Today: Jun 16, 2024

The unnoticed influences of different media in society

Chardonee’ WrightStaff Writer
Have you ever experienced the mushy, lustful feelings that you thought were “love,” but later found out it was nothing more than intense infatuation fueled by attraction? I think everyone has a story like this.
From our childhood, we have been programmed into believing fairytale relationships exist. That is false. Relationships are hard work, and you must know what you are getting yourself into way beforehand. The media glorifies many myths that every girl is a princess waiting on her prince charming to sweep her off their feet, and in the end they live happily ever after. Don’t get me wrong, God has designed someone uniquely special for you if your desire is marriage–but it is all in His timing. (God is the only one who will coordinate the encounter, and he doesn’t need your help. You have to trust that He has your best interests in mind at all times.) However, living in a fairytale mindset can be dangerous. If you are not careful, you will find yourself actually expecting relationships to go that way, and you will end up disappointed that your partner does not live up to fairytale expectations.
Romance novels, chick flicks and the drama-filled relationships on TV keep us all in suspense. I think I can speak for almost any girl when I say that media has influenced the way we view relationships at some point or another in our lives. I’m not condoning this notion, but I do believe media is a powerful influence, whether we recognize it or not. It is true that experience can also shape your personal views on relationships, but a lot of us women already daydream about our weddings, prince charming and wedding dresses at young ages.
If you think back to maybe where these fantasies were birthed, you may be able to trace them back to Disney. Disney is a powerful company; its films have had huge influences on children for many years. I know when I was younger, I always thought a woman was the princess and a man was the prince, and that some magical story would always bring two lovers together in the end. “Cinderella,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Aladdin” are only a few of the many Disney movies targeted at young children, but their plots revolved around fairytale romance. As I grew up, I realized that TV and movies are just  that: TV and movies. It may be hard to admit that romance in the media has cultivated our brains over time into believing these fairytale myths on love and dating can exist.
Oftentimes I wondered, when, exactly did this shift in media take its place? Disney films have been around for a long time, but there has been a huge shift in the sexual/romantic content on TV. I’m 22 years old, and it baffles me how TV went from “Family Matters” and “Full House” to “16 and Pregnant” and “Love and Hip-Hop” as standard TV programs. Reality TV has taken over, and it seems as though nothing is discreet anymore.
When I was younger, it was nearly impossible for a sexual scene to pop up on TV while my family watched. Now, a child has access to hundreds of channels with potentially graphic nature at any given time. Nowadays, reality TV stars are huge and can make a lot of money from acting a fool on national TV. Some of these stars are idolized and have many fans or are featured on the front pages of tabloid magazines or day-time talk shows; and America feeds into all of it. I’ve watched “16 and Pregnant,” and a couple of these shows from time to time, but it is interesting to see how some people become totally obsessed with the characters.
I know at the end of the day, it is all about the revenue that these shows generate, and some people may just want their 15 minutes of fame. Media has a good, bad and ugly side to it, but we can’t deny that media is powerful. Quite frankly, limiting TV altogether can be mentally healthier. This “sex” shift in TV has crept in quite fast, and it is just very scary to imagine the kind of TV my grandchildren will be watching in the future.

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