We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for
the future. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
(32nd U.S. President).
Youth are the eventual fate of our country; they are the new generation and
always socially responsible. The role of youth is very important for the
culture, for the society and for the future of our country. So, just as the role
of youth is very important in our society, at the same time the presence of
Media is also important in our culture and society, because only the Media helps
to bring all the endless things that are happening in the world to every person.
The importance of media in almost every place, from television to Computers,
from Mobile phones to Internet, we use media almost everywhere and for this
reason media is constantly influencing us. But, the worry is nowadays the media
promotes a lot of negative information (in the form of violence, illegal content
etc.) and our youth generation is suffering the consequences. As a result they
are constantly being negatively influenced by the media and leads towards
Sometimes violence which is promoted through television or video
games, often affects their healthy and normal psychological development and they
become involved in antisocial activities and later become known as criminals in
the eyes of society (Karbi, 2018).
As per a Clinical Psychologist, Westendorf talked about how violent media
affects young people. She said that there are researches which prove the media
violence increases higher amount of negative aggressive thinking and
simultaneously it also decreases in empathy and studies shown that violent teens
are also associated in those boys or girls who are also violent; in simply it's
a kind of peer delinquency and they become deviant and` it is also based on
Sutherland's theory of Differential Association
which explains that criminal
behavior or criminality is the process of learning through association with
other criminals. For example if one is constantly exposed to a criminal
scenario, then this will create a greater chance for him to engage in criminal
behavior (Ghilzai et al., 2017).
Different types of Media and their mode of promoting Violence:
Television contains both positive and negative effects; many studies have looked
at the impact of television on society, particularly on children and youths.
Here one thing is important to understand that not all shows are bad or
promoting violence, but there are some Television shows showing the negative
effects of exposure to violence, inappropriate sexuality and offensive
Television shows directly and indirectly affect the mental development of
children and youth and also it shapes their behavior accordingly. For
example: Our National Center for Biotechnology Information researched about
the effects of excessive Television watching on children, as shown in the
following (Impact of Media on Youth and Children):
Excessive Television watching:
- Increases incidence of childhood obesity.
- May have a deleterious effect on learning and academic performance.
- Watching certain programs may encourage irresponsible sexual behavior.
Raising a lot of violence on Television increases aggressive behavior,
specifically on boys, even sometimes Television publicity increased higher
suicide rate on youth.
There are certain groups of youth, who may be more vulnerable to violence on
Television, are youth from minority and immigrant groups, emotionally disturbed,
patients with learning disabilities, youths who are abused by their parents &
youth in families in distress (Impact of Media Use on Children and Youth, 2003).
For example, in the year 2019, 12 years old teen Yash Mulick, found hanging from
a ceiling fan in their one room tenement on New Year and his father Anil Mulick
blamed it on various stunts shown on Television these days. He stated, My son
used to watch television channels throughout the day. His favorite channels were
the ones which showed various stunts (The Indian Express, 2019).
A Md. Pediatrician Dr. Emma Raizman gave an interview about- Children's TV
viewing affects behavior and she talked about the negative impacts on children
and youth of watching violent TV shows, she added - teens imitate what's on TV.
It's not only they are imitating it when they watch all these violent shows, it
becomes their reality and in this way television constantly promotes violent
shows and affects our youth and children (New Study - Children's TV Viewing
Affects Behavior, 2013).
- Video Games:
Video games are another popular and important tool which also increases a lot of
antisocial behavior in youth. Not all video games are bad, some video games may
help the development of fine motor skills and coordination, but there are some
games, which affect the mental development of youth and children.
There are some
games which exploit antisocial themes, promoting killings, robbery and even some
games are promoting rape or the main goal of the game is to rape a mother, her
daughter or to rape a Native American women. There is also an ethnic cleansing
game in which players can choose to gun down Africans-Americans, Latinos or
Jews. After playing such video games children and youth are feeling more
aggressive or sometimes they are starting to make louder noises, use
inappropriate languages etc.
According to American Medical Association's Council
on Science and Public Health:
The excessive use of video games increases
gambling addiction and certain aggressiveness such as insults, threats, hitting,
pushing, hair pulling, biting and other forms of verbal and physical aggression.
