Children of the Media: How a commercialized society affects the average teen.

Jack Beetham, editor-in-chief

At Carlsbad High School, students come from many different ethnic backgrounds, but no one can escape the media’s constant effect on society. Throughout decades of constant commercial advertising and corrupt celebrity endorsements many children are subject to the negative influences they project into the public.

“I was obsessed with Barbies. I loved them because they were perfect,” sophomore Steph O’Loughlin said. “They were everything a ‘typical’ girl wanted.”

The commercial market has been a contributing factor to the negative influences on today’s society. This influence has changed over time but has been especially effective in our modern society due to the advances in technology. The media is everywhere and has proven to negatively affect our youth. However, not all publicity has had this affect.

“I remember the coke adds on TV. They sort of warm my soul now,” junior Shaun Robinson said. “I remember how excited I was to see the polar bears drinking the same drink I did. I will always remember them.”

A clever advertisement, aimed at emotions, shows how commercials can influence its audience in a positive way. Although the media can corrupt the society it thrives upon, many companies decide to provide and give more to their audiences.

“When I was a kid the best part of my day was coming home to the daily episodes of Spongebob Squarepants.” Robinson said. “I never knew how big it was ever going to get, but at the time I was addicted to that strange square man.”

From “Snooki” to “Spongebob,” the icons and celebrities of the modern day has some influence on its audience. The new trends begin to spread to kids of various ages and distorts their judgment. At CHS, students are always searching for “cool” by getting “crunk” and wearing revealing clothing. If the teenager asks, shows like “MTV” will provide.

“I grew up watching ‘MTV’ and ‘VH1’. They were always the channels that had the better stuff,” junior Derek Doskocz said. “MTV had it all. It was very cool.”

Although television and movies provide the criteria needed for extreme popularity, many have ignored the phony ideas and subliminal messages. Students resent the companies that encourage the foul behavior seen on TV stations like MTV.

“I never watched MTV really. I knew what it was all about and I preferred my Disney Channel to be quite honest,” sophomore Hannah Webb said. “I really had no desire to watch the trashy shows they had.”

Through time, what appears to be cool has changed. From bell bottoms to boob tubes, teenagers have searched for acceptance from their peers. Knowing this, the media has adjusted to give teenagers what they want.

“I remember when leg warmers were back in style. I thought it was very funny,” Webb said. “I am guilty to trying them out but I was never one to…conform to the many general trends of my peers or friends.”

Life without the media is unimaginable, but nonetheless it still has an unnecessary impact on its viewers. The current social life of a teenager can turn on a dime, as a new show or pop-star hits the scene. The media’s cunning ways negatively influence its audience. Teenagers must be careful about who or what surrounds them and the effects they can have.

“I don’t strive for conformity, if that’s what you’re asking. I don’t want to be a follower,” Robinson said.