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Essay on Media Influences on Adolescent: Social Norms and Identity

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Adolescence is a time where an individual’s sense of identity starts to emerge and a majority of their social norms are perceived. In this day and age, adolescents live in a world heavily submerged around media, which plays an important and habitual part of an adolescents' life. In a national survey conducted in 2009, adolescents on average spend more than 7.5 hours using some sort of media a day (Rideout, Foehr, Roberts, 2010). With this unprecedented access to the world, individuals are learning and connecting with many different people and ideas through the media (Brown & Bobkowsi, 2011). With different forms of media playing an influential part in an adolescents’ life, their perceived social norms may be seriously influenced. “Adolescents are influenced by the content they are exposed, with respect to their knowledge about the world, their attitudes and values, and their behavior” (Steinberg, 2012). Media could lead to negative perceived social norms for individuals, since adolescence is an important time because a sense of identity is emerging. Those assumed norms might have an affect or dictate an individual’s identity. These false norms can be possibly prevented through education and awareness therefore the youth should be taught the fallacies of the media through MLE (Media Literacy Education).
Social norms are beliefs or rules set in place by society to define what is considered to be appropriate behaviors or cues. With our modern society, everyone is expected to conform to the same set of rules especially adolescents. Media can alter or structure an adolescent interests, motivations and views about the world. Also researchers have argued that descriptive norms are the most significant indicators risk behaviors (Beal, ...


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...dia could lead to negative perceived social norms for adolescents since adolescence is a vital time of identity formation Those assumed norms might have an affect or dictate an individual’s identity during this particular time of self conception. Research has shown that the media may contribute to negatively perceived norms of an adolescent regarding alcohol consumption, relationships, sex and other mature topics that could be negative. Adolescence is the time period when an individual searches and develops a sense of identity. The false social norms that are perceived through media may be a negative influence because adolescent identity is the most susceptible to peer influence. Therefore these false norms can be possibly prevented through education and awareness therefore the youth should be taught the fallacies of the media through MLE (Media Literacy Education).


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