Adolescents in the Media
Despite a large variety of people who actively use social media as a platform for self-expression, some images and characters are ingrained, and certain ideas are formed about them. One of such categories, which is often described by using specific standardized tricks, is adolescents. When considering their type, it is possible to distinguish several varieties of teenager characters who are often displayed in the media and are easily identified by the regular users of the Internet and television.
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For instance, the image of a troubled adolescent who is unwilling to learn and prefers friends’ company to his family is often presented in various sitcoms and TV shows. In advertisements, on the contrary, it is possible to observe neat and educated teenagers who have fun with their parents. Regarding the Internet, there are different types; however, according to Koutamanis et al., a negative opinion prevails over a positive one, and numerous aggressive comments left by adolescents on social networks prove this argument (486). These images are known to the general public; therefore, most of them are probably realistic. Nevertheless, hyperbolization is certainly present to enhance the effect on the audience.
Presented characters can correspond to real adolescents since the images are hardly taken from nowhere. The differences observed in these teenagers explain various temperaments and interests and based on the analysis of review in the media, it is possible to notice the orientation of images towards certain categories of viewers. For the youth audience, the image of a recalcitrant and stubborn teenager with bad manners is the norm, which is age-appropriate for adolescents.
At the same time, a good upbringing and politeness are those features that adults appreciate, and such characters are designed to influence the older generation. On the whole, the typicality of images exists, and specific groups can be distinguished.
Interview and Observation Discussion
The interview and observation were a good experience for me, and I will be able to use this practice in the future as a basis for analyzing behavioral factors. As the subjects of evaluation, I chose a 7-year-old boy from a good family and a 14-year-old teenager who had some difficulties in communicating with his parents and was in his puberty. The easiest thing to do was to analyze the physical skills of the respondents, and the patterns of normative growth proposed by Steinberg et al. were the convenient means of assessment (182).
The cognitive and emotional characteristics of the two subjects’ development required a deeper study; however, this process was entertaining since both participants were different and demonstrated distinctive skills. Regarding social factors, it was obvious that the adolescent experienced more serious difficulties than the 7-year-old boy, which was due to not only psychological but also physical nuances, for instance, hormonal disruption.
When evaluating the experience of my peers, I can note that all the observations are accurate and interesting enough, which allows taking a fresh look at the process of interaction with the objects of research. Steinberg et al. note that individual differences are the typical feature of all children without exception (183). I drew attention to this factor when I studied the interviews of my peers and could analyze their results.
Such an exchange of experience is a valuable mechanism for obtaining new knowledge through participation in the real research environment and allows personally considering all those aspects of activities that have been studied in theory throughout the semester. Thus, the outcomes of the work conducted to prove that individual involvement in interaction with children helps to receive the most accurate and unbiased data.
Koutamanis, Maria, et al. “Adolescents’ Comments in Social Media: Why Do Adolescents Receive Negative Feedback and Who Is Most at Risk?” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 53, 2015, pp. 486-494.
Steinberg, Laurence, et al. Development: Infancy Through Adolescence. Cengage Learning, 2010.