Negative Effects of Media on Teenagers  

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Negative Effects of Media on Teenagers  

This essay will explore the negative effects of media consumption on teenagers. It will discuss how exposure to certain types of media content can impact teenage behavior, mental health, and body image. The piece will examine issues such as cyberbullying, unrealistic beauty standards, and the influence of social media and advertising on adolescent development. PapersOwl showcases more free essays that are examples of Adolescence.

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Media is literally in every facet of teenage life, and it is having devastating effects on young people today. Cyberbullying pushed a teen in Texas to commit suicide. Brandy Vela was eighteen years old and cyberbully pushed her over the edge resulting in her suicide. Brandy told her family she was going to kill herself and her family watched her as she shot herself in the chest. Teenagers in Brandy’s high school made fake accounts of her and made comments about her weight daily.

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Cyberbullying is so common in every school and school’s need to have stricter laws against it and be more aware (KHOU-TV). Not only is social media a factor for reflecting on teenage life, music, video games, and television also play a role. Today’s media is responsible for negatively affecting teenagers mental and physical state. Social media is one of the leading factors having an effect on teenagers.

So many teenagers are caught up in looking good on social media causing their self of stem to lower. Ehmke stated that social media apps are mentally and physically affecting teens by “A survey conducted by the Royal Society for the Public Health asked 14-24 year olds in the UK how social media platforms impacted their health… The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all led to increase feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image, and loneliness”.

Teenagers that are too engaged in their phones can cause them to lack sleep. They will stay up late to see the newest trends, talking to their friends, or refreshing their social media feeds. It is important that teenagers get 8-10 hours of sleep a day. Due to social media apps teens are not getting their amount of sleep that they need. Too much social media time for teenagers can cause teens to be more depressed or have anxiety. Teens are so caught up in being trendy and keeping up with their friends without realizing that they are addicted (Child Mind Institute). A teenager, Lexi Duley caught that she was becoming addicted to social media. Krakowsky states that “Duley first noticed the effects of social media when they began to impact her grades”. Duley’s research shows that spending too much time on social media can lead to anxiety or personality disorders. Duley states her aspects on social media by saying “Because of social media, I feel like people have unintentionally lost the creation of self-identity. People have confirmed without realizing that they are conforming”.

There are so many teens around the world that do not notice what Duley noticed and it is important to realize how media is affecting teenagers (Krakowsky, Aurelie). Not only is social media a major factor negatively towards teens, music has also played a role. Everybody around the world listens to music from all age groups. There is music all around the world and it is inseparable. Although, listening to certain kinds of music to an excessive amount can reflect the way in affecting teenagers. Most teenagers listen to music everyday which can result in a change of their actions. Teens that listen to heavy metal of hip/hop tend to get influenced to treat women with disrespect or to be influenced in drugs. To support the way music is reflecting teens actions Pumpic found that “As stated in an Emory University Study, teens 14-18 who watched hardcore videos for 14+ hours weekly were found 3 times more likely to get into a fight with a teacher; 2,5 times more likely to find themselves under arrest; 1,5 times more likely to drink alcohol, use drugs and get sexuallly transmitted or venereas disease”.

Watching music videos can also reflect on teens to be more aggressive verbally and physically. Teenagers tend to look up to their favorite artist and try and follow their actions. Sometimes the artists may be bad role models and lead teens to have bad language or behave badly. While music is affecting teens mentally and physically it is important to recognize that video gaming as a bad effect on teens as well. Video games give teenagers dopamine, giving them the feelings of thrill and excitement. Dopamine could easily be a reason that video games are so addictive. Video gaming makes teenagers want the feeling of reward, the feeling of accomplishments. Ivan Kuo found information to back this up, “According to recent studies, those who play video games have high releases of dopamine as they play, similar to if they were to take a synthetic drug”.

Researchers are finding hat video games feel they are an escape from the real world for teens. They are also finding that the gamer may have something deeper going on in their life resulting in violent actions or an isolated behavior. There are various games for teenagers to play that bring them to a fantasy world bringing them farther away from reality. There are also games that are very violent and can influence teens to want to be brutal or violent towards others. This type of media can also impact the brain.

