Saturday, April 17, 2010

Portrayal of teens in the media

You know the one. You see these kids on TV, engaging in a range of generally unacceptable acts of social rebellion and disobedience. Is this the truth? My question today, is how has the widely accepted portrayal of the teenage demographic in the media affected the commonly held view of us (I am a teenager, for those who are not aware)?

I have mentioned it in a previous post, and I think it is time to blow the dust off it and show it to you again. It is through the worst of something that we tend to judge things placed in a particular grouping. The example I used before, was the stigmatization of Islam, while the only real trouble comes from isolated strands of fundamentalist, extremist believers, we see Muslims as a whole, as the ones to blame for religious unrest.

In a similar fashion, (while not everyone believes this, and I am fully aware of that) society is often too quick to look at the young people, AS A WHOLE, rather than those isolated groups, (who only need a bit of support from those who are blaming them), as a scapegoat for many societal issues. The fact of the matter is it is simply not true.

As a teenager myself, I am with, and around people of this very age bracket most of the time, and I, as much as anyone, know that many of us, (the vast majority in fact), have an intelligent, mature engagement of society. It is all a matter or misinterpretation. My own perspective of the issue, however, is likely to have been affected by my contextual environment. I understand that possibly if my own upbringing was different, and I was not associated with the people I am, then naturally, the story may be very different.

My general theory is, that upon realizing that blaming minority ethnic or religious groups was unacceptable, the media then moved to shift their focus onto the next best thing – teenagers. While I believe this problem is currently looking to be dealt with, there is still a lot of work to be done.

If anyone feels naturally compelled to share their thoughts on the matter, please leave a comment. Thanks guys, and enjoy what remains of your day.


  1. I think it also has to do with the misconception that teenagers are stereotyped as immature and therefore we would obviously be the ones causing problems because we're too stupid or careless to do any different. I would have to say, though, that many of my peers are exactly like this--not the ones I choose to be around but the ones I'm forced to be around.

    I think it's easier to use teenagers as a scapegoat for problems and uprisings because so many are liable to act in angsty manner, not the majority but many. (I'm 18 also)

  2. i see what you mean, and it is evident that there are a few of us who are exactly what the media portrays us to be.

    that group however, is almost negligable, but what they do makes them noticed a whole lot more, and as a result we are judged by it.

    rather disappointing

  3. precisely!
    and it is quite upsetting, i can't stand being clumped in with them.

  4. My bio teacher is really the only adult that understands this issue. We had a really intense discussion about this in class last week. It's amazing how our entire lives, adults have been preaching how stereotypes are bad, yet they're the ones implementing them about their youth. They also say that being hypocritical is bad too........... hrm.

  5. Yeah Anna, I'm sure theres heaps of people who understand it. I for one am lucky as both my parents understand it and recognise it as a problem to be dealt with.
    What you say is very true however

  6. Btw i cant see how to comment on your blog. Help us out a little? thanks

  7. nick this was the subject of my public speaking i chose last term - i argued that there is hope for the future and that the representation of youths in the media does not as a true depiction.

    just randomly i think we need more good news stories in the media rather than so much negative criticism and evaluation of everything - perhaps some appreciation of the best things in life? (theres another idea for a blog)

  8. yes. very true. the media has become too cash fuelled to care much unfortunately.

  9. With the world's knowledge available 24/7 on the Internet, it seems to me that teens should all be wisemen before they reach 20.
    Teens problems today are the same as always; Do I look cool? Will so-and-so like me? What's to Eat?
    by the way, teen coverage in the media is no different than any other group. It's just that teens shock us (oldfolks) because they drink too much, make too much noise and drive too fast.
    ...or at least that's what my parents said about me in the fifties... nothing has changed.


Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions, let me know