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Our Corrupted Generation

What do you hear hear when you turn on the radio or put a CD in a player? What do you see when you turn on the television, pop in a DVD, or Blue-ray disc? What do you read when you turn the pages of a magazine, or scroll down web pages? What do you hear when you listen to the way your peers talk?
Most kids may not think much of it, but our way of life as teens seems to be prophesied for us by something known as the Media. TV shows or songs say that sex is great and you'll have kids doing it. Television shows and movies glamorize drug use and you'll see kids lighting up joints in-between classes. Songs rap, scream, or dare I say, actually sing violent lyrics out and the listeners start to feel more aggressive.
And who can forget the commonly used f word that we hear both from the speakers of electrical devices and human lips? Is that as high as our teenage vocabulary is? Have we never heard of verbs, adverbs, adjectives before? I always thought that was why we have an English class every school year.
Am I making any of this up? No, these things are all placed out there first and then they come true through the actions of people. Now, I'm not saying that things were going great before everything seemed to be about sex, drugs, violence, drinking, but what I am saying is that in our day and age kids are making less and less decisions from their conscience and instead look at the Media to see what is considered cool. The Media is a powerful force rather we choose to believe that or not. It can be used to promote good behaviors, but more often than not it is used to advertise things such as alcohol and how it makes you look gorgeous and popular. Hm, I wonder why they don't show any people with beer bellies or alcohol related car accidents in those ads.
I'm assuming most of you know who the moron known as Lil Wayne is. I'm also assuming you know the ridiculously stupid song "Lollipop" is. And it's things like that that make kids curious on these things.
Let get one thing out here about how a lot of guys view life as a teen. There's this thing spreading around that a guy is to go out there and get laid as much as possible before he becomes a full fledged adult. At which point he is probably married and has to stay with his wife for the rest of his life, (Assuming they take commitment seriously, which by the way they were as kids probably means they don't). And if a guy doesn't have sex that makes him a loser. This is more or less true at my school.
I am an eighteen year old male and have NOT had sex. If I were to say that to the kids that I sit with at lunch I'd be laughed out of the cafeteria. What does that tell you about our teen peers? To give you an idea of how bad things are in my school let me tell you that the county that it is in has the highest percentage of both pregnancies and STDs of any county in Texas. And Texas is the biggest of the connected states! I'm not sure if it still is, but if you are curious the county is Kaufman county.
Sadly that is not the only thing that the kids at my school are confused about. Drug use is also a serious problem. Several times I have walked down outside stair Trails and seen kids smoking pot. It's acridly sour, yet sweet smell is hard to forget once you get a big whiff of it. More than once I have been offered to try it. I have always declined and was unafraid to tell them how bad it is for their health. As of now I have only gotten one kid to stop smoking. The feeling of seeing someone become clean is amazing. It's still sad seeing our fellow teens smoking or doing worse kinds of drugs.
When I asked the kid who had stopped smoking how he had become addicted to drugs in the first place he said it was after only smoking once. So to everybody out there the saying, "It only takes one time" is not a lie it is a truth that is too often ignored as kids try to satisfy their curiosity. Or more tragically to be used as a means to get over their troubled feelings. Or perhaps to get acceptance in our degrading youth generation.
Don't get me wrong I am not saying that denying every wrong that the Media bombards us with will make our lives easier. I can tell you from my perspective that it can make for a very lonely life. In my school my morals have made me somewhat of a weirdo. I could count my friends with one hand, and I'd have to fold every finger making my hand a fist if I were to number only friends who would consider me close and invite me out with them. Although I'd probably decline all invites to a party. I have no desire to experience what goes on when teen drinking is at it's worst. Heck, I've never even had a girlfriend for pretty much the same reason. So many girls are moral-less and just as much aggressors as the guys. At least that's how it is at my school. And I have no desire to be with that kind of girl.
But what you can count on is that those people will look back in the future and wish they had made better choices when they young. It never ceases to amaze me how many poor teenagers could not find any constructive ways to get over not being accepted in a vile society that values misconduct in favor of knowledge. Kids in our generation grow up so fast, and yet they stay as stubborn if not more so than before.
Just recently I have put all my free time of lonely nights into writing time. And not just any writing, considering that I have all the time in the world available to me I have used that time to make a novel. I've written so much that it has had to be trimmed down in length.
But writing solo comes with a drawback. Feedback is all but unheard of. Parents are busy, siblings are either too young or have moved out, kids in school don't like to read, teachers are too busy or just don't care about reading kids work that isn't going into the grade book.
But I don't let any of that lower my spirits. I write on, no matter the barriers set by the limits. Remember my fellow teens, you are strong. You are not robotic drones that have to do what the Media motherboard says to do. You can tune out all the wrong that is constantly bombarded at us like an attack on our way of thinking. And you can make a difference. Standing up to the beast that is the Media is not a futile effort.
We are not taking a knife to a gunfight, but a pen. And a pen is not only mightier than a sword, but even the lead belching dragon. Treaties have ended bloody never ending gunfights. So why can it not at least lower the amount of influence that the Media has on our youth?
Because lets face it, are we expected to be the digitally altered perfect models we see in magazines? That's not even realistic and yet those things make it into print and distrubuted. How many eating disorders have been linked to negative body images brought upon by unrealistic images of too perfect bodies? That goes for both girls and boys. The Media is no longer just harmless entertainment like it once was. It is a dangerous teacher that kids pay more attention to then their school teacher giving that English or Science lesson.
So the next time you turn on that radio, television, movie player stop and realize that what is saying does not just disappear. It does affect our way of thinking. The effects may not always be instantaneous but they can build up inside us little by little. Not everyone is gifted with the ability to not be swayed by these things. Even I who have seen and heard some of the worst that is has to offer and never been altered by it have found it sometimes difficult to keep my thoughts within my standards.
So whatever you do should it be unavoidable that you not be exposed to the ever increasing number of bad influences around us, remember who you are. You are not expected to be like that singer singing about that highly suggestive topic. You are free to make your own choices. The right ones.



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1two3Kelsey said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 11:16 pm
This is absolutely amazing. You don't realize how much truth you are speaking through this thousand word essay. I loved the little bit where you said, "Parents are busy, siblings are either too young or have moved out, kids in school don't like to read, teachers are too busy or just don't care about reading kids work that isn't going into the grade book. But I don't let any of that lower my spirits. I write on, no matter the barriers set by the limits." I belie... (more »)
 
WriterA.M. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm
Wow, thanks for the comments guys. I haven't been on in a while, and I was very happy to see them. My computer was recently infected by a virus. It was absolutely terrible.
Hm, funny, I've been as a healthy as a horse during this winter and my computer is the one who became sick. In a sense.
 
1two3Kelsey replied...
Feb. 27, 2010 at 12:22 am
Sorry about your computer :( haha and your welcome.
 
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