We live in an enthralling world and even more enthralling society. From the moment we wake up until the moment we go back to our beds, we avail of media. At the end of the day, you avail of the latest news from your television and crave for your favorite music over the radio and even log on to be connected to the rest of the world through the World Wide Web. Our society is becoming more and more capable of being constantly informed, entertained, and connected to the other individuals at the click of a button.
Life without media is simply unthinkable. The youth of today is perhaps the most significant users of media. As Burtina (2005) posits the idea that as intelligent as we are, with the freedom and ability to make our own choices, the issue on how much influence does media have over our decision can be put to a test. This could be one of the stringent issues that can necessitate a lengthy explanation and can provide a good avenue that there can be no doubt that media influences us in innumerable ways.
Mass media plays a vital role in the lives of the people in the society. It is a tool for news, information, promotion, and a platform for sharing ideas. It has a unique capability to dramatize, to focus, to reinforce and more importantly, to ensure that people participate in a process called bottom up communication. Not only that, mass media also contributes to the dissemination of information and popularization of practices that all add up to the cultural heritage of a nation. The mass media can be one enormous factor in our environment that influences decisions and acts to inspire the youth. It is noteworthy that not all messages that media projects, though, are not at all positive.
Mckee (2009) has given some significant questions such as: Do you feel attempting a stunt from a movie? Do you base your fashion on what you see the celebrities are wearing? Do you copy the hairstyle of your famous personalities? Have you ever attempted to walk model – like in an attempt to imitate those ramp models in fashion shows? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then it is fitting to say that media works positively in exerting influence in one’s life.
Youth Culture Media strongly affects youth culture. A teenager’s life has never been considered “boring.” From cellular phones to iPod Touch, he would present the latest Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber’s latest songs. You would also see dangling earrings to skimpy shorts and mid-rift blouses. Name the culprit – it’s the media. Lady Gaga’s fashion and manner of dressing may be too much for our youth but who would want to be left behind? As the word bandwagon would apply, it simply means equipping oneself with media’s hype.
There are superstars – from movie idols, singing sensations and a lot more to mention that introduce songs and dance crazes that become for a while part of popular culture. According to Maslog (1992) only those with integrity are likely to endure and become part of the culture. He continued by saying that the rest are thrown into the dustbin of history. Examples of the more enduring musical contributions, perhaps, are the Beatles’ music, the Elvis rock and the Armstrong blue. They may not sound “pleasing” to the ears of our youth today but these are concrete examples of media’s propagation of popular culture.
On the other hand, Maslog pointed media for the proliferation of fashion. It is noticeable that every year the high caliber gurus of fashion led by Christian Dior, from their fashion olympuses in Paris, New York or London, make their latest pronouncements about the newest thing to wear for milady. And annually the mass media dutifully report these pronouncements to a female world waiting with bated breath to wear what Christian Dior thinks they should wear. It is fantastic to see how men can dictate to a world of women what they should wear year after year.
Historically, we can recall how the mini skirt started in a small way in London way back in 1967. It was within five years the mini skirt enveloped the whole world, which caused a drop in textile sales, and became the symbol of the female liberation from social restrictions. In connection with this, then came the maxi, a reaction to the mini, and then the midi, a compromise. If it not the hemline it is the neckline that is going up or down. Among those who became popular icons and styles are Marilyn Monroe, the GI pin-up girl of Vietnam, popularized the plunging neckline and the cleavage. After these, came the see-throughs and the Cardigan top, which is nothing more than a loose shirt or jacket worn over hot pants or bikini wear, thanks to mass media. What will happen to the next millennium trend of fashion? Candy, Vogue, Cosmopolitan to name a few can give us the answers and for sure whatever it is the fashion pages of the newspapers, from television and movies will never tell a lie. Youths are the main targets of the sophisticated fashion.