Negative Effects of Media on children School Negative Effects of Media on Children There has been a rapid technological development since the industrial revolution of the 19th century. First radio, then TV, then computer, and then Internet, there has been an increase in the range of creations one after another…
Young generation particularly the children view the TV and use the Internet more than people of any other age-group because of a number of reasons. “The average American child watches an estimate between 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year. In the UK, it is about 10,000” (Shah, 2010). Elders have such activities as higher studies and work that put constraints upon the time for which they can view TV or use the Internet for non-work purposes. Children have ample time to give to media. “By age 18 years, the average child has spent the equivalent of more than 2 years of his or her life watching television” (Tuberose.com, n.d.). Multinational companies have used this fact as a means to exploit the children for personal gains. While children have benefited from the media in some ways, the potential negative consequences of media on children far outweigh the positive ones. Presence of three or more risk factors increases the likelihood of occurrence of the negative consequences, (Kirsh, 2010, p. 240) and the number of risk factors in media for children is far more than just three. Media has made children the “passive zombie-viewers” (Fisch cited in Bryant and Oliver, 2009, p. 402). This paper discusses the negative effects of media on the children. Media has destroyed the children physically, psychologically and morally. Media has altered children’s eating habits for the worse and has exposed them to the risk of a lot of diseases. In the past, children used to consume more organic food than they do today. Children used to be much more prudent in their use of money in the past than they are now. “Sure, they bought penny candy and an occasional soft drink, but retailers did not think of them as customers per se. They were more often perceived as "Mrs. Bohuslov's kids" who just happened to buy something while they were in the store. Children had money, but it was for saving, not spending” (McNeal, 2011). Today, children happen to be the biggest consumers of the fast food of all kinds. A vast majority of children have made such food items as burgers, pizzas, pastries, chocolates, and soft drinks a necessary part of their meals. Change in the quality of foods they consume can be fundamentally attributed to media. “$15-17 billion is spent by companies advertising to children in the US. Over $4 billion was spent in 2009 by the fast food industry alone” (Shah, 2010). Most of the fast food commercials are broadcast during the cartoon movies and other TV programs that are meant for the children. Another reason why children should be considered the intended audience of these commercials is the fact that a vast majority of such commercials involve child stars. Little children can be seen eating and enjoying the chocolates, biscuits, cupcakes as well as the KFC and McDonalds’ burgers. Children viewing these commercials gain inspiration from the ones that are performing in them. As a result of consuming the fast foods, children are becoming overweight and obese. Unlike the past, there is a considerable population of children that are obese and have acquired many illnesses and diseases consequently. For example, diabetes was considered to be the disease only in adults in the past. These days, it is not uncommon for a child to have diabetes and blood pressure. Bad eating habits acquired in the tender age of childhood remain with an individual throughout the life. “ ...
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