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Nowaday kids are being introduced to technology and media from a very early age. A research, which was conducted among Norwegian teens has shown that on average they spend 3. 5 hours on internet (TEDx, 2015). Kids also watch TV and movies, read magazines or play video games and therefore they are constantly exposed to stream of media. As a result media has a lot of impact on youth and the way they perceive the world. For example, in commercials or other types of media women are portrayed as less independent than men, much skinnier and nicer looking than an average women in reality is. They are heavily sexualised and stereotyped by their hair color (TEDx, 2015). This has a lot of effect on the young girls. They don’t have such a strong and grown up character built up yet and their perception of reality may get lost due to this pressure.
They constantly see a stereotypical image of a perfect woman body which makes their self-confidence low. Young girls start worrying more about their looks rather than about their health and education. Some of them starve and even become sick with anoreksia while trying to be as slim as models in commercials. Media is actively used for advertising different products and services, not only directly through commercials, but also using hidden product placement in popular internet blogs. As a result, kids and teenagers start begging their parents to buy expensive items, which they are persuaded by the media they really need. It could be either high end brand clothes, expensive toys or technology. Social media looks like a fun type of an entertainment, however not often do we think deeper into it, to see the whole picture, and understand how something that harmless can cause mental sickness and even bring a fatal ending to someone’s life. Teenagers and the younger generation often get addicted to their phones and constantly checking/posting on their social media pages. This might actually have a lot of hidden effects that most people don’t think about. It has been proven, that likes on social media such as instagram can have a huge impact one’s self esteem. It may either drop due to little attention from their peers, or conversely become too high. Often teens get addicted to taking selfies and constantly posting something.
In a desire to get more positive feedback or more “likes”, some start photoshopping or lying about their life in their blogs. Overall, internet and in particular social media has created an alternative reality which may be more attractive for the young generation that the real life. Teenagers frequently prefer chats in social media to real life communication, which may create problems in their “offline” life.
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