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Vanished Morals?

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When you watch the news, you see the weather forecast, recent town celebrations, upcoming dates to remember, the kidnapping and death of children, school shootings/stabbings, robberies, murders, and teenage pregnancies. This world has had an extreme shake up since I've been around. So my question is- Where have all the morals of the world's people gone?

While I was growing up, I remember my mom talking about how she used to roam around in her subdivision all day during the summer. Walking around with her friends and not having a care in the world. Now, it's completely opposite. Children can't walk and roam the streets with their friends for the fear of being kidnapped, harmed, or even murdered. Should a child have to worry about such things? A child's top worry should be deciding on what toy they want for Christmas, not watching every move they make to help prevent a terrible outcome. Children now have to grow up too fast. They don't have time to enjoy being a child.

Which brings me to the next topic. Everybody's heard about it on the news and have probably seen it in your school or community. Teenage mothers are seeming to increase in the eyes of the public. While I was at a band concert, I counted at least fifteen teenagers with a baby on their hip. Now, some statistics for you- The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually. 34% of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 -- about 820,000 a year. Eight in ten of these teen pregnancies are unintended and 79% are to unmarried teens. The sons of teen mothers are 13% more likely to end up in prison while teen daughters are 22% more likely to become teen mothers themselves. Teens who have been raised by both parents (biological or adoptive) from birth, have lower probabilities of having sex than youths who grew up in any other family situation. At age 16, 22% of girls from intact families and 44% of other girls have had sex at least once. Similarly, teens from intact, two-parent families are less likely to give birth in their teens than girls from other family backgrounds.

Is that something you want to be when you grow up? A percent in a statistic? Wouldn't you rather be in a club that helps the community, collect food and clothes for the homeless, or maybe work on your grades? There are so many things that teenagers can do if given the chance, so why would you want to pass up an opportunity? Having a baby means you have to wash it, feed it, dress it and let's not forget about all the money that it takes to do so. Having a baby is not like going out to Abercrombie and Fitch and getting the latest tee for $30, it's actually about a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child until they are 18.

The world is excessively dependant on the media. If we're not talking about the latest fashion, we're talking about celebrities and their personal life, movies, and music. Children look up to these celebrities almost as much as their parents. They see their idols in movies looking skinny and beautiful, they hear their idol on the radio with an amazing voice, and they see their idol on billboards and on the internet with a size 0 dress and photoshopped appearance. The girls in the world have so much stress pressed on their shoulders. They think that their appearance can be achieved by skipping meals and working out but what they don't realize is that this appearance, a mirage, is not even real. They are viewing a photoshopped image of this person. Not only are the appearances of these idols fake, but their attitude and actions are becoming more inappropriate. With idols now becoming more and more inappropriate, young tweens are seeing more and as teenagers, they are, in result, doing more.

For example, young Jamie Spears, a Nickelodeon celebrity became pregnant in 2007. Now, if young tweens are watching that show and look up to young Jamie, what do they see on the media? Young Jamie, their idol, pregnant. They're going to think that is what it takes to be like their model and that it is ok. TV glamorizes teen pregnancy and even make shows and movies about teens being pregnant. The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Juno, for example. They both focus on teenage pregnancy. Good or bad, does it really matter? Teenagers are naive enough, why does the media have to contribute to the growing problem of teenage moms?

Don't worry, TV is not the only media source that glamorizes inappropriate behavior. Songs on the radio are even worse than TV. With songs like "Love In This Club", "Bad Girlfriend", "What's Your Fantasy", "Crack A Bottle", "Purple", "Cyclone", "Pop Lock and Drop It", "Future Sex/Love Sound", what is the media of USA teaching these children? That the more you cuss and act inappropriately the more popular you'll be? "Gives You Hell" by the <em>The All American Rejects </em> repeats the phrase "Give you hell" 19 times. Young tweens listen to <em>The All American Rejects</em>, why are they allowed to play such a cuss-word filled song? Let's not forget about Katy Perry's <em>I Kissed A Girl</em>. Not only is this song disturbing in a way, but it sends the young girls a confusing message. If tweens look up to this person as a role model, what are they hearing in Katy's song? A more than enough confusing and inappropriate message.

