Modern Media and its Effects on Young Minds

Modern Media and its Effects on Young Minds

You just woke up. You get dressed, you’re about to hop in the shower. What is the first thing you think to do? For me, and I’m sure a lot of you, it’s put on music. Music is easily the most integrated art form in our society, but how do these songs affect our mental health and their everyday life? 

To this day I still haven’t come across someone who claims to not be enthralled by at least one genre of music. It is the most universally consumed form of media, but how does it affect the way our brains work? Researchers have found that music is an extremely useful tool when it comes to focusing or giving your brain a workout. Some scientists from Johns Hopkins found that music has “structural, mathematical and architectural aspects. It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it.” Music is thought to be so beneficial for mental health, that there are now experimental music therapy clinics popping up all over the country. 

Television on the other hand, has found to have extremely negative effects on the human brain when consumed in large quantities. Some researchers argue that TV can be beneficial to mental health in small increments but there is not a total consensus on television and mental health. A study in Preventative Science reports found that people who binge television for “more than 3 hours a day are twice as likely to suffer from depression, or heightened anxiety disorder.” 

Although the same researchers found that watching your favorite show in modest increments can have extremely positive effects on your mood, and be useful in exercising infant minds. Some studies held at University College London even find that binge watching television can lead to developing alzheimers or dementia. Overall, from the research I’ve looked into, television, in more cases than not, leads to a roster of mental illnesses ranging from anxiety to Alzheimers. 

The last subject I want to touch on is arguably the most influential form of media out of everything I’ve mentioned. Social media has been the most influential yet simultaneously  damaging influence on young people in the past few decades. I’m sure it’s no surprise, but social media has been found to have some of the worst and most drastic effects on the minds of young people out of everything I’ve glossed over today. The concept of posting pictures and videos of yourself for your friends sounds simple enough but when you give these children the option to put their profiles to a public setting, anyone can see them, and anyone can comment on them. These kids posting the pictures are so preoccupied with how many likes and comments their picture will get.

Not only does the like feature create an unhealthy sense of competition for these kids, the comments give people the opportunity to say whatever they want behind a screen and that usually doesn’t end well.

A study held at BroadBand Research discovered almost 45% of people say they have experienced some kind of online harassment, and that number is expanding drastically each year. There is no end in sight for this issue either. Although you can achieve extremely innovative things with the internet and media in general, It’s not always as safe as it seems. 

So next time you have nothing to do, before you jump on Instagram, or sit in front of your tv and watch 3 hours of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” try to think of something a bit more productive with your time. Seeing all of the recorded and cited evidence describing how sites like instagram and twitter have the ability to make children feel like they aren’t enough if there recent picture didn’t hit 100 likes, along with big brands using social media to take advantage of kids using their favorite content creators as propaganda to gain more revenue and gain more capital. Music is really the only form of modern media that isn’t produced for the sole purpose of capitalistic gain even though we are seeing more unapologetic product placement in music every year. Long story short, my research has shown me that most forms of modern entertainment are created for profit, and to almost brainwash people into sitting in front of their TV’s and developing dementia or depression while being told to go buy the newest version of the Amazon Alexa or the new Tesla Model X.