Undermining of Teenagers By The Media

Every year the media posts multiple stories about ‘youths’. Their stories dominate the headlines: how they lack the respect and manners that past generations had, how they are forever out on the street vandalizing property, how they spend their time binge drinking and mugging old ladies.

This stereotype has taken over and can be a big problem for teens today. In our multicultural society, It would never be okay to scowl at somebody who was gay or black, but for some reason the judgment of teens is completely acceptable. The media portrays teens as highly disruptive and dangerous, yet if we look at actual statistics adults commit far more crimes a year then teens. Adults are much more commonly found being drunk and disruptive on a Friday night so surely it is unfair that teens have to travel with this stigmas surrounding them. In reality, youth crime rates have dropped between 1993 and 2001 and Britain has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, so older generations criticisms of, ‘in my day we NEVER would have done this’ are completely false.

How many times have you had an elderly person shoot you a dirty look for playing your music just a little too loudly on the tube? How many times has a shop assistant neglected to give you help because they are too busy dealing with ‘proper customers’? These scenarios happen everyday, not even just from people we don’t know, we are swallowed up in them. As a teenager myself, I feel constantly frustrated at how adults judge my friends and I as we walk down the street. Just because some teenagers stir trouble, doesn’t mean all of us should be grouped in the same bag. Instead of highlighting the bad teens the media should reflect the outstanding work that a lot of teens do. Young people are ten times more likely to be voluntary in the community then committing offences, and unless the media show positive propaganda like this, older people are going to continue to prejudge teenagers.

Not only does the media play on teenagers being disruptive, the law does too. I have often played witness to policeman asking groups of teenagers to move along when they are on the street, despite them being completely sober, not smoking or causing trouble in any way. It is often simply because they may be wearing hoodies. Policeman shouldn’t be allowed to generalize like this. WE are the generation of the future, WE are the people who will have to deal with major issues like global warming, left behind from past generations, so WE need to be given respect.

We can’t do anything right. Teenagers today do better in their GCSE’s then past generations did in their exams, but this is because their exams were harder right? Anything good we do seems to have an excuse, and people are ignorant towards the fact that the youth of the day are going to be the faces of the future.

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