Guid Essay

Guid Essay

How Modern Culture is Changing Childhood – Free Essay Example


As the generations evolve the culture of people change as well. Many people believe that the people of today should learn to be intellectual and that this is necessary to be taught from the young ages for a child to able to adapt to the changing environments. Often this consumes a child preventing them from exploring their true qualities and attributes. Instead of playing outside, verbally and physically communicating with friends, relaxing, pursuing their hobbies and being creative they get addicted to learning how to use the constantly developing technology or get caught up trying to alter themselves to be able to fit in with the multiple requirements of society. Recently, this issue has become of grave importance as it has great impact on a child as they easily get influenced by the standards set by society, the increasing difficulty of education, advancements in technology and the various health issues caused by them. This has technological, psychological and social impact which have been determined through the studies done based on children and technology, a few debate sites, articles and blogs. Variations in the results describe that many people understand that technology and society’s expectations are preventing a child from being a child but still allows a child to continue being another zombie of this world.

Modern Culture

Culture is the specific patterns of attitudes, behaviors, beliefs and values that are shared by people of a society. Culture changes as the years pass, impacting the values and behaviors of different people in many different ways for it to be suitable towards the new culture and advancements of the world. In particular these alterations have huge impacts on the children of those specified groups or societies because they are compelled to follow certain principles to keep up with the needs of our rapidly developing world.

Frequently children are pressurized by the set morals and are demanded to act, dress, and possess certain qualities thus allowing them to make assumptions that it is obligatory for them to accept to be able to belong. Technology demonstrates these ‘social requirements’ to adolescents and children, increasing chances to additional problems related to mental and physical health. This report discusses few of numerous factors that are considered to have an influence on youth like, the technological, psychological and social impacts.

One argument is the introduction of fast food restaurants and other ‘junk’ food places that have increased over the years and this does not exactly have the most positive impact on the youth because of their dependence on it. Besides the negative experiences developed on food preferences at early ages, parents eating habits also influence a child’s eating interests. Forcing children to eat foods they do not like discourages them from eating, this is mostly a problem when concerning fruits and vegetables. As most parents, nowadays, do not have the time or energy to pressure their children to eat the right types of food they then rely on the alternative options which are fast foods.

In this case, a child’s health is at risk as excess intake of fast food could result in childhood obesity. A report states the global changes of obesity between the years 1975 and 2016,“Global age-standardized prevalence of obesity increased from 0·7% in 1975 to 5·6% in 2016 in girls, and from 0·9% in 1975 to 7·8% in 2016 in boys; the prevalence of moderate and severe underweight decreased from 9·2% in 1975 to 8·4% in 2016 in girls and from 14·8% in 1975 to 12·4% in 2016 in boys.” (Lancet 2017; Vol. 390: p.2627). This drastic change affects the child’s life at early stages and may make it difficult to alter in the future.

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Technological Impacts

Technology is deliberated to have extreme impact on childhood, according to one source, “As of September 2009, 93% of American teens between the ages of 12 and 17 went online, a number that has remained stable since November 2006” and “Among adolescents, both boys and girls are equally likely to go online, but younger teens remain slightly less likely to go online than older teens. Fully 95% of teens ages 14-17 go online compared with 88% of teens ages 12-13.Most of the variance among younger teens is accounted for by 12 year olds, of whom 83% go online compared to 92% of 13 year olds.” (Lenhart, 2010, p.5).

As they grow up with devices they are becoming more dependent on how it makes life easier, faster and more efficient hence making them lazier and stupider. In addition to that, most of them are demanding for the latest, most high-tech gadgets which are being misused. Media plays a massive part in the life of children and no doubt is a handy tool for giving better access to information online and other activities, numerous sites display inappropriate advertisements that are neither suitable for children or teenagers to view. “Internet that should be used to search or access information is even used to access porn sites. Roy Suryo Notodiprojo revealed that of 24.5 million internet users about 54% aged 15-20 years and more than 90% of them ever entered porn sites.” (IICET, 2018, p.45), this article expresses that our youth uses their media for other, non-educational purposes then who is to say that the younger ones will not accidently stumble upon these site and be able to have full access to them as well.

Leading the innocent minds of our young ones to the increasing corruptions of this century through cyber bullying, lack of communication skills, social out casting and not being able find one true self. Social media is not only the cause, but also other media like, television shows, movies and video games. Video and computer games are another factor that is greatly influencing the youth, countless are affected by the violence behind them and are enacting it out among their friends and family.

As some parents are afraid to send their children out to play, because of the possibility of dangers to child, video games are the best alternative to keep their child occupied so they rather play video games indoors which are equally as entertaining. Therefore making communicating and playing games face to face seem less appealing to youngsters. “More than 90% of U.S. children play some kind of video games; when considering only adolescents ages 12 – 17, figure rises to 97%.” (Lenhart, 2008).

