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Hopefully, people would still abstain because the have the intelligence and rational thinking ability to recognize that television is fantasy. Even "reality" shows such as Jersey Shore are scripted. As children are growing up, it's important for their parents to monitor the shows that glorify these things and teach the children the consequences of such action. Turning off the television when the behavior is too extreme is another way of reinforcing the negativity of such behavior and the need to abstain from such.
I think that many people realize that it will not work out for them as well as for the people on TV. It is fiction, after all. I would also argue that there are a lot of examples of the negative consequences of sex and drugs on TV and in movies. On balance, people can explore that aspect of life without the risky behavior.
I think that by the time people are old enough to be making decisions about sex and drugs, they know that movies and TV are not accurate depictions of reality. They are aware enough of the world to be able to make their own decisions about many things, regardless of what their friends, teachers, parents, or the media push them to think.
By the time people are teens, they know that things happen in movies that aren't like real life. They have also absorbed influences from their parents and friends and churches and other sources other than the media. By the time they are at this age, they are able to synthesize all of these influences and come up with their own ideas as to what is right.
Movies and TV may influence people, but they don't actually control them. Therefore, people can abstain from things that look good on TV and the movies because A) they know that's not real life and B) they have other influences that impact how they behave.
Well, a lot of them wouldn't. I don't know anyone who hasn't not-tried drinking before the age 16, most of my friends are certainly not virgins, and I'd say around 85% of them have tried weed.
I disagree with the notion that teenagers know better. They 'should' know better, but when you're programmed not to, you simply don't. As it happens, teenagers want the quirks of adulthood and shirk from the responsibilities that come along with it. TV programs are called 'programs' for a reason. It's used for propaganda, and has directly contributed to the decline of what we call, todays 'society'. It takes a lot of self-constraint and strength not to listen to what you're being told on TV. There are very few programs that promote education, and the few that even mention it like to focus on portraying it as an 'institute' rather than a way out of the cycle of poverty. According to music video's; the only way out is setting yourself free and wearing colorful clothes- as the wonderful Willow Smith shows us in her video 'I Whip My Hair'. The audience are getting younger and younger. Skirts are growing shorter, and make-up heavier.
I no longer watch TV.
I believe that it is up to parents and other role models in children's lives to have them understand that TV and media tend to glorify things that might not be all that great. Unfortunately, we are bombarded with constant examples of good things happening to people who are involved in drugs and other less desirable things. I think that with education at a young age, that the depictions on television and other media are not reality. If a person sees the reality of people on drugs, or the effects of unprotected sex(diseases and unwanted pregnancy), they may realise that the media is lying to them about those things.
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