Are children today more heavily influenced by the media than they have been in the past? Is it so that today the children are more disturbed in their studies due to media which is attracting all concentration of a child away from the studies?

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It stands to reason that children today are more influenced by the media than they were in the past, simple because there are more media. Television hypnotizes young viewers and then implants ideas and desires shamelessly. And now we have all kinds of hand-held electronic gadgetry which seems to be turning some kids into robots. It issn't just merchandising that is influencing kids but communication with strangers and access to any kind of information or entertainment. One boy recently boasted on some program or other that he had over 3600 friends and had to keep in touch with all of them. All this electronic madness is only in its infancy.

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I don't think there's any doubt that children are heavily influenced by the media, more so than in the past.  I heard someone theorize once that the obsession with children's safety and helicopter parenting could be traced to the Tylenol cyanide poisonings of the early eighties, that that incident was the beginning of a trend and obsession with children's safety that causes children to spend more time indoors.  Coupled with the "progress" made in the worlds of video games and digital media, over the years, the theory went, there was simply a perfect storm of factors keeping kids "Plugged in". 

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In agreement with all previous posts, I'd like to add a couple of things. 

The power of the media is equivalent to the power of the printed word prior to new, sophisticated technologies such as the Internet, smartphones, and others. People -not just youngsters- have always tended to believe that what appears in print is true. This has simply spread to the present means of communication.

This could be counteracted in two ways. On the one hand, schools can use such means in class and guide students to compare and contrast how different media deal with the same item of news. Thus the vested interested and bias of the media would become apparent, and students would learn to read between the lines and listen beyond the words. 

On the other hand, if parents took the time to watch TV or visit the Internet with their offspring -I know some do- they could point out to subliminal or underlying purposes that escape very young people. This calls for responsible, informed parents. The danger lies in parents who have, to a certain extent, been "brainwashed" themselves. 

Parenting does not come to us naturally. Seminars, courses, and group activities conducted by trained professionals can help break a vicious circle. We talk of the media as a distraction. That's the underside. Yet the media can well be turned into educational tools if wisely used. 

Regardless of their age, people need encouragement to question and put to the test everything that is not a well-proven scientific truth. Of course, it is much easier to accept media proposals and move on. More emphasis on intellectual honesty and curiosity might yield a completely different picture.  

 

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I agree that the media is more of a distraction than in the past, simply because it is more immediate and more available. I also agree with the above poster who talked about gullibility. I think the youth of today do tend to believe anything that is in the media is true and don't really understand fact vs. opinion. They don't understand that all media has a bias and a perspective that influences what they present. There is little if no objective media, and yet there is more and more media and it is more and more available.

 

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I don't really think children are "brainwashed," but they certainly are influenced. No, I don't think it's greater now than it has been in the past. If anything, we have many more sources of information now, and many more viewpoints. Brainwashing requires adherence to one particular way of thinking. We've never been further away from that than we are now.

 

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Brainwashing and distraction are not the same thing. I do think children can be distracted by technology. Students today have to learn to block a lot things out. They have to discipline themselves not to turn on the tv or look at Facebook during homework time. However, I do not think they are brainwashed. I do not think that media controls what people think. It can influence it but I wouldn't take it as far as brainwashing. The closest thing to brainwashing I can see is that some students will believe anything they see in the media. Just because something is in the Internet doesn't make it true. 

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I don't know if I would go so far as to say brainwashed, but children are more exposed to the media than they were in the past.  I really think it comes down to the parent and what they allow their children to take in or view.

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Technology has changed the nature of work, including study. Student study habits are different now, but as recently as fifty years ago, education involved mostly rote learning in many subjects. This required hours of study aimed at memorization. Today, study, and academic activity in general, doesn't necessarily look like it used to. I don't deny that there are many more  distractions today than previously, or at least that the distractions are more beguiling than they used to be. But I also think that older people like me tend not to recognize study when we see it.

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I must agree with litteacher. The youth of today are impressionable. This is why they go to school, church, and other social/moral forming activities when young. Given that technology is far more obtainable today than in the past, it does tend to impress upon youth given they are able to search anything.

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I do not think brainwashing is a new phenomenon.  Youth are impressionable, and there has always been one group or another trying to influence them.  However, I do think media is more pervasive today.  Kids seem to be attached to media umbilical chords of all kinds, from TV to computers to smart phones.  Because technology is so prevalent, it is definitely highly influential and distracting.

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