Opposition against certain media has always existed since the first printing press was churning out articles. From propaganda to spreading awareness on human rights among other things, each generation has had its own battle to fight regarding what media is acceptable and what isn’t. Now that we are growing in an age of technological advances, with the increase in popularity of celebrities not only in first world countries, but also in developing third world countries, a new generation now finds itself at the helm of a struggle, between what the older generation thinks is bad about media, and what we see as beneficial through media.
Teenagers these days now rely on media as sources of inspiration. There may be one or two incidents where the scandalous actions of a celebrity get leaked all over the internet but how can we ignore the good that comes from media? Faith and teaching on religious belief are spread all over the world through media, with some well-rounded individuals taking it upon themselves to facilitate such channels of communication for the enrichment of someone else’s life at no cost to their own. Who, as a parent, would not be proud of their children if they were aware of the impact their child’s actions have in the lives of others?
I am turning 21 this year, and what I’ve seen throughout my life is that media has shaped who I am in terms of character, how I behave in uncomfortable situations and even through the way I talk and communicate with others. A few years ago, I was unknown, afraid to step out into the world because of my own insecurities towards how I looked, but as my social media following started to grow, and people I did not know started to reach out to me, my confidence level grew and now I’m one of the most extroverted person most people encounter. Media does this. It can transform the life of a person, expose them to different cultures, increase their confidence and self-esteem. Although it is true that there are cases of times media has been the sole cause behind a teenager’s low self-esteem, what I have to say about this is that it’s not media alone, it’s people with no regard for the dignity of a human being who twist and manipulate such a resourceful tool in order to bring down the lives of others.
Most adults think that media promotes bad behaviour within youths, especially in a country like Zimbabwe, where most of us are exposed daily to American, British and even South African media. Through these types of media though, us as youths have learnt how to speak out for ourselves, how to look after ourselves in life or death situations and most importantly, how to relax. After a long hard week at school or work, one finds it particularly refreshing to either switch on the television to enjoy one of the many series there is on offer or just simply go onto their phone and find out what’s happening on this rock of ours that we love to call Earth.
The older generation can be quick to think that media drives us and our decisions as teenagers and young adults but in reality, it is us who drive the media. Without our passion and desire for knowledge and entertainment, media itself would be monotone, not offering a variety that seek to capture the attention of a particular group, pushing us back into the century of black and white.