Media has been proven to affect not only today's youth but the majority of the world's population. With television, radio, advertising, movies, the Internet, newspapers, magazines and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the media affects youth in numerous ways.
According to a study conducted by the RAND Corporation, teenagers are twice as likely to participate in sexual activities if they watch or read about similar sexual behaviour in the media. A survey study, compiled by Teen People magazine, demonstrated that 27 per cent of the girls felt pressurized by the media to have a perfect body, with 69 per cent of the girls basing their idea of the perfect body on models featured in magazines.
With the average teen spending almost four hours a day watching TV and over 2 hours a day on the computer, it is difficult not to be exposed to a constant barrage of adverts. YouTube and Spotify have recently places ads before, after and even during songs. This may encourage mass consumerism amongst youths.
The Centre On Media and Child Health published a study revealing that media plays an integral role in adolescent development. Some aggressive and violent behaviour was demonstrated after excessive television viewing.
However, today's youth can be positively affected by the media. Television shows such as The Sex Education Show and Brainiac offer a fun and insightful way to learn about sensitive and complicated subjects. The Internet has enabled easy access to knowledge and is an increasingly helpful tool for exam revision as well as self-help guides.
Overall, today's youth are affected by the media in a number of ways, both positively and negatively. It also depends on the individual's personality because he or she ultimately has the power to select the media he or she consumes.