TV Is Seriously Affecting the Choices Teenagers Make | Teen Ink

TV Is Seriously Affecting the Choices Teenagers Make

June 4, 2019
By charlisanders BRONZE, Melbourne, Other
charlisanders BRONZE, Melbourne, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Let's get this bread.'

These days, most teenagers are watching TV designed for mature audiences. Over 55% of teenagers are watching over an hour and a half on Netflix and other streaming sites a day, according to Time Magazine.
So, what are they watching?
Netflix has shared that among its most popular shows, a bulk of them are made for audiences over the age of 15. These include: On My Block, Thirteen Reasons Why and Riverdale.
Thirteen Reasons Why, is a show that presents the recordings of a girl named Hannah Baker who committed suicide. This helps her ex-boyfriend, Clay Jensen, expose the story behind her suicide. It confronts each and every single one of the culprits who led her to that point, became infamous for itsromanticism of self-harm, suicide and depression. On this show, there were several scenes showing people self-harming, fighting, taking drugs and on a few occasions, being raped. Broadcasting such graphic footage to teenagers has the potential to normalise this behaviour, and as a teenager who has watched graphic TV shows, this resonates with me.
Messages that are being sent to teenagers about how it’s cool to do drugs or have sex carelessly is hurting them in the future when they’re adults. Many conditions can come from these issues, like, substance addictions and even bigger consequences like brain damage.
A study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2010, shows that there were an estimated 10 million underage drinkers in the United States alone. Alcohol can cause brain damage in teenagers whose brains haven’t fully developed, making this a scary statistic.
In a survey I conducted, 8 out of 10 people said they have felt compelled to take part in something, all because of TV shows. I know that I’m not alone when I say I have felt pressured to things I normally wouldn’t, because of TV. It feels terrible to see all of these good-looking people drinking and doing drugs. In turn, it’s making many people, including my friends, classmates and I, think you have to do it to be accepted.
There are so many ways to limit the damage that is being done to teenagers because of TV. One of these ways is to decrease the number of potentially unsafe elements that are in the shows. Something that could be removed is the amount of substance use that teenagers are getting exposed to. Another way is to educate teenagers on the impacts of drugs and alcohol in their futures. Although schools are already offering a lot of education to their students about drugs and alcohol, there’s so much more they can do. For example, bringing in recovered drug addicts and recovered alcoholics. This could help teenagers understand the consequences of drinking or doing drugs, such as getting diseases like liver cancer. As Professor Yeoh of PHAIWA said, ‘These young people that are consuming so much alcohol, they are going to age prematurely, they’re going to have diseases much earlier than the previous generation.’ To prevent this before it starts, we have to keep trying to drill the effects into someone’s mind. Doing school presentations, putting more ads up and even commercials on TV give the message that the things they do in their teenage years, have consequences. Although the idea of parental supervision is good idea, most teenagers will find ways to get around that by making new accounts or using friends accounts. Netflix have ‘kids’ options on their sites, but they do nothing when turned off. If a 13-year-old turned off that option, there are no restrictions anymore. So, that 13-year-old could be watching movies made for adults. I believe the only way to fix this problem is to reduce the amount of screen time these things have. This would decrease the chance teenagers would think underage drinking or doing drugs are normal. The mature ideas so many young people are seeing everyday are the things that are shaping them into the adults they will become. The creators of these TV shows need to think more carefully about what they are showing young people. Instead of promoting these ideas, they need to start creating solutions for the costs of having them on TV.

The author's comments:

Hi, my name is Charli. I'm a 14-year-old in year 9 who is trying to get her opinion piece published for a school project. My article is about how TV is impacting young teenagers by making them think doing drugs or drinking underage is cool.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.