Published on: Apr 10, 2002
Type: Opinions

In a world that is constantly worried about how far an individual gets, it is hard to focus on someone other then oneself. This is very evidence in popular culture in North American. They have an over focus on materialist things. It is sometimes hard to see outside of the bubble that one creates. There are certain factors as to why youth of today do not get involved in their community. The main reason would be the media. How can youth see past this hurdle and try and get heard in today’s society if they are being seen in a negative light?

Popular culture is the one constant that effects almost all of the youth in North America. Youth are the largest consumer market and are contently being manipulated by the media. The media has created a stereotypical view of youth, they are general portrayed as troublemakers who have no interest in anything that is community based. For example the news creates short and entertaining stories on how youth are involved in causing order in society. An example of this would be the summit in Quebec against globalization. Most of the young people who went to protest did it in a non-violent manner. However, this was not represented in the media; for instinct the news made it seem more interesting by portraying the youth as “Rebels Without A Cause”. Despite the fact such evidence has proven that young Canadians are volunteering more; meaning they support a cause. However, the media skewed the public images on how youth are portrayed by society. If certain details are ignored and certain facts are substitutes it would show a bias of the story.

Biases are represented in all forms of the media, such as the newspaper, radio and television. It has a way of making an event seem more spectacular then it really is. Using the previous example of the Quebec summit, the youth that was represented wanted to have a non violent protest, however, a small majority of the people who were there caused chaos. However the media led people to believe that it was everyone who were their caused disorder. One has to wonder why the media would do this? The main reason would have to be advertisements. It is necessary for the media to entertain the public rather then tell the truth of a story. A company would not place an ad in a paper, news show, or radio program if it were not popular.

The media portrays youth in a negative light, which only creates discrimination against them. The negative image that the media portrays also affects how young people view themselves. If a story show a youth that is protesting in the street for change in a peaceful manner and they are portrayed as rebels. It becomes clear as to why youth do not take an active part in changing society.

Youth are trying to make a difference on many levels, but it sometimes gets lost because no one is willing to listen to their concerns. What can an individual do to inspire himself or herself and to make a change? It usually starts with one action that could have a ripple effect that could bring about an issue to everyone. In many cases you forget that they could make a change. In a sense youth probably feel more secure in their bubble then to make a difference.

Youth must wonder if it really is worth any of this aggravation? If the results of their actions are not concluded right away then what is the point? The answer is, if no ever did anything about the continuing problems that face the world, then change would never take place. Although youth are portrayed in a negative light and therefore are discriminated against. Youth have to realize who they are; individuals who are capable of making a change. They account for 13.9 % of the population in Canada, it has to be clear that not one individual could do it all by themselves. That the powers of their actions are in numbers. If youth are portrayed in a negative light every time they protest for something that they are passionate about then it is the youth who have to revert that image.

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