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Media Youth And Danger

by on May 13, 2014

Media, Youth and Danger



Minus the outliers among us..

from the airheaded – sunny side up – every glass is always full; to the conspiracy theorists that no longer ‘like’ Facebook posts without armour clad IP address protection and blame the ruling lizard classes for the presence of fluoride in our water. If you, like I – find yourself resting comfortably between those poles then media, and more specifically – the internet is like everything else in a postmodern world; ambiguous in nature.


Over the last 20 years as a proliferation of media in our day to day life has become unavoidable, the way in which we engage with outlets has also had a transformation, diversifying from once set roles of being informative and entertaining to a more interactive, social, cross format and multi-functional. Young people are becoming more technologically fluent, universally it seems, educational organisations have introducing it into curriculum earlier and more extensively, thus allowing increasingly lower ages access to the widely unregulated networks.



The premature introduction and overuse of technology is damaging young children whose brains are not yet fully formed, according to Dr Aric Sigman, a psychologist and author.


As a result, the “nappy curriculum” – the statutory rules introduced in 2008 which dictate that toddlers should be introduced to computers as early as 22 months of age – is “subverting the development of children’s cognitive skills”. – Julie Henry writing in her 2010 article for the Telegraph. Her sentiments however, are echoed albeit with more muted voices, by many in the teaching profession along with concerned parents.



It’s this division of attention that makes us universally vulnerable to a myriad of different agendas online. Crimes such as fraud, child abuse, identity theft and drug trafficking and even bullying have even become prevalent, and arguably more dangerous online.


The use of propaganda has been a long standing institution within media, even historically – Joseph Goeballs being the ideological father of many-a-coercive fox news report or anti-immigration Sun Headline. The sadist in me feels Murdoch has a penchant for irony. Propaganda, for example in the most subversive manner, played out in early march 2012. With the ongoing events of the Arab spring reshaping how many in the Middle East see media’s power to shape social change, the west has remained largely unchanged. The ‘Stop Kony’ campaign in which a company ‘Invisible Children exposed social media for what it potentially can be, an agent of western political action.



With its slick Hollywood production values, the film has been an almost instant viral success, dominating Twitter worldwide and having one of the fastest ever take-offs on You Tube. The hashtag #stopkony has had hundreds of thousands of tweets, and millions of people now know something about Uganda and what is happening to children there. Support for the campaign to end the conflict in the country this year is spreading. The campaign was unique in its shameless self advertising and direct social media focus. The 30 min YouTube video branded itself as a reaction to the modern lack of belonging.


Many feel uncomfortable leaving home without a mobile, as these now do the task of a internet access, memo pad, pager, email assistant, gprs and diary in one. So what does this mean for the future, and is there any way to protect our most precious asset, from what it becoming our second most precious.







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