media and children-use and portrayal


In various formats, media have influenced children’s development for hundreds of years. However, recent decades have witnessed an absolute explosion of new media technologies, and rapid adoption of these technologies, in particular internet and cell phone technologies, by all segments of society. Consequently, media forces today are unprecedented in their pervasiveness, and in their ability to influence and shape children’s developing minds.

Media has a huge affect on children. It has become very crucial in a child’s life. Today’s children are spending an average no of hours on entertainment media including television, computers, phones and other electronic devices.  Media influence on children has steadily increased as new and more sophisticated types of media have been developed and available.
Media can be referred to as, various means of communication like, television, radio, newspaper. These are all different types of media. Television may be influencing children in their personal development, gender role awareness and in their orientation towards family. Television may be almost a universal feature of the domestic scene, but it is not used in the way by everyone who has access to a set.
    The effects of media on children, has comparatively given little critical attention to actual products. In children’s literature it has been seen more culturally respectable than electronic media such as television and video games. As the professor of the children’s literature Peter Hunt said that ‘children‘s literature is at the bottom of the heap’. Even than that for other branches of children’s culture such as television, internet and computers games, often defined it as a primarily commodities. 
(Mair messenger Davies-children, media and culture)

    Media are those channels of communication that reach the wider audience simultaneously with a message. Here the media will focus on the electronic home utilizes of radio, television and internet. Children have a complicated relationship with mass media that varies with age, gender and family environment. For the youth or children relationship to mass media, this theoretical perspective helps to explain the discrepancy between the socialization, the child receives from parents and the differing ethical messages media may provide for e.g.: the family may try to teach the child to resolve the problem peacefully. However media advertisers and producers are interested in making profit so that they can earn by using violence to attract the people.
(Rose.m.kundanis-children, teens, family and media)
Role of Media on children’s lives:

    Media can give the positive effects and some times it can also give negative effects on children’s lives. For e.g.: A Wrestling show in television will bring a bad effect on children. Those will start imitating with their friends and will be injured. We cannot blame the children’s for this because they wont be knowing anything about  it. Here the parents have to play an important role of taking  responsibility of their child and to guide them by making them understand the difference between reel and real life. 


    Through media, children can develop their skill and also improve their knowledge. For e.g.: by playing games the child can develop his problem solving method and thinking skills. They will also develop their educational skills by reading, or often watching a program. By using internet they will also learn the social networking sites or playing computer games with friends and family. By media the children can also develop their skills in imagination like-art, music and dance. The child will think creatively and develop his talents in different field through media.
    When watching T.V Program- movie, computer game or website the children should decide what is good to them. When watching movie or any programme parents should  see to that it has a good story that doesn’t depend on violence or action for its entertainment. Value is always worth looking for in T.V programs. Movies will give the children the chance to explore places, animal, people, ideas, issues and cultures. The child can always get new ideas through playing, creating something or finding out more about topic. Interactive computer games and websites will help the child to learn more effectively.


    There are positive and negative effects in media for children.

     Media has certain positive effects- they are:

Educational program: By watching educational programme, children will learn important things and improve their knowledge. For e.g.: Quiz, math’s puzzles etc. They will improve their skills and mental abilities. Even a kid can easily learn many things from watching T.V- like by seeing cartoons they will learn to speak , improve language  and will also learn many things before going to school 
Media makes child more confident when it watches his/her favorite cartoon channel or show. He/She will imitate the same. So, by doing this the child might feel more comfortable and confident when they can talk to people and also when they perform in a crowd.
Once the child has built confidence within himself it is very easy for a child to develop his/her skill and ability. By watching different programmer’s the child will learn to think creatively and also get new ideas.
Media helps the children to improve their vocabulary and to learn new languages. Children also learn to talk in other languages with the help of television media.
Media will help the children to bring out the hidden talent and they will learn good things from the media. When children watch geographical channels, quiz programs and speeches by famous personalities of different fields they will increase their knowledge. When they play video games they will increase their logical power and also they will grasp the things very easily.
When parents watch educational programmer’s with their children, they will be influenced by them and they will watch the same programme to gain knowledge. When parents spend time with their children by watching cartoons or any other programme then there will build up a good relationship between them. There will be positive effects of cartoon for the children. By watching good cartoon programmer’s children will be influenced by it. Media will help the children to understand the different status and role played by different people, especially when they watch movie, they observe the role played by their favorite hero’s.
Negative effects:

Media is source of entertainment like- news, sports, television, internet, etc., media has became a very significant role in children’s lives. Media affects a child in various \psychological ways.
In advertisements, they present the items in such a manner that the children will be attracted towards it and make the parents buy that product. By this the children will be affected.

There is an Impact of Media’s portrayal of personalities. Representation of Male’s and Female’s in video games can send harmful messages to both boys and girls. Girls may try to achieve a feminine ideal that is presented in the game and their self-esteem is affected when that ideal cannot be attained. In media or Television movies will inspire the children to smoke and also to use of loose language and behaviors. Children will imitate whatever their favorite actors do. 
If a child involve too much in media then his/her academic performance will be poor. He will get poor grades and low reading ability and his vocabulary are connected with too much media consumption.
By watching media violence the child will behave aggressively which will be influenced from the media. Children will watch horror movies or shows, which might have a emotional or psychological problems. These children will develop anxiety, sleep disorder and aggression.
By watching violence in media, children will be influenced. When they are aggressive there will be changes in their behavior. Children will imitate aggressive acts on television in their play with their peers.  

Steps to Maximize Positive and Minimize Negative Media Effects:

    Parents should avoid letting their children who are under age to watch television and they should set a limit to view television§
    Parents should spend sometime with the children and watch educational programmer’s so that it will help the child to develop his/her skills and knowledge§
    Parents should ban the television in their children’s room.§
    Parents should see that children should watch more on educational channels so that they will improve their knowledge and language.§
    Parents and teachers should see that the children should not loose his/her interest because of media.§

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