Information is an essential input for decision making while media is an important source of such information. Media including print media and electronic media is an excellent mode of communication, entertainment and information which exert different impacts on different people depending upon their age and perception. A mature person will perceive things differently whereas a child or an adolescent will perceive it differently because his mind is in the process of formation. Children try to adapt things immediately whatever they will see on television or internet, whether it’s smoking or fighting by the famous actors, or sometimes they just follow it as trend. Media is increasingly pervasive in the lives of children and adolescents. However, until now there has been very little comprehensive analysis of the different research tracking the impact of media on children’s health. In 80% of the studies, greater media exposure is associated with negative health outcomes for children and adolescents (Commonsense Media, 2008). These negative health outcomes include child obesity, drug use, alcohol use, low academic achievement and attention deficit hyper activity disorder (ADHAD). While there are many factors that contribute to negative health results for children, media is a crucial one. It also affects the aggressive behavior of a teenager through violence in movies and video games as it has a strong potential to affect the norms of a society.
Objectives of the study:
This study is an effort to evaluate different impacts of media on young generation whether they are positive or negative in nature. This study also focuses on how media is affecting Pakistani youth’s demeanor and its impact on Pakistani culture, religion and societal norms.
Violence and sex shown on television results in higher rate of crimes and encourages antisocial behavior. This is especially apparent in the U.S.A and other western countries. Many criminals own up that their violent actions or attitudes to women were result of TV. The rate of such crimes is continuously rising and more often they are committed by teenagers. They easily get affected to violence and various stereotypes shown through TV, because the outlook of young people is in the process of formation. Television’s impact on the ethics of the younger generation can affect the future of our society negatively. According to the statistics, the average child watches 26 hours a television per week affecting family relations by reducing dialogue, and even having an impact on health by dispiriting exercise. Violence, aggression, crimes and wars are broadcast through the daily news as well as in movies, showing gloomy pictures that encourage mental tension, pessimism and negative emotions (Jurgita Venckute, 2003) A UK study focused on children aged (9 – 13), as this was the age group where parents were least assured about appropriate TV consumption. Responses showed that children have a consistent world view which is different from that of adults, and violent images are seen within this perspective. These children, aged 9 – 13, were able to distinguish between ﬁctional and ‘real’ violence.
Children responded most to violent images where there were negative physical and emotional consequences. The older children had a clearer understanding of the potential consequences of violence. Children differed from adults in their expectation of a level of security and protection, and they looked to adults for this protection. Violence in media has a negative effect on mental state of children. (Andrea Millwood Hargrave, 2003) Many well controlled and randomized experiments have examined how exposure to violent TV, film media affects aggression of youth of all ages. Brief exposure to violent dramatic presentations on TV or in films causes short-term increases in youth’s aggressive feelings, emotions and behavior, including physically aggressive behavior serious enough to harm others. Total amount of TV watching was assessed at the ages of 14 and 22. The more time they spend watching violence on television the more is their aggressive behavior. (Craig A Anderson et al, 2003) Media is increasingly penetrating in the lives of children and adolescents .In 80% of the studies; greater media exposure is associated with negative health outcomes for children and adolescents.
Meta-analysis of the best studies on media and child health published in the last 28 years clearly shows the connection between media exposure and long-term negative health outcomes, especially childhood obesity, tobacco use, and sexual activity. Studies show that more exposure to scenes with alcohol use in movies is associated with early-onset teen drinking. Media exposure also has an impact on low academic achievement and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). (Common sense media, 2008) Media has a disturbing potential to negatively affect many aspects of children’s healthy development, including weight status, aggressive feelings and beliefs, consumerism and social seclusion. Media also has potential for positive effects on child health. We need to find ways to maximize the role of media in our society, taking advantage of their positive qualities but and minimizing their negative ones. The ultimate goal is to reach youth with positive messaging. Accepting media rather than trying to offset and it promises to be an effective tool in shaping the behavior of children and adolescents. (Munni Ray and Kana Ram Jat, 2008) There is serious association between violence in the media and the appearance of seriously violent behavior among older children and teenagers in a nationwide sample. (Michele L.yebarra et al, 2008) Television has become so powerful that it plays a decisive role in shaping the attitude, moral fiber, individuality and the ability of the youth to look at the things. But regrettably, the things are not going right.
Television channels have adopted the policy of telecasting the cheap and sensational programs that will attract more and more youngsters to them. The interest of these channels is just money-making and economic. The television channels are busy in displaying violence, mysteries of murders, human capacity of committing crimes and some other things which definitely have negative impact on our present generation. Children are exposed to huge amount of violence and aggressiveness leading to deterioration of mentality of youth. (Carmela Lomonaco et al, 2010). There is extensive exposure of young US adolescents to movies with tremendous graphic violence from movie rated for violence and there are a lot of questions about the effectiveness of the current movie-rating system. (Kielah A. Worth et al, 2010) Media has the greatest impact on young generation as compared with the family or school because teenagers spend more time watching television, using cell phones, doing internet surfing or using any other source of media. All these affect teenagers in various aspects like culture, politics, social life, religious conviction, style, education and other interests.
