The American Dream

August 1, 2011
By , Raleigh, NC
How Television reinforces American Ideals and the Weakness it has on teens

Have you ever wondered where the idea of the American dream came from? Let’s start by understanding what the American Dream really means. The American Dream is the idea that anyone can be successful through hard work, dedication and making sacrifices, regardless of social status and ethnicity. This is displayed in T.V. shows and magazines. Unfortunately, just about everything teens view on television is glamorized.

The original idea of the American Dream is the most reliable path to follow to achieve your goals. If you look at it from a teen’s point of view, it’s the idea that you have to be good looking, talented athlete and or smart and you will succeed in life. You may wonder why some teens believe it’s all about athleticism or looks that will help them succeed in life. Well it comes from the T.V.

As a kid you may remember when your parents have told you that watching too much TV can rot your brain. In a sense this is true because your views on what you want to be in life are either influenced by your parents or what you see on TV. With the number of teens watching TV rise in popularity, it’s safe to say most teens are influenced by what they watch on television. The American Dream can now be interpreted in many ways compared to what it was when the idea first came about. An example would be the idea of living the life as a famous rapper, writing lyrics, doing advertisements and living in a mansion. Another example, teens think the life of a famous actor is easy job. They believe all they have to do is perform their parts in the movie or play and then they can just sit back and watch the money roll in. Teens do not realize there are sacrifices to achieving a goal. For the famous people, they lose their privacy in because of the paparazzi. For athletes, deciding to go pro early on and sacrificing can risky if you don’t get drafted.

TV shows in general do not show the sacrifices people make to achieve their goals in life. This hurts teenagers because they won’t be aware of the risks and sacrifices they have to take in order to achieve their goal. Parents need to be more involved in what their son or daughters career goals are otherwise, they may be on a path they will regret in the future.

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