Monday, January 7, 2013

Teens and the Media: How Advertising Affects My Life

As we near the conclusion of our unit on advertising, we must answer one final quetion that shall decide what we learned from the unit, what we took away from the unit, and how we were affeected by this unit: Does advertising influence or reflect teen culture? Why yes, it does in fact. I strongly believe that the advertisements that a teenager sees every day significantly influences their attitude or thoughts for the rest of the day, whether it has a negative or positive impact on them. Even when we don't know it, advertisements are truly dominating the earth with their huge numbers. The average person sees about three-thousand ads per day, totaling to twenty-one thousand a week, eighty-four thousand a month, and one million, ninety-five thousand a year! The final total for the average life span is eighty-four million, three hundred and fifteen thousand ads. That's quite a bit. Basically just glancing at those numbers can tell us that we are influenced by ads. Although one may argue that you are influenced by people more than you are by ads, this is not true, for the amount of people you encounter every day is significantly less than three-thousand. 

This is some minor evidence, but how are these ads influencing our lives as kids and teenagers? When you pass by an advertisement of a supermodel wearing a gorgeous outfit, you may not stop thinking about that for the rest of your day, and soon you will want to buy something similar to it as well. You may do that, and you will be satisfied. And as you see that same supermodel, you may continue to buy their clothes over and over, and that will be the only thing that you spend your money on. AS this supermodel continues to pop into your life, you may be inspired to become a supermodel yourself or a fashion designer, all because you stumbled upon that advertisement one day in seventh grade. A second example may be at the theatre. As you view a poster for a Harry Potter film, you may be influenced to see the movie, which may influence you to become an actor yourself and try out for the school play, then later take on more challenges such as television and films. Or, you may be influenced to read the Harry Potter books, and later be influenced by JK Rowling to become a fantasy novelist like herself. These are some very positive impacts that advertising can have.

On to the negative side of things...... In this article on the negative impacts of advertising on teenagers, Paul Armaos states,

'This fills their [teenagers] heads with garbage and they are faced with pressure to obtain a specific body type and figure. The advertising industries use this type of body image and it has a huge affect on how teenagers think. It makes them feel highly insecure about their own bodies and gives them a false image of the “best” body type. It makes teenagers believe they must achieve this shape in order to be accepted by society. '

In this excerpt, he is speaking of the way that a model on a magazine makes teenage girls feel as if they are not good-looking enough because they are not as beautiful as the young women in the pictures, which are most likely photoshopped. Some girls may have suicidal thoughts because of this, but it is being stopped every day. A petition on change-org asks that all magazines must place a note on photoshopped images that  they are not a true picture of the model. This is really helping the world to ignore these types of photos and is making a more peaceful environment among teenage girls.

So ends our unit on advertising. This has been a very interesting unit and I believe it to be very interesting indeed. In the end, advertisements do have an affect on teenagers lifestyle, both positively and negatively. I believe that the negative elements of the matter can be prevented and the positive elements should be reinforced. No matter what, ads will continue to influence our lives through television, shopping, and more. They are truly an important aspect of all of our lives.

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