Children create their identities by their interaction and observation with others. Now that social media has become mainstream, youth are no longer relying primarily on human interaction but shifting toward social media interaction.
This book will take a look at how children are impacted by media.
Learning Goal: Demonstrate an understanding of the positive and negative effects of media on children and adolescents.
Students are successful when they can:
Consider the types of media that children and teens are exposed to.
We like to think we are in control of the decisions we make, however, this is far from the truth.
What influences our decision making? What influences how we dress, what we eat, what we believe?
One powerful influence is advertising through various media.
Another influence is the content within the media itself.
TASK: List the various media and advertising that children and teens are exposed to everyday.
TASK: View the video on the next page and list five reason why YouTube is preferred over TV with teens.
Read the following article on Impact of Media Use on Children and Teens.
The article points out that Canadian children watch excessive amounts of television.
TASK: List one fact about how television viewing can impact each of these areas:
Dr. Gail Gross (2014) explains how boys are immersed in technology that alters their brains.
Skim through the article Access to Violence Alters Boys’ Brains.
TASK: Answer these three questions.
Adults can make a conscious decision not to be affected by advertising because they understand the influence of the media, however, most young children do not.
Many websites along with television shows watched by children are adolescents have a commercial component where the ultimate goal is to SELL MERCHANDISE. Some children’s television programs are part of a huge money-making industry.
Think about how characters from a program can be bought at a store as a stuffed or plastic toy, a game, clothing, on a lunch box or backpack, on pencils, etc. All these items are money makers!
TASK: Watch this short video clip about how many junk food ads kids are exposed to. Companies spend billions of dollars promoting sweet cereals, soda, and fast food to the most impressionable viewers.
TASK: List four ways parents and caregivers can help steer kids away from unhealthy marketing.
More information about media literacy can be found on the Cinematheque Education Department Website which links to a variety of media literacy resources.
Children can be influenced not only by what they see advertised but also by the context in which it is presented. Canadian society includes a variety of ethnic groups and family types, but it children see a one group or family type portrayed more often than their own, they may feel excluded, and their self-image and self-esteem may suffer.
TASK: Work with a partner to develop recommendations for Canadian advertisers to ensure that advertisements are inclusive and portray Canadians fairly.
Media, such as newspapers, TV and the internet can bring the world to our classrooms and living rooms!
We can learn what it is like to live in China or India.
TASK: Turn to pages 203 and 204 in the Child Care textbook, and find three positive effects of media, then list two of your own!
Negative Effects of Media – Other Considerations
Exposing children to programs that are not age appropriate can cause confusion and fear.
TASK: Read the example on pages 204-205 in the Child Care text to find examples of this confusion.
TASK: Read about how “gender-stereotyped toys” and provide the definition from page 204.
TASK: List the three major negative effects of media that are explained in the textbook under this heading.
List any ideas that have not yet been recorded in your book.
Have you met the Learning Goal?
Students are successful when they can:
A good review of effects of media on children and youth can be found by reviewing the article and video about how Health Canada is being asked to stop advertising junk food to kids.
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