With singers singing about killing and the TV having so many action movies playing, the reasons for the teenage school shootings are obvious. With the stress that is put on an average high schooler from homework, tests, and quizes and the media glamorizing the action, the shootings are of no surprise to me. With the continuous flow of homework and the need to maintain grade point averages, the stress has gotten to these kids. Children are commiting adult crimes everyday. Killing, lying, cheating, and stealing are just a few examples of what the kids of today witness and sometimes do.

Speaking of what kids today do, here's two words for you: MySpace and Facebook. With the internet connecting everybody to everybody else, the teens and younger children have way too much access to the world and its dangers. What the kids don't understand is what ever you post online, is on there forever! You may remove it from your page, but it's forever in cyberspace. Yeah, I know, you can set your page to friends only or some other setting but come on guys, use your heads! If some nasty pervert is online scoping for children, where do you think they'll go? MYSPACE or FACEBOOK! They click on your name and it shows what city you live in, BAM, they have you. You forget that it's not very hard to find a city and go to it. If you have a picture posted, they can tell what age you're around and pick a school based on that. They sit outside that school and watch what bus you get on or what car you get into and follow it. And there you have it, some nasty pervert that has found you and your family. More statistics for you: A child goes missing every 40 seconds in the U.S, over 2,100 per day. In excess of 800,000 children are reported missing each year. Another 500,000 go missing without ever being reported. Scary huh? Why would you want to increase your chances of becoming part of that statistic?

So, to end up this article, I'd like to challenge everybody that reads this. Go out into the world and help this shaken up world return to normal. Children don't deserve to be cheated out of their childhood, give them a nice environment and some happy memories to remember. Like Gandhi said "Be the change you wish to see in the world". Don't become part of a statistic, and don't support the wrong and inappropriate. Strive to be different and stand out from the crowd. It'll be hard, but the path that is worth taking is not always easy.



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This article has 9 comments. Post your own!

Ben L. said...
Jan. 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm:
I understand what you are saying. Our world seems worse than ever, but please consider these facts before totally buying into the fact that America and the world is void of all morals.
It seems like every time we turn on the news, something bad has just happened. Once again, this does not mean that it’s the only thing happening in the world. There are a lot of positives in our world that the newsroom ignores. Why? Well, news and media is a business and their profit is based off... (more »)
 
Ben L. replied...
Jan. 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm :
I don't know why I said once again in the second sentence of the second paragraph haha.
 
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Persona said...
Dec. 20, 2009 at 4:50 pm:
While I have nothing against what you're asking others to do, I have to ask a question in response to your own. What do you mean by where have they gone? As far as I can tell from history, the "good ol' days" are a myth. The only difference in statistics is that we have a bigger population and more organization. Not really much of a difference in measure of morality.
 
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LH2010 said...
Nov. 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm:
What you said is what I've been thinking. You're right about what this world has become. Sadly, I think that this world will only become worse. As much as I try to do what's right, I know I am one of the few. Glad to know that some are with me.
 
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huntonn said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm:
I agree with most of what was said in this article. It was well written and obviously you did your research. It is true; children in the twenty-first century are missing childhood and are growing up to fast. You said, "34% of young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20..."; this mostly happens because in today's society there are no consequences for a person's actions. To many families are being separated. As a result some children are actin... (more »)
 
smartypantsscorpio22 replied...
Oct. 10, 2009 at 9:41 am :
I completely agree with you. There is so much we could be doing and yet we're wasting so much. We spent 2 billion dollars to crash something into the moon, yet we have starving and homeless people in our country. People just don't care about anybody else anymore. If somebody is pulled over on the road with their blinkers on, nobody pulls over to assist them anymore because you're afriad they'll shoot you. What kind of world are we living in that trust isn't at the top of... (more »)
 
huntonn replied...
Oct. 10, 2009 at 12:24 pm :
I think the space program is neat and that we should contiue with it. But, do we really need to waste so much money on stupid little things? The goverenment spent a couple billion dollars on putting airports in in random places. My parents use to tell me how when they where little they would walk around the city with no one but their friends. We can't do that now because people are afraid that we might be kidnaped. What a wonderful time to be growing up in where you are always fearing f... (more »)
 
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Mz.GoOFY01 said...
Oct. 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm:
Thanks...........i believe n write about wateva comes to think about
 
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Carolina This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm:
Love your article. Love it.
 
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