Apart from this media represents important source of enrichment and education for young generation as they receive variety of informal education from various sources like electronic libraries and internet etc. Media is also a source of entertainment. Still, media does not always inform and manipulate teenagers on a positive way, because it also represents a resource of violence through movies or news. (Cristina Nuta, 2011) “The internet and a large number of TV channels are working day and night to promote vulgarity and immorality. Undoubtedly, media aids to research and development, but illiteracy limits the users’ abilities to acquire knowledge oriented benefits. Especially children lack the abilities to make accurate judgment of the benefits and harms of the information being fed to them and hence consciously or unconsciously accept it as a truth of life”. (Muhammad Iqbal Zaffar, 2003)
The author wrote the article by the name, “Youth and role of media in Pakistan” to analyze the negative and positive media effects casted on the youth of Larkana city. He reported in the article that, “Since a couple of decades print media mainly Sindhi print media has replaced the other languages of print media including Urdu due to many reasons including low cost, powerful influence of Sindhi language and non availability of network in far flung areas. Unfortunately the youth developmental issues are not the key information of many media resources. Therefore, youth behavior is influenced by violence, global media prejudices and other negative values. Maladaptive, drug abuse, violence and local tribal conflicts reports on media are adversely impacting the youth”. He concluded, “There is need to promote the positive impact of media by guiding and advocating the thematic standards in media”. (Zulifqar Ali Rahujo, 2007) Iram Arif in collaboration with Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Khan conducted research study on the subject, “Media imperialism and its effect on culture of Pakistan”. The main objective of the study was to examine the nature of cultural globalization through media and its effects on national and local culture with special reference to Pakistan in the shape of effects on the youth of Multan.
She tested the hypothesis, “The greater the exposure to the satellite/cable TV Entertainment programs, the greater the effects of foreign culture on our youth & cultural identity”. In the light of the survey findings, the researcher concluded, “The foreign media channels on cable TV are adversely affecting Multan’s youth mindsets, although the adoption of such an attitude is bit slower as compared to other mainstream cities of Pakistan because Multan is renowned as a city of Saints with the decade’s long history of tradition and culture”. (Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Khan, Iram Arif, 2009) Dr. Muhammad Wasim Akbar conducted the research study with the title, “Cultural invasion of western media and Muslim societies”. He presented his report in the words, “Waves of western culture equipped with secularism and materialism are heading towards the Muslim societies very rapidly. There is a wave of these attacks in the form of computer, internet, TV, Cable network, films, magazines, etc. As the developed countries are the architects of the modern age, they want to dominate over the pious Muslim civilization by replacing it with their free society and culture”. He quoted the suggestion of Mansoor Jaffer as a solution to the problem which is, “It is the need of the day that Muslim countries should formulate communication policy for all media institutions under such policies which could reflect Muslim culture in true sense”. (Dr. Muhammad Wasim Akbar, 2009)
“Is today’s media impacting our youth in a constructive or a destructive manner?” Variables of Concern:
Independent variable. Intervening variable. Dependent variable.
“Proper parental guidance minimizes the probability of negative media influence on young generation’s deportment which occurs through today’s media meretriciousness and gaudiness”. Hypothesis: “Greater the degree of meretriciousness/gaudiness in today’s media, greater will be the probability of negative influence on young generation’s deportment”.
Hypothesis Testing Study:
We will be conducting a hypothesis test study in order to explain the relationship between our dependent variable (meretriciousness in media) and independent variable (young generation deportment) and also to test our hypothesis i.e. “Greater the degree of meretriciousness/gaudiness in today’s media, greater will be the probability of negative influence on young generation’s deportment”.
We will be using a correlational study as we are interested in delineating the important variables associated with our problem i.e. negative media impact on our young generation’s deportment. Minimal Interference by the Researcher:
We will be conducting correlational study with minimal interference i.e. we will be only administering questionnaires during normal flow of work. No further interference will be made. Non-Contrived Study Setting:
We will be conducting correlational study in a non-contrived setting. Groups As Unit of Analysis:
Our unit of analysis is “Group” for media impact being studied on young generation’s deportment. Data Collection:
Primary and secondary data will be collected.
We are making use of sample size of 50, that is, we will administer our questionnaire survey to 50 respondents most conveniently available mainly youth ( above 16 years and below 25 years of age) and the provided responses will then be analyzed with the help of “SPSS” in order to reach at any appropriate/sound conclusion.
Andrea Millwood Hargrave (2003), “How children interpret screen violence” British Broadcasting Corporation. Craig A Anderson et al (2003), “The Influence of Media Violence on Youth”, psychological science in the public interest Vol.4, pg 81-110 Common Sense Media (2008), “Media + Child and Adolescent Health”, A Systematic Review. Brett Brown , Pilar Marin (2008), “the school environment and adolescent well-being: beyond academics”, Child trends Brief Research Michele L yebarra et al (2008), “Linkages between Internet and Other Media Violence with Seriously Violent Behavior by Youth.” Pediatrics 122(5):929-937. Munni Ray and Kana Ram Jat (2010), “Effect of Electronic Media on Children” Indian Pediatrics 2010; 47: 561-568 Carmela Lomonaco et al (2010), “Media Violence”.
Kielah A.Worth et al (2010), “Exposure of U.S. Adolescents to Extremely Violent Movies.” Pediatrics 122(2):306-312 Muhammad Iqbal Zafar et al (2003), “Media influence on social component of human personality” Pakistan journal of information & technology. Zulfiqar Ali Rahujo (2007), “Youth and role of media in Pakistan” Dr.Muhammad Ashraf Khan and Iram Arif (2009), “Media imperialism and its effect on culture of Pakistan” Global media journal. Dr. Muhammad Wasim Akbar (2009), “Cultural invasion of western media and Muslim societies” Global media journal