From the printing press to the internet, media or mass media have been playing a vital role in our daily life. It has contributed enormously in the evolution of communication worldwide, as well as contributes in being an educational tool, mainly for youngsters. However it cannot be ignored that the most dominant and effective media are the audiovisual one; television and internet, rather than the radio or newspaper. The reason behind is simply that the audiovisual technologies provide us with both the formal and informal communication which help in the process of encoding and decoding of a message, subsiding a reaction as a response to the message which is being exposed to us. In other words, the audiovisual media can either have a deep optimistic or pessimistic impact on a particular individual, depending on what they see and hear and their way of interpreting the information. However, this is not enough when explaining the impact of a particular scene on an individual; it is dependent on a large range of facts that we will discover.
Media is a necessity because the mass communication methods are an essential feature of a child’s world. It is the most convincing and effective tool to prepare a child for the stages of life and his/ her role in society. It creates awareness and acts as a motivating instrument for career built up and realization of dreams; it acts as an inspiration, by displaying the available options and ways that life can be lead. It makes youngsters expose to other cultures and helps them in the creation of their identity. “A study published in Journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy concluded that parental television involvement may influence self-esteem and body image, in part by increasing parent-child closeness” which denote that generation gap can be breached. Furthermore, internet on its side, provide us with the opportunity of sharing of ideas through the system of blogging and chatting. Apart from all these mentioned benefits, media is the way to satisfy incomplete dreams and give us a time of chill and fun from the rushes and toughness of everyday life.
However, research has also stated that the most vulnerable ones to media are youngsters; from their early adolescence to their late adulthood. Which is reasonable, because at this delicate stage of life, which is full of changes and waves of hormonal developments, young people become very moody or at the blink of an eye, very excited and dynamic and this continues on in the same pattern. In such an important part of life, the latter require constant parental guidance and teacher’s support; those who they consider to be their role model. In this frail moment, the slightest inferiority that happens to them, they will turn into either a dominated personality or a violent one. Implying that, youth, is the period of time that holds the rein of the future; the mirror of tomorrow. Thus in this unstable particular moment of life we can imagine the effects that the magical era of media can have on them! These media which have not even spared bright personalities through it’s majestically and dramatized programs!
According to John Robinson and Steven Martin from the University of Maryland, 30% more time dedicated to T.V than the reasonable time of satisfied person, result in aimlessness and emotional disorders. Consequently, instead of using media to enrich oneself for studies, one becomes lazy, there is no discipline in life and much of time is loss in T.V watching or internet chatting and surfing. This 30% in extra become the addictive line to further strengthen the bond of sexuality and indecency to youngsters. For this reason, “critics such as Jean Kilborne had claimed that television, as well as other mass media harm the self-image of young girls”. As in movies, or especially through the internet, youngsters are fully exposed to several vices of society and caught in this crossfire of age, ego and curiosity which define youth, the latter becomes obsessed and disturb until he/she is not able to live in real life what he/she feels when watching for instance, a romantic movie. This effect can be temporary as it can last in a permanent way, developing and deepening more, as we climb the ladder of age. We prolonged our thought in achieving the impossible and may also end up in psychological disorders. For example, creating a fictitious world for our self, where one is the ruler.
Hence, obesity is known as the ailment of youngsters. Reasons are many, but here, all day internet surfing and television watching are the prime causes. Media is a privatization of other dynamic activities such as going to the gym for a good health. It must also be highlighted that mobile phones are also considered in the list of audiovisual media. Watching T.V all day, for instance, seducing advertisement of junk foods like Mac Donald latest invention or KFC’S discounts or the buying of Coke that can give you the chance to meet your favorite actor. Obviously, one will be tempted to the bone, and will be entailed in the vicious circle of wanting more, believing that one more chance could have make one’s luck… and better next time. This becomes like a competition and youngsters may feel his self-esteemed hurt if he does not get indulged in these activities that normally his friends participate in. this is why we say that media is not a one to one tool but one to many, influence people on a large scale, even one’s peers! For instance, the very moment that a new thing has made its entry on the screen, it will become the topic of the day to talk about, with the motive of modernity enclosing a network of communication, thus adding importance to this news and letting our life revolve around media. A simple case is the way of dressing! Girls would show their appreciation and would inspire themselves from role models of the Hollywood or Bollywood world. Hence, we come to the concept of the dominant ideology in society.
Drowned in this flowing river of exploration which media provides to youngsters, the roots of their cultures, norms and values are eroded. There is the rise of a homogenize society and loss of hereditary values and origins. Often, youngsters are annoyed when their parents or grandparents talk about traditions and belief of their lineage. They show disrespect for these beliefs of their forefathers and this shake the intimate relationship between parents and children. Therefore, parents may underestimate their children and become alert and possessive towards them as they believe that their children are falling prey to evils. As a result, children both become submissive and crushed their desires and needs, to follow the advice of their elders. Or if there is lack of endurance and that someone cannot abide by the rules set by the parents, it’s here that takes birth feelings like revolts and the adolescent develops attitudes of violence and aggression. Thus, the case worsens, and it is the dawn of young criminals and terrorism.
In all, media is said to be part of a democratic society and it is not forced over anyone. It is impossible to imagine a world without the media, as media has become a habit and media is the source of knowledge. Unfortunately, youngsters who are the most susceptible to this highly influential and irresistible, efficient tool of life, becomes the victims either because they used media in the wrong way or they integrate media more than required in their life. Even if knowledge is the precious gem of humanity, it can become the deadly weapon if placed in the incorrect task!
Success and failure should be met with equal measures!