How the media affects youth | Oda Faremo Lindholm | TEDxOslo
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How the media affects youth | Oda Faremo Lindholm | TEDxOslo

Translator: Cuicani Ríos
Reviewer: Wenzi Yang Hi! As a kid I grew up with a mom
who was Minister of Justice and therefore our little family
was early introduced to all things new: cell phones, and cars, and briefcases
computers, the internet. Growing up, I became more and more
interested in how media pop culture and internet affected each other and how
these elements intertwine. And, among other things, it definitely led to the fact that my
generation and especially kids growing up today are growing up in what has
become an overtly extreme media culture. Kids and teens are taking in
massive amounts of media every day. this is linked to the fact that we are
both a very rich and a very
liberal country. Kids get smart phones and
laptops while they are still in primary school and they also get a lot of
control over these technical devices and, as a result, kids get hooked
on media pretty fast. In a large survey,
Norwegian teens were asked how much time they spend on the
internet every day and they estimated a bit over three and a half hours.
If you add the time they spend watching TV and movies, reading magazines
and newspapers, and listening to music, you get an almost constant stream of media consumption;
which I am not the only one believing has a huge and most importantly negative
effect on the way they see themselves and our perceptions of reality. Reality is a difficult term. What is real and who shapes forms and
controls it? What is the perfect body? What is an
ideal man or woman? What should we do with our life and what
role in society do we have based on our gender? These are ideals that change
over time they are not constant. But the media often portraits them as
timeless facts and when we spend up to 10 hours a day consuming different media. It’s obvious that most of us, if not all,
are going to be affected by the representation and ideals in the media
culture we belong to. So what does that mean for us? Well, Western media is very limiting,
specially for girls. Take a look at magazine shelves,
commercials, toy stores, different women and men, TV channels,
blogs and so on; and you’ll see that kids growing up today are actually
growing up in a society that’s moving towards more prejudice gender roles. Then we have been doing in a long time,
we are actually moving the wrong way. If we look at this
from a female perspective, the media is for instance,
far away from reflecting reality when it comes to quantity: women
make up 49% of humanity and only 32% of the main characters
in children’s TV are female This is shown in the survey of 24
countries, including Norway, done by the the Central Institute
for Youth and Educational Television. Children’s TV also conformed to
stereotype images of women. The same study identified a number
of sexual stereotypes found in children’s media
around the world and in general girls and women are motivated
by love and romance; they appear less independent than boys
and they are stereotyped according to their hair color. They are nearly always
conventionally attractive thinner than average women in real life and most
importantly heavily sexualized. This problem continues
in media for grown-ups. Women are under-represented
in movies, TV and news. Most press mainstream and
press coverage also continue to rely on men as experts in the fields of business
politics and economics. Magazines are the only medium where
women are over-represented; however their content is
overwhelmingly focused on topics such as dating, appearance and fashion. Research indicates that these mixed
messages from media are making it really difficult for young girls to negotiate
the transition to adulthood. Girls’ confidence frequently drops in the
pre-teen years and, instead of focusing on the worth of their knowledge
capabilities and skills, they begin to base their feelings of self-worth more
and more on appearance and weight. Partly because of this, there is a huge
difference in how Norwegian teens value themselves: from the age of 13, boys’
senses of self-worth increase while girls’ decrease. The Annual Survey own docta
show that in 2013 a whopping 25% of girls between the ages of
13 and 16 in Norway reported symptoms of depression like stress,
anxiety, and feelings of emptiness. This is a marked increase and the levels
where boys the same age are significantly lower
and also not on the rise. and while teenage depression historically
has been linked to problem behaviour, the same generation is one of the most
well adapted teenage generations we’ve had for a long time. In the same survey
they reported some of the record low levels for underage drinking, drug abuse, skipping schools and problems at home. What they instead said is their main
source of extreme anxiety are the extreme demands of perfection
that surround them. So this is a new problem and one that we
don’t really know how to meet yet. Girls feel they have to be perfect
in almost all areas of life whether it’s beauty, body, fashion
or the relationship to their friends and family. And why shouldn’t they? Girls who consume
media are going to be influenced by stereotypical images of uniformly
beautiful, obsessively thin objects of male desire. Professional women are far
less visible than their male counterparts and the biggest social
media apps in Norway among teenage girls are Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat–
apps which people mostly used to brag about their looks
and their accomplishments. Norwegian teenagers are in the world top
when it comes to internet usage. This means that for multiple hours a day
they are bombarded with other peoples’
external perfection. This is the reality they see and several
international studies now show that girls who are frequent users of media
also have the most negative opinion about their gender. This means that Norwegian girls may be
far less free than what we might think they are, because they are growing up in
a media reality that depresses them, restrains them and potentially
makes them sick. At least me and my friends got to finish
Junior High before Internet became such an integral part of our life
as it is for kids growing up today. You might question if what i’m talking
about actually has such a huge impact on teens today, but in my work I spent a
considerable amount traveling around to school talking to youth about these issues
and every single visit they confirm that the media images’ ideals are something
that they struggle with. It’s overwhelming and it affects their self-image. A lot of
the time, they said they also feel like grown-ups expect them to be media
professionals, that they somehow instinctively know that photos are being
retouched and that ideals are often constructed to make us feel bad. So we spend money on time
and stuff we don’t need. And because we have taken this for
granted while at the same time giving kids enormous access to media We are now seeing the negative effect
it’s having especially on young girls. Instead of rioting against authorities,
many have now internalized their youth rebellion and are rioting
against themselves. We need to establish a stronger focus on
this in our society and most importantly in the school system. We need to talk to kids from very early
on about how media’s depictions of reality are not always accurate. We need to teach youth to be critical of
what they read and see, especially on the internet. And grown-ups need to talk to
each other and acknowledge the fact that this is a partially new problem and it’s
also a growing one, because I strongly believe that the reality is
that the fight for freedom from self-hate is one of the most important
youth issues we are dealing with right now. Thanks.

23 thoughts on “How the media affects youth | Oda Faremo Lindholm | TEDxOslo

  1. and why are we even discussiong about the amount of access "given", no one should be allowed to censor what should be given and what should be not, but agree with the point which says that we have to teach the youth about the reality of Media Depictions. But you shouldn't take away the media from the youth, or in this case girls.

  2. "What is the perfect body? What is the ideal man or woman? What should we do with our lives? And what role in society do we have based on our gender? These are ideals that change over time. They are not constant, but the media often portrays them as timeless facts."
    -Love it.

  3. Its sad that out all the views this video has, there are only 5 comments and there is only one that in my opinion doesnt seem to be a result of the problem that she is talking about.

  4. Its a very interesting topic how the mass media and films have affected the psychic of people young and old. But I cannot find any interesting programs on you tube about the subject. This talk is narrow, just about the effects on young girls of today.

  5. Especially for woman…….as if men can do anything without being judged…..who are the last priority in case of any catastrophe and who shed their blood in wars. Societies all around the world have a use and throw policy.

  6. The mass media and friends are the biggest lying, fear mongering control freaks that ever existed. And by the way, feminism sucks.

  7. Ideals must exist. Ideals are the aim and model to emulate, people should have the pattern and the aim which they eager to achieve.

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