Some studies have shown that video game use is associated with a decrease in
empathy and other socially desirable behavior (Violent Video Games and Young
After releasing The Grand Theft Auto series Video game in Netherland, increased juvenile crime records and the registered offences in 2012
to 15 committed by males aged 12 -18 years and 18 - 25 years in a time series
analysis and this is the way by which Media hypnotized our youth and children
and increases a lot of antisocial behavior and leads them towards criminality
- Newspapers and magazines:
Newspapers and magazines are other sources of Media and it also increases the
likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior for both short term and long term.
If you follow newspapers and magazines on daily basis, it is often seen that
newspapers also promote violent news such as murder, rape, suicide etc.
the fact is � all the news are true but sometimes editors want to make the news
more and more interesting and that's why they are making the news more violent
than the actual news and this is how our youth society is getting influenced by
degrees. Even magazines often promote unnecessary and sexually explicit images
of various porn stars and many times those photos and that news affect our youth
society. Because, many times they are involved in rape or capital offences. And
also it has a devastating effect on their healthy psychological development, and
they tend to be antisocial (Anderson et al., 2003).
There is a research paper 'How Crimes, Offenders and Victims are portrayed in
the Media' by Jessica M. Grosholz and Charis E. Kurbin which contains
frequencies, percentages from the Newspapers and it is important to
understand what types of crimes reported in the newspapers and how much
violent news they are reporting?
|Types of News
||Frequency for Newspaper
||Percentage for Newspaper
|Most serious crime type reported?
|Offender sex Reported?
|Victim sex reported?
|Offender age Reported?
|Victim age Reported?
The thousands of researches suggested that the way by which different types of
crime news are being reported in the newspapers these days is very surprising
because this news is represented in a negative manner. In this case a research
study in United States has shown that juvenile crime rate has increased
significantly after reading all these news and one of the major thing is �
nowadays these news are really influenced youth in such a way by which they
can't decide that, is this a true news or the news are altered because the
constant exposure of negative information have impact on the brain and also
consuming a lot of news can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which
causes the body to release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and when
a crisis happens then we are experiencing this stress response more frequently.
So in this way one can understand how much news can affect the youth's brain
(Impact of Media Use on Children and Youth, 2003).
4. Mobile phones & Internet:
Nowadays Mobile phones are so interconnected with our lives. Almost always we
use Mobile phones everywhere, but still Mobile phones also promote violence
directly and indirectly.
According to some research mobile-phones facilitate
bullying and criminal activity.. Similarly the Internet is also connected to
mobile phones and also it contains a huge portion of Media. Sometimes, the
Internet promotes violence via social media platforms and there is growing
evidence that social media affects youth and children badly. In case of cyber
bullying cases: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have become a platform for youth
violence (Weimann, 2010).
In October, police in Germany arrested a 14 year old boy who was
accused of plotting violence at a synagogue or a mosque. So we can see that many
teenagers are now convicted of various terror attacks but why?
According to the
investigation, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) influenced a lot of
youth from various countries to join ISIS and spread the terror. Even though
there are around 1 billion Muslims under 30, ISIS leveraged age appropriate curated messages and platforms to entice youths from around the world by using
various social media handles.
So, looking at this situation one can understand how the Media can be used as a
violent tool and how it becomes a threat for our next generation and our society
Effects of Media violence and its psychological consequences:
In order to understand the violence in electronic media, one question may
appear: why and how violent media cause aggressive behavior? So, Violent Media
causes both short term effects and long term effects.
According to the American Psychological Association, the violence in the media
found a desensitizing effect and the potential for aggression on youth.
- Youth may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others.
- Youth may be more fearful of the world around them.
- Youth may be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward
(Kids and the Media)
In the year 2009, Mr. L. Rowell Huesmann published an article about The Impact
of Electronic Media Violence and he explained various effects on children and
youth after exposure of Violent Media, as shown in the following table (Huesmann,
|Short term effects
||Long term effects
|a) Priming: It is the slow reaction which causes the
changes of the distractor stimulus to target stimulus.
E.g. The sight of a gun is inherently linked to the concept of
|a). Observational learning It's a Behavioral
perspective which includes learning by simply watching behaviors of
others but sometimes it affects negatively.
