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The world of international communication has evolved quickly in the recent years. Following the World War II, global communication was subjugated by the tensions cropping up from the Cold War, affecting the United States and its affiliates. International communication refers to as the artistic, economic, political, social, and technical analysis of communication and media patterns and effects across and between countries. International communication focuses more on global aspects of media and interaction systems and know-how and consequently, less on local or even national aspects or issues. Since the 1990s, this worldwide focus through which communication is viewed and evaluated has been influenced by two activities. The primary event is the end of the Cold War and the comprehensive changes it has brought which also includes political effects. The second factor is increasing international interdependence of different nation economies and cultures. In this regard, global communication has become an important tool not only for governments and businesses but also for adolescents and youth. Social networking websites, global television, MTV, music videos and other global communication tools have recently proved to be popular amongst the youth; this has highly influenced the way adolescents relate with their peers, parents, and teachers and influenced their views in life (Jamieson and Romer 50).
Adolescents are expected to cope with irresistible intricacies of normative developmental changes and inconsistent social demands. In a bid to try and play their part regarding these expectations, adolescents are trying their best to get themselves informed. The use of social media has gotten a greater grip among adolescents as they embrace the chatty nature of interactive media. However, general anxiety exists among the public, community, education institutions and educators that online social communication may expose the adolescents to great risks than benefits. With a variety of modes of communications inherent in the digital media, a deep understanding of the social and cognitive development and interaction characteristics of adolescent as they use global communication tools is vital to elucidate if indeed digital media is detrimental to their advancement.
Most of the literature on peer relationships and composition of youth groups reproduces a past era when face-to-face communication were the fashionable focus of concern. Adolescents saw each other mostly at the mall or the movies, driving around with allies, or when spending time with their siblings at home. In the present setting, friendships are more dependent on cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, video games, PDAs and buddy lists. These technological advancements have seen adolescents change a lot in terms of the way they erect and safeguard their relationships with other people. Adolescents are often embattled trying to establish the criteria to use when developing virtual friends with peers from other regions of the globe and from different cultures. Parents are also unsure of the specific supervision criteria they should embark on when controlling cyber dating and online alliances. Albeit most parents view global communication tools such as the internet from a negative point of view as far as their kids are concerned, there is still a lot of positive effects of global communication that remain unutilized. The internet could be connected to school objectives on issues of socialization, interaction and appreciation of cultural diversity. However, during the next twenty years of so to come, adult relationships remain the primary focus when effects of global communication tools are reviewed.
Everyone is aware that global communication technology is universal tool that enhances social interaction. Global communication tools influence the adolescents in a variety of ways: adolescents create manifold personalities on the internet and other communication tools and express themselves via these communication tools. Adolescents feel safer expressing their feelings to search engines such as Google rather than medical doctors or even family members. Although technology presents innovative ways for adolescents to communicate, it also presents numerous hazards and dangers to them. By interacting in cyberspace without watchfulness, private information can be accessed by marauders and others could impose harm or pose a major threat to adolescents.
The ability of adolescents to generate multiple identities especially on the internet adds a new consideration for their social development. While the online identities of many will be comparable to their real life identities, other adolescents will opt to portray themselves in other ways. A fascinating focus to explore social interaction on the internet involves the concept of the ideal self, real self and the perceived self. The ideal self is usually the person that these adolescents in questions desire to be while the real self is usually the person that one is as observed by other people and the perceived self the person that these adolescents think they are. Adolescents who engage themselves in chat rooms can have numerous aliases permitting them to impersonate, try out new roles, and discover what it feels like to act in a different way from their typical regular behavior.
A teenager who is shy, for instance, would wish to be assertive on the internet before integrating the assertive actions during face-to-face interactions. There are adolescents who prefer to present themselves online as less prevailing than they are in person. Both genders claim to have learned relationship skills online. Moreover, adolescents have been known to find out as much as possible about other people’s interests, hobbies, preferences, dislikes and virtues online because of events that do not happen in other circumstances. Adolescents often think that the probability to practice unusual but desired roles is enjoyable.
Instructor should incessantly remind adolescents about the accountability for social interaction and other global communication tools. Adolescents should be aware that anything they do on the internet could be mapped out and therefore, while anonymity maybe felt, it is not a guarantee. A precedence goal should be to harmonize the different notions one chooses to make on other through the internet and other global communication tools with interaction reflecting sincerity along with guarded confidentiality to keep away from sharing sensitive data anyone can see. In this way, falsification does not happen and therefore online selves are integrated with offline circumstances.
