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...

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?

Expert Answers
mimerajver eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.  


William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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. 

lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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". 

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

catd1115 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.


litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.


literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

ammoorah123 | Student

yes kids of today are far more influenced by the media however we also have the ability to think and differ right from besides the encouragment of the media we should take a stand and do what we believe a leader rather than a follower

smart-one123 | Student

Ys, media does affect children of today without them realizing it. That's where their actions come from.

greeninator | Student

I think absolutely. Media plays a vital role in the vast majority of the Western civilisation. The naivety of children and the cunning of media marketers and other individuals provides a solid base for the ability to easily infleunce and distract children. 'Mother, please, i want that toy'. 'Father, please take me to McDonalds'. However, children are merely more susceptible to the media. Teens and adults are also largely influenced by the workings of the media. Take 'a current affair' shows for instance. The vast majority of the stories incorporated into their programs are heavily biased and strategically marketed. Strike fear, uncertainty or confusion into the minds of the public and you have created a market for uneducated individuals to purchase products. If you're scared, you have a greater chance of spending unnecessary money on 'safeguards'.
But back to the main question, modern media, due to its accessibility, has become a major distraction for many youngsters. Gaming consoles and music also have a huge influence on the individual.

natashajain6 | Student

In this world media has a great role to play.Whats happing in the world we get to know this by the media.The children are heavily influenced by the media than they have been in the past because now a days everybody has television  sets in their homes moreover many people have computers in their house are there so the children can easily access the news but in the past there were a few television sets and the demand of computers has grown in these days.So, children today are more heavily influenced by the media than they have been in the past.

nalinidwivedi | Student

today's children are more heavily influenced by the media

susdas | Student

Media bringing all destruction to the children nowadays. Proves are in front of us.

Children watching wrestling seems to be involved in fighting with friends or annoying. Moreover some become more addicted to the TV shows thus hampering their study as well as daily life.

And not only for children it also stands for adults as nowadays TV shows are becoming more attractive to the adults so they spending a huge amount of their valuable time in front of TV.

manishamishra | Student

i damm agree with the post#18


cgrant2 | Student

I did an experiment with my high school a couple of months ago about the amount of time using social media and gpa and study showed their was no correlation (in that school). My students believed that actually makes them function better over time. Majority of them said that they multitask during their homework (meaning that they listen to music, check facebook, watch YouTube etc. while doing their homework). I think that students are empowered by using media because so many great things are happening nowadays (passing of health care, student movement, etc.). They just to have an understand of how to use media and interpret media. I think students should be taught to understand that not all media is good and that there are certain things that should taken with a grain of salt. 

salimj | Student

I do agree with Manisha... Media is an obstacle in the way of moral well being among the youngsters. All of their actions and thoughts are influenced by media (let it be visual medias or printed medias) This is mainly because the media doesn't follow any professional ethics. They sacrifice their values for the sake of circulation and ratings. In this scenario media indeed a treat to the growing generation.

angel-girl | Student

Yes. For one thing, their parents may not have done enough. Some parents do not really control what their children are surfing about on the Internet. Also, the new generation of children and teenagers are described as "The Strawberry Generation" where they get influenced easily, just like how soft a strawberry is.

Furthermore, the media is becoming wider and wider. It is so easy to get access to the media with all the latest technologies and gadgets. Schools these days use the internet and radio stations to conduct lessons too! This will make students more attracted to the media.

The list of reasons goes on...

manishamishra | Student

i dont say about it totllay depends on perspective because ,the younger children are not enough mature to to hold on to their perspective and learn the wise thing that are seen.

shankcool | Student

it totally depends on ones perspective...whether to get influenced by media or not.....but surely...for all the tantrums and drama that media throws at viewers nowadays...getting influenced is arbitrary !

manishamishra | Student

i agree with the above post#11


c--------- | Student

I agree that the media is a total distraction nowadays. It has occupied the minds of not only children, but teenagers and adults as well in almost all areas of life, economic, social or political.

loraaa | Student

I agree with all,,, 
" for young people and not for children..."