All over the world, parents and carers, teachers and medical professionals are expressing concern about how media impacts youth and children. They worry about the long-term effects of continuous or extreme exposure and wonder what action, if any, to take. It can be difficult to recognise when children are at risk because adults tend to use media in a very different way to children.
The most striking differences between media use in adults and children are invariably linked to maturity and development. Adults have a level of maturity that enables them to make more informed choices or to recognise the positive and negative aspects of on-screen or online content.
Impressionable youngsters can develop behaviour patterns based on what they hear, see and read. Overexposure can have a detrimental effect on diet, social interaction, sexuality and emotional development. In some cases, media use can also lead to various process addictions such as addiction to social networking, gaming or gambling.
If you’re worried about how media impacts a child close to you or are concerned about your own ability to cope,
it’s best to seek professional help. Shafa Home offers treatment for all types of addiction and combines personalised, age-appropriate methods with tried and trusted techniques.
How do We Define ‘Media’?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines media as, “The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively”. In this context, we would expect media to include:
As technology has advanced, each of these has become inextricably linked. For example, the introduction of smartphones and smart TVs has allowed content from each form of media to be accessible through most devices. That means that internet content like YouTube can be viewed on television while TV content is easily accessible with a smartphone or tablet. Books, magazines and other publications are also freely available online.
What Are the Real Effects of Media on Children and Young Adults?
During their formative years, children develop the behaviour patterns, values and attitudes that will shape their lives. Often, those values are tied to how frequently children view certain types of media productions and what they learn or understand from them. Concerns over how media impacts youth and children stem from how much exposure kids have and the type of content.
Educational media content and age-appropriate entertainment can be positive for children and their families, provided that they don’t replace homework or healthy activities. On the other hand, overexposure can have a detrimental effect on numerous areas of a child or young person’s life including:
Prolonged media use can lead to kids grabbing quick and often unhealthy snacks in place of regular, nutritious meals. Good nutrition is vital for growth and development and the problem is compounded by media advertisements for calorie-laden fast food or sugary drinks.
When young adults or children spend too much time using various forms of media, they miss out on regular activities like seeing friends, sports, school events and family life. As a result, their ability to function well in social settings can diminish rapidly.
Help for Those with Concerns Over How Media Impacts Youth and Children
It’s possible that the negative effects of media has taken its toll on you or your family. This is nothing unusual and many have already reached out for help to control their media use instead of being controlled by.
The Shafa Home offers a range of specialised treatment programmes for media related process addictions such as internet addiction, gambling addiction and porn addiction.
We also offer a specially developed programme at The Edge for young men who are struggling with substance abuse, behaviour issues or process addictions like gaming addiction. The Edge combines tried and tested methods with features such as:
One-on-one and group therapy with certified professionals
Intensive physical instruction and practice in either triathlon training or Muay Thai boxing
The development of communication skills, tenacity and teamwork through wilderness excursions
Developing a sense of social responsibility through community service
Contact us at any time for more information to learn more about the variety of options available to you and what course of action could be the best option for your particular circumstances.
(These articles are the sole property of “The Cabin Chiang Mai”, They are its original authors)