Video games only work a certain portion of the brain resulting in the portion of the brain that is responsible for behavior to be underdeveloped. It is important that parents are watching over their teen and paying attention to how much game time their teen is pertaking (glamificationco authored by Ivan Kuo). Video Gaming is becoming more addictive for teenagers everyday although television is a media that children and teens grow up being addicted to due to their parents.

Television is one of the most common forms of media into which teens can be addicted. Watching too much television can lead to young brains not doing important activities such as writing, playing, and socializing with their peers or family. It is important that children and teens grow up exercising their brains by doing various activities while watching TV is not exercising the brain to its full potential. There are multiple TV shows that can strengthen the brain for young children but for teens there is not a lot of educational shows. Teens are more into reality shows, shows that are more sexual or violent. Teens act on these TV shows by being more sexually active at a young age or being more violent towards their peers.

Canadian Pediatric Society confirms that “More than 1000 studies confirm that exposure to heavy doses of television violence increases aggressive behaviour, particularly in boys” (10). Watching too much television can lead to teens being overweight can result in a lower metabolic rate (Thomas, Leona). Researchers Klesges, Shelton, and Klesges found that “An individual would burn fewer calories watching TV then simply sitting silently, doing nothing” (4). Certain shows or movies can also result in girls having eating disorders. They may starve themselves or be bulimic due to seeing so many model women on TV (Canadian Pediatric Society). There is so many commercials for high sugar foods and liquor ads on TV that influences teens to have bad habits (Thomas, Leona). Multiple liquor ads let out the message that only ‘real’ men drink beer. All of the beer advertisements have resulted in an increasing beer intake (Canadian Pediatric Society). Watching television can result in poor brain development at a young age. Reading involves much more brain power than watching a TV.

So many parents just put and educational TV show on hoping that their kid is paying attention. It is vital to read to your kid and train their brain to read. Children are more likely to learn how to read at an older age due to too much TV time. Parents need to pay closer attention to how often they put their children in front of a television screen and they need to realize how it is affecting them (Thomas, Leona). Some people think that media positively affects teenagers. Media can help teens with literacy skills, numeracy skills, and social skills. Some people also think that media helps teens discover themselves and get to experience new things. Media can influence a teen to be more creative, more educational, and more social (Media Benefits for Children and Teenagers).

However, so many teens use media for the wrong reasons and can also spend too much time on media. Parents do not realize that this could be their teen if they do not pay closer attention to their lives and the actions of their children. People say that watching television with your tween or teen is beneficial. Watching TV shows and movies with them can bring up issues to talk about that are important topics. Television sparks a conversation with their child and keeps parents close to their children. Parents have the opportunity to discuss their perspective on controversial views and to get their child’s input. Parents believe that television influences their child to open up (Child Mind Institute).

Although, parents do not realize how television can influence their children in a negative way. Watching certain TV shows may influence their kids into bad behaviors and be influenced into alcohol and drugs. Even though parents are sitting their watching the show or movie with their kid they do not know how their kid will react upon what they are seeing. Parents need to realize that most TV shows for tweens or teens has sexual content or drug and alcohol abuse (Canadian Pediatric Society). Many parents believe that music has a positive effect on teenagers.

People have found that music has multiple health benefits on humans. Music benefits their teenagers by improving their mood by listening to calming music. Music also reduces stress and lessens anxiety. Teens may listen to certain music while reading or studying to keep them concentrated. Researchers have found that music releases dopamine which gives their children a feeling of ease (Get Healthy). Although, listening to music may have benefits it also has negative effects as well. Teenagers have the freedom to listen to any genre of music that they are interested in, which may not be appropriate. Very explicit music or loud music is overwhelming to the brain. Music may not affect some people but have a completely other affect on others. Every human is different and has a different perspective on how they react to what they are listening to. It is important that parents pay attention to what their children are listening to and the way music is affect their teenager. Teenagers are being negatively affected physically and mentally from today’s media. Teen girls have low self of stem due to social media apps (Ehmke, Rachel).

Music influences teens to have a violent behavior towards themselves or others (Pumpic). Video gaming and television is addictive to teens and can result in lower brain development (Thomas, Leona). All of these medias can result in teen isolation, depression, and anxiety. It is essential to be responsible for watching over their teenagers actions and be more cautious into the media that their teen may be addicted to.

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Negative Effects of Media On Teenagers  . (2021, Oct 20). Retrieved from