BY: VAIBHAVI MENON
Individuals that fall into this generation known as “millennials” are particularly interesting to look into the effects of increased media presence, because they are the generation that is constantly surrounded with updated technology. These individuals are the group of people that are regularly online, taking full advantage of these resources; it has become not just a part of their life but their life in its entirety. Everything this generation does is centered on the Internet, whereas someone from an older generation grew up in a different kind of life, so the effects aren’t nearly as drastic or as meaningful. Millenials are the ones that have grown up with the presence of mass digital media in their lives and were the ones constantly subjected to the consequences of this presence while also adapting to new and improved technologies every day.
The existence of the smartphone has completely altered how this group of individuals interacts and participates in society, because they are the ones who stay constant with the progressions in technology and getting the new “iPhone” every time it is released. “The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household. The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns. Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone.” (Twenge). This age group is subjected to a life filled with mass media and technology every day, which results in different circumstances and different lives in comparison to older generations. There is a fundamental difference in how this generation and older generations process, analyze and understand information while they function in society. Comparing those who weren’t raised on the power of a smartphone and in the age of media constantly in your face to those who were, the contrast becomes quite clear.
Media messages can have a negative or unhealthy influence on teenage behavior and attitudes in certain areas, including body image, health and citizenship. Body image :- Your child’s body image is influenced by social media, other media and advertising. If teenagers see unrealistic ‘thin’ or ‘muscly’ body types often enough in the media they follow, it can have an impact on their body image and dieting behavior. This is especially true when there’s no-one to disagree with messages like ‘thin is beautiful’. Health and lifestyle :- Social media and other media can influence the decisions that teenagers make about their health and lifestyle. For example, media messages and content can make it look ‘normal’, cool or grown-up to eat junk food, smoke, drink alcohol and take other drugs. Citizenship:-To be responsible citizens, teenagers need reliable and good-quality information. But social media and other media are sometimes used in negative ways during elections and at other times. For example, ‘fake news’ might influence teenagers to believe false information about a politician, public figure or celebrity. Or sometimes online forums promote biased or hateful attitudes towards groups of people.