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Living in the 21st century means living in an age built on technology and on the internet. Teenagers today are deeply absorbed into their phones and most of their time is spent on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. What today’s generation is not consciously aware of is that the media is controlling not only our opinions but also our lifestyle in both positive and negative ways.
In 2017, 81% of U.S. Americans had a social media profile and this will just keep growing as technology evolves. Our minds are constantly on what name Kim Kardashian gave her new-born baby, or on the cause of a famous couple’s split, like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, or even on what products celebrities use to look so young and fresh. In addition, we are affected by advertising, as it is the main tool media uses to influence us into buying things we may not need. Celebrities and role models come in hand as they are paid to publicize, share, and present products in which may not even be valuable or useful in our lives and yet people are deluded into buying them.
However, celebrities and the media can also influence us positively. For instance, if a celebrity comes out as a homosexual, or as having a mental disorder or even health problems, then that guides us to our own acceptance, whether it is loving our body despite the scars, or understanding other people who have them. They may even raise awareness for things that may seem insignificant to some people but very important to others. For example, Giuliana Rancic raised awareness for breast cancer saying, "If my story can inspire them to go get checked and to take breast cancer seriously and to know it can happen to a young girl without a family history—if it can happen to me, it can happen to you—then that's my responsibility, I have to do it."
Furthermore, other than being absorbed into famous people's lives, we are also influenced by ideas and beliefs that are shared through the media, which are controlled by the government. It can be argued that the media fuels power and control because what is broadcasted and omitted is supervised by the government. Also, the media can be biased as they can add a certain prejudice to certain news stories depending on their own opinion about the matter, and as a result influencing citizens into believing something that may also have a second point of view but is not offered to them.
However, in today’s time, people are less likely to be influenced as they are aware of the lies and deception that take place while having their own opinions and ideas that are unbreakable. Teenagers and adults know that they can’t believe everything they read or hear as a lot of times things turn out to be false news or information. Moreover, citizens today acknowledge that they can’t be naïve, but at the same time, they cannot be ignorant of the problems and issues that exist in our world.
In conclusion, the media controls us in more ways than one. Celebrities are where they are today because they acquired the popularity that we have given them, allowing the media to influence us into buying products and goods we don’t need, while the government controls our opinions and ideas through the newspapers, television, and internet. On the other hand, we are also affected in positive ways as we learn to accept our appearance, health issues, personal problems, and disorders, as we are encouraged to raise our voices by celebrities that have gone through the same.