How does the media influence adolescents?

Anthony Golden

The influence of the media on adolescents It has been the center of debate among experts for a long time, and there is a diversity of research on the effects that they can cause in this population group in their behavior, psychological development, socialization processes and in many other areas of their life.

The media are instruments or forms of content by which the communication process between people is carried out on a mass level. They are in permanent evolution since their inception, when writing appeared, and in each phase of its development it has impacted in one way or another on society..

Direct or “face-to-face” communication has been displaced. Source: Pixabay

Controversies are never lacking every time a new means of interpersonal or mass communication arises, but what there is no doubt is that their evolution is an essential factor in the globalization process that we are experiencing..

The experts present divided positions regarding the impact of the media, assigning positive or negative consequences in society and especially in the most influential or vulnerable populations, such as children and adolescents..

Article index

  • 1 Personal relationships
  • 2 Identity
  • 3 Education
  • 4 Health
  • 5 References  

Personal relationships

Various authors consider that we are in the middle of the culture of interaction, which is manifested through the use of new media as a tool for socialization, work and fun.

This culture of interaction has turned new technologies into a socializing and shaping element of social relations, since they are the ones that concentrate leisure, entertainment and relationship activities with their peers. Although social relationships tend to expand, they also have other characteristics.

The main one is that there is no direct or “face-to-face” relationship, which can occur in an effective synchronous and asynchronous way, detached from a physical location, immediately and with increasingly simple and economical terminals..

It is essential that parents and representatives are trained in the proper use of the media, as well as narrowing the digital divide that usually separates them from their teenage children. Only in this way could proper management and the great benefits brought by the media and new technologies in general be guaranteed..


The identity of the adolescent is configured between visibility, reputation and virtual privacy. Source: Pixabay

Taking into consideration adolescence as a fundamental stage for the discovery of one's own identity, it is worth highlighting the role that the media are playing and how they influence this process.

In principle, it is considered that the identity of the adolescent is made up of a negotiation process in which there is an approach or identification, as well as a distancing or opposition of the content that he consumes from the media.

The way in which the identity of the adolescent is configured today is totally different from previous times, since it is impacted in all its areas by a series of media where the private space, the intimate and the public converge.

However, the more moderate specialists consider that the young man builds his identity with direct and mediated experience. In it, the most influential content is usually television series, television series, talk show, films and novels, but also social networks play a key role.

Through them they connect with their peers, compare, identify or differentiate themselves. It is the same with their role models, the celebrities or influencers of the moment.

This context allows both anonymity and the formation of multiple digital identities or even different ones from real life (offline). The conformation of the identity of the adolescent will be determined by the ability to manage the visibility, reputation and privacy of the virtual world, as well as the interaction with others and the management of privacy.


The media, especially the so-called ICTs, provide spaces and opportunities for cooperation and participation, which implies cooperative learning. They can improve coexistence and teamwork in adolescence.

In addition, it has been shown that the main reason for parents to buy a computer and provide their children with an Internet connection is the educational benefit.

Despite the great opportunity of access to knowledge offered by the new media, especially the Internet, it has been determined that the majority of young people use the computer and the Internet to play games, chat with friends, download music and movies. That is, for fun or entertainment.

The studies that have been carried out on television are varied and that can be extrapolated to other media such as the computer, Internet access, use of mobile phones and video game consoles..

The time of excessive use of this audiovisual communication medium has been associated with a greater dropout from studies, obtaining worse grades. All these means can create dependency, lead to school failure, behavior and attention disorders, difficulty when reflecting.

What many authors agree on is the need to train teachers in the field of new technologies so that they can obtain all the advantages they offer, among which motivation, time savings, and ease of explanation stand out. , the practicality of the classes and the active participation of the students.


It is no secret that one of the main concerns that the media has raised in the field of health is the possibility of addictive behaviors. Especially in the case of the Internet and mobile phones.

However, its use should not be considered to directly produce an addictive relationship, since there are various factors involved, such as personal maturity, character of the adolescent, as well as inappropriate or moderate use. Internet addiction is frequently related to online games or virtual sex.

Psychology experts clarify that frequency does not necessarily determine addictive behavior. The determining factor is the loss of control of the person, that is, that he continues with that behavior despite the negative consequences that it entails, such as isolation or health problems.

Another sign of addiction is the dependency relationship, which implies an intense obsession with the environment, lack of interest in other activities and even withdrawal symptoms.


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