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Mtv Influences On Teenagers Essay, Research Paper

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MTV influences on Teenagers

No longer just a cable network for music, music television channel MTV has become an important factor in shaping values for American teenagers because of shows such as Tom Green, Real World and Road Rules. Many of the music videos are also past of this trend.

Unlike other TV programs, Tom Green does not have the director. The show is created by a middle-aged Tom Green and a cameraman. For most of the time that I watch, Tom Green goes from street to street, store to store and tries to say or asks questions that will make other people embarrassed. When the victims feel annoying and give complaints, Tom has accomplished his goal. Yet no one dare to stop them from filming even the authority. They are under MTV’s protection. In the mean time, Real World and Road Rules are among the top shows and engross many young watchers. The two shows are likely the same, and they play groups of young adults who are living together away from home. Each group has about four to eight people, who are college or university students that agree to pause school for three or six months to experience the free world. Again, they have MTV’s sponsorship.

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These shows are more about entertainment rather than educational purpose. What parts of it would have influences on teenagers? In fact, people who create Real World, Road Rules, and Tom Green are careless, disregard and irresponsible about the negative consequences. In other words, parts of show have wrongly carved out the youth’s world and their perspective. In some way, the shows have passed along the improper role model to the American teenagers. In his article “MTV turns innocent into lesser values,” the author states “I have a confession to make: I’ve been watching MTV, though not voluntarily. My gym, you see, refuse to change the channel. What I’ve seen, combined with the fact that MTV has the attention of America’s youth, is a frightening revelation.” (Herman A29)

Among the mentioned shows, I greatly disapprove Tom Green. His only goal is to make audiences laugh at the dump and desperate things that he did. For example, the show begins with Tom walking into the mattress store, looking at the camera’s lens, and laughing like a pongo. The second thing he did was jumping up and down on the displaying bed, swirling around, and drooling like a strip dancer. When the manager comes, Tom Green starts his attack. And he would do his best to embarras himself and the victim in front of the camera. “Sir, I am really sorry, sorry…sorry I just pissed…Opps sir I like jumping like this…Can I sleep here on this bet…?” He continued and repeatedly asked “stupid” questions until the manager lost his patience and called the police. The message that he just told young audiences was “It’s ok to embarrass or insult other people. Acting crazy is acceptable.” “I sure can do what Tom Green did.” Said my younger cousin David during the short informal interview between he and I about the

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show. In addition, Tom Green uses very bad language. “Sh..” and the “f…” word is said constantly in his talk. The problem is that my sister repeated those words on the phone with her friends, and it’s against our family’s values.

What about Real World and Road Rules? They are the most popular series on MTV that basically reveals conflicts between fixed groups of strangers living together in exotic locales. Almost everything is captured and broadcast to millions of viewers including drinking binges, nudity, love scenes, fights and emotional breakdowns. Many of these scenes, actions are not only helpless to teenager in solving their problems but they also carry the message that effect youngster’s points of view and altitude. According to Kirsten Stewart in the article “No regrets for student on MTV,” Julie Stoffer, who is a student at Brigham Young University (BYU) and one of seven young people to star in MTV’s new season of “The Real World,” could be barred from returning to BYU for having broken the church-owned school’s district Honor Code. “When I was there, I wasn’t worried about my behavior and what people would think. I just lived,” said Julie (Stewart A6). BYU prohibits single students from living with members of the opposite sex. The concern is that how many more youngsters will look after Julie and waive their traditional values. Teaching teenagers to be on their own is good or necessary in some cases. However, sexual involvements, underage drinkers, and other social maladies in the show do not need to be exposed. Perhaps, it could have been improved if MTV was more prepense on educating the negative consequences that occur in the group rather than freely broadcast it.

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Another subject that has drawn attentions of teenagers the most is music video. Why? Perhaps, the video director has beheld the critical point that makes youngster stick with their releases. Some of the music videos on MTV are extremely dangerous for young girls and women in sexual aspect. In the article “MTV turns innocent fun into lesser values” by Laurence Herman, the author reminds “I wasn’t too old for MTV; In fact, I was a teen when it was lunch. But back then, MTV had a simple formula with some cheap special effects. It was relatively good, clean, mind-numbing fun. But as MTV became a broadcasting juggernaut, its programming evolved. The videos still exist, but they’re now sexier and grittier—even more so than those days of my teenage yore, when you couldn’t mistake what a Madonna video was about, and a viewer favorite was peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer (If you have to ask, you don’t want to know).”

