In the contemporary world, media has become ingrained into our every facet of society. The importance of media has become vital for the survival and existence of humanity due to its immense benefits to our knowledge, and information distribution and acquisition. There are various media that are currently in use, which are smart phones, the internet, television, social media, radios, and the print media. The rate of evolution and spread for these media is different with some becoming almost obsolete due to newer technologies that are emerging. However, it is vital to analyze the role of the impact that exposure to these media has to our existence, suing both negative and positive effects for analysis. Therefore, this paper will lay its focus on assessment of the impact of the use of different media on childhood social, cognitive, and psychosocial development.
Different media have different impacts on the child’s development based on an assortment of factors, such as time of exposure, availability, necessity, methodology of use, and mobility of media. All these factors present different outcomes on the child. According to the article, the major media that will be assessed are television, the internet, video games, music videos, and movies. The use of the television is both an informative and influencing media for spreading information. According to research, the average teen spends more time watching television as compared to attending classrooms (Nieman et al. 301). Television offers an array of tools for influencing children socially and psychosocially.
The content advertised on television can result in children becoming obsessed with the use or acquisition of content being promoted. This is most prevalent with the rising cases of children having such gadgets as smart phones by the age of 13, or having video game players, all of which are unnecessary. This can result in children being influenced to purchase items that are harmful to their lifestyle, social welfare, or mental development. For instance, content depicted in television through movies and music videos portrays girls and women as sexual objects by showing skimpily dressed women, and using abusive words, such as ‘whore’ or ‘bitch’. This has the effect on young girls who dress skimpily and engage in underage sexual activity, which can have adverse effects, such as diseases, pregnancy, and social delinquency.
The subsequent effects of acquisition of media, such as video games results in children playing games whose content is violent. According to research, violence in media has a direct correlation to cases of bullying and juvenile delinquency. However, one positive outcome of the use of this media is that it increases children’s cognitive development. Video games require one to think critically to complete them, and these results in children developing their critical and strategic thinking skills (Nieman et al. 302). Additionally, these video games are informative if the educational games are used, instead of the violent games. Therefore, they can act as learning tools.
However, use of video games and television has a negative effect on the health of children. This is because it increases inactivity, with the children sitting for long hours. This can have such adverse effects as obesity and poor bone structures. Due to the inactivity, the children may take snacks, rather than eat healthy foods (Nieman et al. 303). Additionally, the indoor activity results in a lack of exposure of these kids to the outside world. This impedes their cognitive skills that are essential for communicating with their peers and other people. Poor communication acts as an impedance to a child’s speech and social development. Research shows that these children grow introverted and lonely, and engage in juvenile activities as adults in order to be recognized.
The internet provides a rich resource for a combination of several media in one functional and effective platform. It combines audio, visual, and print media into one engine for use. Young children and students use this search engine for education and entertainment purposes. Social media is one such avenue whose positive and negative effects have been profound. The informative nature of social media has resulted in a cultural change, where lifestyles, behaviors, fashion, and other social functions are influenced using this platform. Aside from this cultural change, social media had a negative effect on the communication of young adults and children. These age groups have shifted their communication styles from physical face-to-face contact to digital communication suing audio, visual, and print content. This evolution of communication among this age group has eroded the essential skills required for physical interpersonal communication that is essential for optimal communication in the outside world.
The use of social media has also become insignificant due to its effect of demeaning people and causing harm psychologically to their image. For instance, social media bullying has resulted in negative profiling of some kids, which reduces their self-esteem and confidence due to being shunned by their peers. Cyber bullying has also resulted in a new form for children to vent out their anger and envy for other people by negatively impacting their image on a public platform with thousands of followers online and in real time. Therefore, the effect of media has positive and negative impacts, which can be considered as essential for the growth of the contemporary child.
Nieman, Peter et al. Impact of media use on children and youth. Pediatrics and child health. 8. 5 (2003): 301-306.