Many types of social media display a ‘bad boy’ image which consists of addiction to substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), violence, emphasis on luxurious material possessions and lack of moral values. It is this ‘bad boy’ image that severely impacts the minds of teenagers. It is very common to find a video of a celebrity portraying a character that is addicted to substance abuse. For instance, Youtube is filled with plenty of music videos, movies and pictures that display celebrities with numerous addictions to substance abuse. Examples of such celebrities include, Nicolas Cage (alcohol addict) in the movie Leaving Las Vegas and Leonardo DiCaprio (drug addict) in the movie The Basketball Diaries. When a celebrity plays a fictional role of an addict, many teenagers pick up the addiction.
Teenagers tend to think that such types of addictions are ‘cool’ as their icons engage in such addictions. In addition, social media portray a lot of violence that amuse teenagers. For instance, cp24.com shows videos and pictures of gangsters and thieves shedding blood of innocent people. In such situations, culprits are often seen settling problems through violence rather than through peace. Teenagers pick up on this depiction of brutality and think that it is better to solve a conflict through violence in order to gain a popular image in society. Also, social media is actively engaged in promoting exquisite materialistic goods.
For instance, Facebook displays many pictures of celebrities endorsing expensive products. Examples of such endorsements include Michael Schumacher (Ferrari, Lamborghini) and Jessica Simpson (Gucci, Prada). Teenagers that look up to their icons come to the conclusion that in order to be popular one must acquire such luxurious goods. Moreover, social media places a great emphasis on acting immorally. For example, etonline.com shows real life situations of celebrities lying, stealing, and taking part in scandalous affairs. Teenagers are often taken into believing that such irresponsible acts are normal and expected to be followed. Thus, it is fairly evident that social media plays a vital role in exerting a strong negative influence on teenagers.
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