A mounting number of teenagers document personal familiarity by recording the events that capture their concentration as well as expressing feelings and understanding. However, unlike the guarded confidentiality cherished by diary writers in preceding generations, many authors now prefer to place their journals in the public sphere of influence. This recording of events frequently appears on websites commonly reefed to as blogs. A blog is an online journal frequently updated with news, opinions, pictures, audio and visual files, and is open to responses from registered visitors or in some sites open to any visitor. An online society is a group that contributes thoughts or concepts and works together as a crowd via electronic global communication tools only. Online groups represent a broad-range of interests that are social, hobby-oriented, specialized, political and religious. Adolescents consider Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, Hi5 and other social networking websites attractive because they present them with opportunities to meet new acquaintances, dialogue with other people of identical interests and encourage postings on subjects of concern.
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By using a blog, anyone can place remarks on a subject matter that they feel is being neglected or is unclear as communicated by local media; many online comments tend to invest much on topic that the common media is unlikely to cover at all cost. Blogs have a meticulous attractiveness to adolescents since this forum allows them to be in charge of how they feel and sample their friend’s view on the same matter.
According to a research carried out by University of Michigan in 2008, social networks are mounting considerably and a majority of users say that they attach to online communities feelings that are commensurate to those they attach to communities existent in their real worlds (Strom and Strom 306). The report also found out that three quarters of them actually used global communication to participate in social issues. Over 90 percent were found out to partake in novel social activities since they started using the internet. This growth of the internet as a global communication tool is opening a range of chances for social connection, participation and interaction that could not have been predictable a few years ago. In addition to the merits of social networks certain disadvantages also deserve consideration. A majority of parents feel uncomfortable about the involvement of their adolescent kids in online communication and other global communication tools such as online video games. Many of these parents are concerned that global communication technology is replacing them with adolescent peers who have become the major resources for their kids.
However, some experts argue that as an alternative for tracing poor judgment to the delayed growth rate in frontal cortex, more attention should be focused on fascination in a peer culture that is interested by cell phones, video games, MTV and the internet (McPhail 224). Many teenagers are in contact with their friends for long hours but lack any important contact with their adult counterparts. Some use up brief periods with their parents and when they do, they are either watching television, using their mobile phones or engaging in other activities. Adolescents have been infantilized by global communication tools and this has practically isolated them from adults and inspired them to interact almost exclusively with their peers.
A potentially influential solution to increase the amount of time that adolescents spend with their relatives is allowing them to join the adult world in as many ways as probable. However, this move requires a different approach of the youth, recognizing their abilities and nurturing their talents. More contact with adults via various global communication tools and gradual increase in responsibility can also be helpful in breaking the peer-driven interaction situation. A route for more equally beneficial relations between adults and adolescents requires sustained contact rather than allowing the internet and other global communication tools to substitute family dialogue. Educators can also be of great significance by developing homework that involves parents and relatives.
A predictable danger arises when adolescents reveal private information or photos online by e-mail or blogs. Most of what has been documented about trialing with multiple identities on the internet has concerned dangers that can occur when people exploit others. For instance, pedophiles log in chat rooms and blogs so s to look out and lure these young adolescents. Another group of users is aimed at telling or selling sexual experiences and sharing pornographic images or videos that are downloadable. In the past, numerous cases have been reported of alleged allurement of pubescent by adults via the web.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation upholds a task force to monitor the internet for criminal behavior and protects the susceptible, particularly minors. The FBI reports uncover that computer sex offenders are mostly specialized middle-class males. The predators multiple identities appear to resemble identifiable character polarities. To protect students, some schools prohibit students from registering in blog sites using school email addresses. The most popular location is MySpace where members can find their friends using details such as location, interests and age. Even though members are supposed to be above fourteen years, young kids are still able to participate in these sites. Some schools offer tutorials for parents concerning ways for them to trust daughters and sons but demonstrate concern for their security. Some of these websites provide scholar journals on issues such as cyber dating, love, drug abuse, birth control and even try to address questions concerning blog hazards and propose methods for dealing with hazards caused by global communication tools.
Prevention of student disclosure to sex offenders should become a main concern for the school administration and parents. There are some websites that display school locations and addresses where sexual criminals live and work. In some cases, a detailed description of the offender including the person’s image and the proximity of the offender to a particular school may be displayed. Albeit some human rights activists insist that such websites infringe the offender’s rights, these websites are usually aimed at alerting students of dangerous offenders.
