Teens lost in reality TV parallel universe

I saw this interesting article today and after reading some of your writing I know the topic interests you. Here’s a little:

Teens are blurring real life with reality TV – modelling their behaviour on the stars of shows like Jersey Shore and The Hills.

A survey recently published in The Guardian newspaper found 82 per cent of young British adults believed celebrity culture had created “unachievable role models” that damaged their self-esteem.

The article said youths were caught between imitating risk-it-all, high-flying lifestyles which got contestants on to fame-enhancing shows like Big Brother and the reality of finding a job and paying rent.

And in New Zealand, a report by top scientist Sir Peter Gluckman said the “essential” controlling and guiding role of parents, teachers and community organisations was increasingly being replaced by celebrity culture and peer groups. That change had a “significant influence” on adolescent behaviour.

“The celebrity culture, which is unabashedly marketed to adolescents, creates role models and heroes out of behaviours which are particularly risky for young people with immature impulse control,” Sir Peter said in his May report.

The fact an increasing number of Kiwi teens couldn’t find work to fund the lifestyles portrayed in the reality TV shows was ironic, said Massey University sociology professor Paul Spoonly.

“There is a universal problem, there’s a lack of employment for late teens, early 20s,” Spoonly said.

In the past seven years, the level of “discouraged” young workers had risen to a point that many don’t see themselves as getting paid employment, he said.

Read the rest here.


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