As far as I’ve known, the popular pop singer Bridney Spear usually wears tight-fitting silver pants and expose one third of her belly. So does Christina Anguila, who is also a famous singer. Sexual imagery and provocative pictures of young girls and women are being used in music videos. In 1993, the movie “Girl on film” clearly showed the importance of sex in music video in term of making profits. In the different forms of representing it such as whole body in sheet or shallow, its common purpose is to provoke or arise viewer’s sexuality that they will watch it longer. According to the documentary film “Dream World II: Desire, sex, and power in music video” by Sut Jhally, sex could possibly cause many serious and unpredictable problems whose the victim are both distressed physically and psychologically.

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Each year, teenagers view nearly 15000 sexual references innuendoes, and jokes, of which *170 will deal with abstinence birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, or pregnancy. (Donnerstein 2).

I was awestruck to learn from the above article that “A study of 326 Cleveland teenagers showed that those with a preference for Music Television had increased amounts of sexual experience in their mid-teen years” (Donnorstein 4). Anyone who watched “The accused” would probably be able to imaging how sore it was to witness a young lady who was raped by a bunch of guys in a bar.

In relating to my own personal experience when I was growing up, I seized the matter of being a teenager. Youngsters learn to make their own decisions base on the facts and opinions from friends, society, and family. To me, family advices seem to be the least effective compare to the society’s message. Imaging a girl who tries to mimic a rock star, I was disappointed. She wears expensive clothes, sexy high-heels, and gets herself a tattoo on the arms or pierces her lip. Thinking about a young man who tries to be cool like Eminem – a rapper that is never ashamed of the lyrics he sang – I feel awful. He skips school, fights with their schoolmates, or “chase the teacher with a cissor,” sang Eminem. These songs are shown and support by MTV. Appalled at the violence and sexual innuendo he watched on MTV’s cable-TV music videos, School superintendent Carmen A. Granto said he wants parents in the school district to tune out the channel. Then, he wants those parents to ask themselves whether they want the people featured in the music videos to influence their children. (Michel A1). Unfortunately, VH2 music

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channel is recently owned by MTV. I feel distress to see another real music program being invaded.

In a short time, MTV has grown considerably. Over the years, Music Television has been succeeded in attracting attentions of the audiences especially teenagers. However, MTV also intentionally takes this chance to strengthen their standing by sponsoring shows such as Tom Green, Real World, Road Rules and inappropriate music videos for teenagers. Before it’s getting worse, let’s reprogram MTV.

Brooks, James. “Teenagers Evaluating Modern Media.” English Journal Jan. 1998. 21-24.

Donnerstein, Edward. “Children, Adolescents, and The Media: Issues and Solutions.” Pediatrics Jan. 1999. 129-139.

Herman, Laurence. “MTV Turns Innocent Fun Into Lesser Values.” USA Today 29 Nov. 1999: A, 29:1.

Michel, Lou. “Head of Falls Schools Wants MTV Unplugged by Parents.” Buffalo News 25 Apr. 1994: A1.

Stewart, Kirsten. “No Regrets for Student on MTV.” Salt Lake Tribune 11 June 2000: A1.

Words count: 1548


Brooks, James. “Teenagers Evaluating Modern Media.” English Journal Jan. 1998. 21-24.

Donnerstein, Edward. “Children, Adolescents, and The Media: Issues and Solutions.” Pediatrics Jan. 1999. 129-139.

Herman, Laurence. “MTV Turns Innocent Fun Into Lesser Values.” USA Today 29 Nov. 1999: A, 29:1.

Michel, Lou. “Head of Falls Schools Wants MTV Unplugged by Parents.” Buffalo News 25 Apr. 1994: A1.

Stewart, Kirsten. “No Regrets for Student on MTV.” Salt Lake Tribune 11 June 2000: A1.

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