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One of the most critical and vulnerable stages of human development is Adolescence. This is true for any boy or girl and factually the most susceptible to changes, broadly affecting the psychological level of the human being (Craig & Baucum, 2001). In the modern culture, media (both audio-visual) exercise a great amount of influence on the mind of the adolescent. Video games alone were once critical and a potential threat for the rapidly altering mind of an adolescent, however media encompassing both print and television play a significantly disturbing role in deteriorating the adolescents’ mind.
Young and developing minds, rapidly changing were once victims of violent games on their gadgets and now the role is shared by films, advertisements and miscellaneous television programmes showing extreme violence and dangerous life threatening activities, action stunts of various types, exposure to female body as a commodity, emphasis on sexual content. All this and more is continuously broadcasted on hoarding, televisions, radio commercials and are heavily misguiding the minds of adolescents to potentially disturbing realities.
It is not proven through research as the subject is under debate therefore literature is not enough of a resource to establish a viable link between media and the adolescent behavior. However, one cannot deny the potentially negative impact that is around us. We see our children imitating dangerous stunts and various adult behaviors which are televised daily. Unfortunately, these incidents and their life-threatening consequences are also reported by the media itself.
Talking of Psychological Development one cannot ignore the contribution of Albert Bandura, a psychologist who was a specialist in studies regarding social learning. According to Bandura, media will rated as the third viable source of influencing the adolescent mind, in succession to family and society (Huston & Wright, 1996). In fact, “the process of acquisition can be considerably shortened by the provision of social models” (Bandura, 1963, p. 3) compared to these observations instead of watching or learning about a certain behavior. In connection to Bandura’s (1963) social learning theory, learning through observation or modeling, gives us enough evidence through listening and seeing other people around us. Our memories act as storage devices which capture the actions and ideas that we observe people performing on daily basis.
Role models prevail in all kinds of cultures and it is through these role models that adults, adolescents and youngsters learn various behavioral patterns (Bandura, 1963, p. 47). In most of the cultures all bulk of adult behaviors are imitated and this has no clear and justifiable explanation. In Western cultures, parents are susceptible to providing their children with gender based toys which are miniatures of actual appliances being used by adults. They grow up with these toys and acquire adult behaviors easily (Bandura, 1963).
Physical images portrayed on television, especially in advertisements are merely an exposure effect to reign over the adolescent’s minds. The media constantly displays various different idealistic images for a perfect body which have extreme pressure over the lives of adolescents or expectations about different ways of life, adolescents have a lot of pressure in their lives.
The idea of being perceived by someone as likeable is evidenced in various literary sources; however what matters the most is how the teens and adolescents determine this concept and try to change themselves to be acceptable in the society, especially their peers. (Wentzel & McNamara, 1999). Media awareness is the only way that can keep these young minds from being permeated to be someone that they are not; all because something or someone on your television screens makes you think that you are acceptable the way you are.
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