The young can be defined as those who are below 21 which is the official age of
adulthood. This is a diverse group of pre-schoolers, students between primary
and secondary schooling age or young people working on a part or full-time
basis. We must also be reminded that the young are from different cultures and
As for influences, there are various sources and television and films
are only two sources of influence from the media. Parents, the government and
faith also influence a young person's lifestyle on what he thinks, believes and
how he eats, dresses or spends his money and time. A vast majority of the
world's youngsters are poor. Many are working part-time to supplement their
family incomes. For those who can go to school, educational workloads consume a
major part of their time. Hence, there is limited time for leisure.
Whatever free time they have, today's young are spending more time with their
peers. Many studies have shown that the main influence on young people are their
peers. This is especially so with the trend towards smaller families and parents
being more busy with their working lives. For kids, parents and siblings or
teachers may be pivotal influences. For
those who can afford it, music, handphones and computers are increasingly
engaging their attention.
What influences a person of his values and behavior is also dependent on how
he is educated by his family, school, religious institution or nation.
Therefore, though the media is a powerful influence on a young person's life, it
is just one of the influences. The Columbine Massacre in America where a
teenager shot his peers, the September 11 tragedy showing the evil acts of
terrorists and other newsworthy events shape a young person's perceptions of
life. These were reported by the media: newspapers, radio, television, film. The
latter two are only some of the influences on people. That said and done, even
the limited time teenagers view films in cinemas or on recorders, can have an
influence on them. The film 'Titanic' was a hit among youths worldwide and made
the leading stars film idols. Madonna, the pop star, influences young people in
her music videos. Her dress sense is keenly noted.
Different nations have different television programs. However, young people
all over the world like music, action or love dramas. The kids love the
characters in cartoons like `Finding Nemo' or 'Ninja Turtles'. Very few young
children have not seen cartoons or educational films like 'Sesame Street'. These
have positive and negative values. Whatever it is, a western reality series like
`Survivor', a Chinese kung fu epic,
Bollywood musical or Korean dramas, youngsters like adults, will tune in and be
influenced by their favorite programs.
Thus, the tastes of many young people are guided by what is 'cool' or popular
in the group they belong to. What to wear, where to meet and how to spend their
time is dictated by their peers. Tastes are influenced by the media, schools and
the Internet but it is up to the group to adopt them. If teens find a certain
fad `hot' or a pop idol `in', this will ensure their
allegiance. It is also evident that the young have adopted smart
phones and jeans as necessities. This is irrespective of whether they are rich
The young who view films or television programs may be influenced by the
increasing violence or liberal values found in them but many also recognize and
are aware that these programs belong to a world of make-believe.
In conclusion, young people have less time for films or television. There are
many other factors that compete and demand for a slice of their time. Television
and films are significant influences, but they are among other influences
affecting their lives. Therefore, what they see on television and films only
influences them to a certain extent.