For example: Children can learn aggression, negative behaviors due to
the constant exposure of violent content.
|b) Arousal It helps to enhance memory for high
priority information. So, high arousal generates from violence and makes
dominant responses tendencies.
For example: Immediately following an exciting media presentation and
such excitation transfer could cause more aggressive responses to
|b) Desensitization: Long term socialization effects of
the mass media are also quite likely increased by the way the mass media
and video games affect emotions, it can also trigger a range of anti
social behavioral characteristics on children and youth.
For example - Repeated exposures to negative emotional response can lead
a child to become desensitized.
|c) Mimicry: It includes imitation of specific
behaviors, which can be viewed as a special case of the more general
long term process of observational learning.
For example - If children observe violent behavior, they are prone to
|c) Enactive learning: Children are constantly being
conditioned and reinforced to behave in certain ways, and this learning
may occur during media interactions.
For example: Players of violent video games are not just observers but
they are also actively participating in violent actions, and are
generally reinforced for using violence to achieve their specific target
which is very much desirable for them.
There are multiple risk factors present which are able to affect short term as
well as long term changes in the behavior of children and youth and if we can't
control our children for watching violent media then they may become aggressive
and tend to be more aggressive in nature.
It is a very debating question because a lot of research reveals an extensive
presence of violence in modern media influences many children and youth to spend
more amounts of time consuming violent media. Nowadays many researchers believe
that reducing exposure to media violence will successfully reduce aggression and
Though Media also has positive effects such as, Media helps to teach
youth new skills and it can be a great way to generate their interest towards
outdoor activities and sometimes watching informative and educational shows
improve academic performances (Positive and Negative Effects of Television on
But still we cannot ignore its negative effects on youth because they are more
susceptible to peer pressure, low self esteem and can easily be motivated by
negative behavior. So if they are controlled from the beginning what they see
and what they don't see, instead of watching violent shows or playing violent
video games, showing them good positive programs, educational and sports
programs because these will reduce the amount of aggression among them. This is
how we can reduce the juvenile crime rate in the future and we can lead our
youth society in a better gmail.comdirection (Violence - The Effects of Violent
Movies on Children and Teens, 2013).
So from now on we have to raise our voices because after all youth are very
important for our society and if we can't maintain them properly then our
society will not exist in future and similarly we have to stand against various
media platforms and make them understand that not to promote such things which
will create a negative impact on youth and children and there can be no better
way to make their future better.
- Anderson, C. A., Berkowitz, L., & Donnerstein, E. (2003). The influence
of Media Violence on Youth. SAGE Journals
- Arias, A. (2021, March 10). Do violent video games turn us into violent
people? THE BRAG. https://thebrag.com/violent-video-games-and-women/
- Baycroft, L. (2013, April 8). www.slideshare.net. https://www.slieshare.net
- Ghilzai, S., Alam, R., Ahmad, Z., Shaukat, A., & Noor, S. (2017). Impact
of Cartoon's program on Children's language and Behavior. Siena Journals,
- Huesmann, R. L. (2009). The impact of Electronic Media
Violence:Scientific theory and research. The Journal of adolescent health :
official publication of the society for Adolescent Medicine.
- Impact of Media on aYouth and Children. (n.d.). National Center for
- Impact of Media use on Children and Youth. (2003, May-June).
- The Indian Express. (2019, January 7). Express News Service. https://indianexpress.com/article/cites/pune/my-son-died-trying-to-imitate-stunt-from-television-show-5526004/
- Karbi, M. A. A. (2018). The Impact of Media on Juvenile Delinquency in
the care of Abu Dhabi and Fujairah - United Arab Emirates. European Journal
of Education, 11.
- Kids and the Media. (n.d.). American Psychological Association.
- New Study - Children's TV viewing affects behavior. (2013, February 19).
- NSI, M. (n.d.). Teen terrorism inspired by social media is on the rise.
Here's what we need to do?
- Positive and negative effects of Television on Children. (2019, June
- Violence - The effects of violent movies on children and teens. (2013,
- Violent video games and young people. (2010). Harvard Medical School.
- Weimann, G. (2010). Terror on facebook, twitter and youtube.
- Ananya Kanjilal &
- Krupa Nishar
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