Considerable alterations are transforming the framework of socialization in adolescence. There is increasing dependence on global communication tools for communicating online with friends and strangers. Blogs enhance these mostly out of school conversations where adolescents are exposed to opinions of other, express their own opinions and emotions, report on their fulfillments and displeasures, disagree on how to resolve worries and identify society needs that are of great concern to them. Preventing predators from being hazardous to the youth that are unaware or oblivious of their vulnerability remains an issue of primary concern to instructors, parents and guardians. Albeit there are numerous complaints about the lack of good manners in use of global communication technology, there is intense dispute that cell phones and the internet have amplified the number of persons listening to adolescents. Conversely, periodic cell calls from teens to check in should not be seen by adults as a substitute for the face to face dialogue needed to discuss issues of concern.
Teachers can directly support vital aspects of social development and acquisition of joint effort by arranging conditions for cooperative education. Cooperative education is an approach to instruction that engages students in groups as a method for them to sturdy course content. This point of reference is rapidly becoming one of the most considerable elements of digital global communication tools by allowing students to enlarge their scope of enquiry beyond what has been achievable while combining their efforts through connecting with others that are poles apart. Students work on one or more tasks in pursuit of jointly understood goals. Besides learning the purposed content, they get a chance to apply team skills that are necessary for the workplace.
With the nonexistence of a good societal value imparting system in the society, music videos have also become the primary teacher for most children, adolescents and even adults in the society. MTV videos have been alleged to have immoral content that advocates for acts like premarital sex, drug and substance abuse, violence, racial discrimination and stereotyped gender roles. Young children and adolescents are said to be the most vulnerable group with regard to MTV videos’ immoral content. To determine whether these allegations are true or false, this proposal reviews and develops a critique of a scholarly article that probes into the relationship between MTV videos and risk of adolescent alcohol use.
In the article “Television and Music Video Exposure and Risk of Adolescent Alcohol Use” Robinson, Chen and Killen carried out a research to establish the effects of portrayal of alcohol use in television and advertising on adolescents (1331). The authors’ hypothesis was that exposure to media depictions of alcohol use is likely to cause augmented drinking among the youth. The methodology was quite specific as they focused solely on links between media coverage and alcohol intake amongst adolescents of six public schools in San Jose, California. These adolescents who were exposed to hours of video games, television and music video were found out to start and continue drinking at probabilities of 36.2%and 50.7% consecutively. However, these relationships were by far momentous for television and music video viewing as compared to playing of computer and video games. These findings influenced the authors’ decision that augmented viewing of television and music videos are indeed risk factors for the commencement of alcohol drinking among adolescents and if alcohol use among adolescents is to be prevented, media opinions on alcohol use have to be checked.
Closely related to this article is “Tobacco and alcohol use behaviors portrayed in music videos: a content analysis” by DuRant, Rome, Rich, Allred, Emans and Woods whereby music videos from five genres were analyzed for tobacco, alcohol and sexual content; this study found out that alcohol and tobacco use were equally prevalent in all the videos with alcohol being more linked to sexuality (54). Durant et al. therefore supports Robinson, Chen and Killen claim that alcohol use is portrayed to a great extent in television and music videos but does not establish a link between its portrayal and its effects (1331).
Robinson, Chen and Killen have used a total of 1533 students in their analysis which can be a satisfactory representative sample of the whole (54). The average age of the individuals used is 14.6 which is also a reasonable age for adolescents. However, this study is limited to adolescents and therefore cannot be sufficient enough to conclude that MTV videos could have the same effects on adults; a thesis that this proposal tries to elucidate. Apart from alcohol use, there are also other effects of MTV videos such as sexuality, gender disparity, gender roles, racial discrimination and premarital sex that this article has not tackled.
Apart from the internet and MTV videos, video games have also become global communication tools amongst the youth. Video games which include an all-inclusive range of electronic digital games played on computers, the internet and handheld devices is raking in billions of cash for many companies. Some adolescents base their relationships with other people on the kind of character portrayed games. According to Jamieson and Romer, research has proved that violent games can lead to increased habituation with gamers becoming less receptive to violence (352). Even in cases where the gamer is not violent, violent games have been proven to instill negative attributes on adolescents such as decreased likelihood of helping violence victims. Through a process of development, heavy gamers begin viewing the real world using the virtual world approach presented to them by games. There is also proof that high degrees of video game play are linked to lowered self-esteem among adolescents.
Global communication is an important tool for progress of global economy and social culture. However, global communication tools such as the internet, global television. MTV music videos and video games have seen adolescent adopt virtues and vices from these communication channels. Despite the fact that global communication is serving as a good channel for adolescents to air their views, this substitution of family relationships with online and virtual relationships is not acceptable. Therefore there is mounting need to save adolescents from the wrong notions and hazards that are inherent in these global communication tools.
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