Saturday, January 28, 2006

Environmental effects on Teenagers' relationships.

The following is an observation i had in my home country Singapore.

Other than the relentless violence the dull grey box(ranging from 17'' to 40'' plasma screens) shows up as light particles that your brain interprets as a cool Jackie Chan kung fu action flick, which i think is too, it provides some other sort if influence to us.

The media mainly shapes the way on how we see life and think. Take beauty for example, what is beauty ? A slender long haired brunette with mascara and high heels ? Or a fat stumpy freckled face female midget ? Are bigger the better ? Or being so called a "washboard" a blessing in disguise ? You know the answer in your heart. The media does really shape how we look at things. Pity.

Honestly, if the world were to encounter a nuclear winter, and the global technology goes back to the 19th century where steam engines run amok and screens that shoot out light a fairly ridiculous idea, i think, the society would be much much different.

We grow up(we refers to teenagers like myself.) in the late 80s and early 90s, enjoy life as it is and take things for granted, things like the TV. Yes. The television is integral to our lives now, it is part of lives and our culture. Sometimes, we can't even eat without eating in front of the tele. Meet the 21st century teens.

Can anyone remember teletubies ? How about shows that are more well known like say, Sesame street ? Ring a bell ? I watched them when i was young. Everyone had a TV at home. To be exact, each household in Singapore had an average of 1.3 televisions per family. That's 13 televisions in 10 families. Ah, the wonders of industrialisation.

Back then, during my parent's time during the 60s and 70s, coloured television was considered one of the coolest thing since man landed on the moon. Even more, homes that had a television along with a subscription were considered wealthy. People were struggling to survive then, most of the poor work from 5am in the morning to the wee hours at night. Watching television then was like going to Kyoto Japan for a 1 month holiday now. Everyone had to depend on newspapers, or worse off, their neighbours for the latest news of the happenings around the world.

Luckily for my mom, her family was wealthy enough to buy a car, and of course luxuries like the television. She told me she saw a lot of things on the black and white screen that she would never encounter in her life before, things like wrestling(yes, hard to believe), talk shows between angmohs(Caucasians) and sports like soccer and cricket. What she thought was interesting was how the westerners lived, go bowling every Wednesday night, pubs and discos, and of course scenes in soap operas featuring teens dating out. A rare sight in the rural south east Asian societies. People were mainly trying to secure a home and work for their meals then.

Back to the present. Its different now right ? Much different.

You go to the movies, catch a Hollywood blockbuster and you see actors, barely the age of 20 kissing and hugging on the big big screen. At home, the dreaded plastic box presents to you images of your prime time 7pm drama. And as far as drama is concerned, teenage love content would most probably draw in a better viewer reception, thus more gains from advertising during the running of the show.

Take a walk down your town/city/country's busiest and most popular mall. Sit down at a junction or if you want, stand at the corner of an entrance. Count, just count the number of young couples whom you think is below 20 holding hands walking around in the mall. Sometimes, the number you get is astounding, considering the fact that most teens are still studying and not working compared to the number of dating tax payers.

Peer pressure exist within all of us, well unless you ain't got no friends which is highly unlikely. Trends spread like wildfire in school. Once you see a couple in school, slowly, you will see more and then it grows like an exponential graph. Then something inside you grows. Curiosity, interest and then jealousy, makes you want to get "attached" too right ? Media also plays a part in this area. Look at the TV, it starts it master plan to psycho a child's mind since man landed on the moon.

A good example is that teenagers, and even some adults in fact, think that a break up or a simple divorce could solve the problems encountered in love and relationships. This sort of logic and mindset had been instilled mainly due to the drama serials on TV, where the unhappy housewife discovers her husband's affair and goes half demanding half crying "I want a divorce." The most affected audience of such irresponsible presentation are the little kids. However, it is still the sole duty and responsibility of parents to guide their young. Maybe the television that we buy from our electronics mart should come tagged with the big red "PG"(parental guidance) on it, just like the movies.

Well, the point is, do not let the surroundings easily influence your thinking. Yes, this may be a part of the tedious process called "Growing Up" but its good to know if you have yet to realise this yet. The media might not be right for all things, except for the news which is informative. Subjects such as relationships, love, and things of sort should be discussed or be inquired from qualified personnel like parents or your teacher maybe.

My couch potato friend votes the television as the top 5 inventions of mankind. For me, it would be the bottom 5.

I miss the radio days.


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