eminem for instance). It is possible that witnessing acts of violence through these mediums can contribute to changing attitudes as argued by Marie Evans Schmidt, a scientist from the CMCH (Center on Media and Child Health) in Boston, who states that “aggressive portrayals on TV provide models of impulsive restless behaviour, and that through observational learning, children can incorporate this style into their own behaviour.”
Think back to the murder of Jamie Bulger in 1993, and how the media was somewhat ‘blamed’ for this.
Such graphic forms of entertainment were not always readily available to us for viewing, and hence, this improvement of ‘choice’ has resulted in this, so to say, ‘hindering’ of personality. However having said this, this type of viewing may induce little to no effect depending other factors i.e. family circumstances and maturity levels of the adolescent.
Alternatively, teenagers who develop an interest for watching the news for example, are more likely to be more ‘in touch with reality’, which can assist with the development of their global awareness and perhaps encourage involvement in community action. I feel as though the news in the modern era is a medium more commonly viewed by choice on television than in the past, as having a much more limited selection of programs in the early days may have seen audiences watching it simply for the sake of watching it.
So in summary, the media can influence actions of individuals both positively and negatively, depending on the nature of the individual and the way in which they utilise the mediums available to them.