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The importance of media at young age

Updated on March 14, 2016

Nowadays, people of different professions related to children, as well as, of course, the very parents, are concerned about the impact that media leaves on children, especially at their early age. However, they are mostly defining and labeling it as a purely negative thing, emphasizing its bad side effects, which does not, objectively observing, fit the reality.

If we bare in mind definition of a medium as ‘a communicative form’, or in other words ‘a channel or conduit through which information is passed’, we can easily establish that media as such, is almost everything kids get in touch with. Yes, we do have to be very cautious and think wisely about the content that we want our children to be exposed to. In other words, it is important what children see, hear or read in their early age because it has been proven to have effects on their behavior in later life.

Today’s social media is offering an overview of the latest news, research results and helps gathering data for writing school seminars and projects. In addition to quick and easy access to information, it represents a source of fun and allows communication with people from all around the world. Likewise, children can exchange experience and thoughts with their peers who happen to have similar interests or problems. In short, media provides information, enjoyment and relaxation. At the same time, it provides cognitive stimulation and an increase in self-esteem with children. Furthermore, media encourages development of creativity, it teaches children strategies on how to select useful information and how to solve personal problems.

However, due to a large number of information in the media, children can be exposed to some that are dangerous and inappropriate for them. Also, media can prevent development of different social skills, disturb normal family life and school success if it is excessively used, in addition causing different health problems (bad eye sight, epilepsy, obesity). Children can start behaving in aggressive ways and encourage violent problem solving as an illustration of what they saw on TV, while different video games may also cause addiction. Different commercials lead children under the influence of rampant consumerism.

As it has been stated, media is also proven to develop intellect, emotions, views and encourage curiosity and motivation. Television is a medium of information and fun, radio is a medium through which we receive short information and music on a daily basis– in our cars, public transport and different public places. Newspaper gives us a deeper view on latest information, while books are a medium for awakening imagination and expressing oneself through words. Movies give us rich experiences, and computer and the Internet are used for learning, communicating and fun as well. After all, big majority of knowledge that we possess is based on information whose source is the very media. Same goes for children, their world is filled with different sorts of media practically from the day they were born.

In conclusion, media is important in children’s lives. It is important regarding motivation, creativity, intellect, fun etc. Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by it, and information it brings to us. Therefore, we cannot exclude children from it, but we can teach them how to use it properly.

Raising Generation Tech: Preparing Your Children for a Media-Fueled World Paperback – August 1, 2012

Now, what does media literacy really mean, and how can it be learned and taught? It is considered as an ability to analyze, access and produce media. It does hold great promise for individuals to lead more examined and rewarding lives. Students, parents, and policymakers need to learn the result of media effects research. Information is power, it motivates students, parents, educators, and the community to promote wiser media usage. It is an integral part of media literacy. Media literate advocate is a person who has learned skills of media literacy, which can be effective in the community as well as in school. It is about being informed.

Just as we teach our children how to ride a bike, we need to teach them how to navigate social media and make the right moves that will help them. The physical world is similar to the virtual world in many cases. It's about being aware. We can prevent many debacles if we're educated.

— Amy Jo Martin

Children, Media and Culture (Issues in Cultural and Media Studies)

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    • Christine Dickens profile image

      Tina Medić 2 years ago from Croatia

      Yes, I have stated good sides, as well as the bad ones. Nothing is merely 'either black or white', the conlusion is- as adults, we can help kids and guide them trough on how to use media and benefit from it.

    • coolwater101 profile image

      coolwater 2 years ago from Atlanta GA.

      I think its a two way street which you covered. I think its more important to guard the kids from media of all sorts until they have a strong mind, and can make good decisions about whats good or bad for them.