Television is also an issue that needs to be considered — as a source states—“because the number of violent acts a child may see, there is a result of the mental problem called “copycat phenomenon”. Copycat Phenomenon defines as imitating or copying the act or behavior of a person from a particular show.” (Sparks, 2013, p.92). A child does not understand that copying what they show on T.V. is not always appropriate and can be hazardous, yes, parents can be blamed to some extent but they are not continuously around to know what their child doing.

There are some senseless shows that are being produced for children that are drawing them in and getting them addicted from the ages of 3. One doctor quotes that, “We have a lot of 2-year-olds using tablets now, and I see 3- and 4-year-olds that are already addicted.” – Dr. Fran Walfish, a Los Angeles-based child and family psychotherapist.

Media has a role in this as well as it is a cause of problems children face, for example, influencing them to believe that they will not be accepted into society unless they have the required looks and qualities. Thus making them insecure about their lifestyle, especially if they are unable to obtain those “qualities”. These demands made by society increases depression and several other psychological problem that have children giving up on their life, in order to be free from this stress.

Psychological Impacts

Technology has a great impact on our children and adolescents and it comes with great dangers that result in psychological issues like depression, anger, eating problems, personality disorders, loneliness, anxiety, etc. These are not necessarily always caused in children but is enforced on my parents as they constantly want their child to strive for perfection, most of the times this leads to depression and according to the Journal of Education and Practice (Vol.7, No.24, 2016):

“It was reported that 2.8 million American adolescents who are between ages of 12 to 17 have gone through at least one major depressive episode in 2014. This was the 11.4% of the total population of age of 12-17 adolescents. In recent years, these numbers have been going up regularly (Abuse, 2014). Depression has been seen among Turkish adolescents as well. A study conducted by Eskin et al. (2008) has shown that among high school students, 61.5% of the participants were having mental health problems. In other research, Toros et al. (2005) conducted a study with the students aged between 10 and 20; findings revealed that 12.5% of the participants had high levels of depression.”

Mental stress on children builds up small levels of sorrow inside them, making them feel like shutting everyone off. Definitely this makes them feel lonely and unwanted as they create unnecessary scenarios, specifically for children, as they are innocent and simple minded they get influenced quite easily. Besides loneliness, children fear leaving their houses or involving themselves socially with others because of anxiety and the thought of being judged or watched therefore automatically reducing their interpersonal skills and get anxious when they are unable to avoid rough situations.

Social Impacts

Spreading of culture has become simpler after the arrival of social media which has also allowed the penetration of pop culture into society. One aspect of the negative influences of pop culture on the youth is that they have the tendency to imitate others like, friends or people who inspire them and unintentionally they act wrongly. Most of the time this leads to them to commit small crimes or getting addicted to smoking or drugs. Being youngsters they do not understand that their mistakes can cause severe damages and if they understand they simply believe it is ‘cool’ or the new trend.

Another aspect is that most get so engrossed into these fictional universes that they are no longer able to distinguish between reality and fiction. Children are likely to get delusional and try to implement what they see on T.V in real life, this adds to their already vivid imaginations and could lead to them harming themselves or others. Furthermore, pop culture can cause serious psychological repercussions, especially on young children, when they have to witness the depiction of gore, violence, and bloodshed. It can be discouraging towards those who are intelligence and those who are not as well as discriminating towards race, religion, color, size, etc.

Peer pressure is one more factor that affects a child, as they could be forced to something unpleasant. Most of the times the child being bullied is weaker than the others and cannot always defend themselves, this builds up psychological problems that cause the child to be intimidated and panic around those bigger in size or stronger. The current generation has introduced bulling in a new form; through the internet, cyberbullying is described by researchers as “aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend himself or herself.”(Smith, Principles of Cyberbullying Research, p.26).

Cyberbullying alters a child’s life in various ways as it includes photos, videos or messages that are meant to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person’s weaknesses. In many situation, the sender tone cannot be deciphered through messages and a joke could accidentally hurt another’s feelings, implying them being cyberbullies. “About 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out 10 say it has happened more than once.” Catastrophic impacts occur from such acts, particularly for young adults as they feel embarrassed and humiliated to even imagine surviving the next day and take extreme steps to reduce the pain like, self-harm.

Present culture is not all negatives, there are some advantages to the changing culture. There are so many aspects that the older generations would not have imagined doing that take place right now, like communicating with people in different countries has become the easiest possible task thanks to technology advancements. Another is that there are a huge range of educational opportunities found online for children and teenagers, furthermore children currently do not have to waste their times researching through libraries or book to write a report but just with a few click can access loads of information within seconds. Other than technological benefits youngster are taught that life is more than just studying and playing, they are made into intellectual individuals as they are taught to do several things in school and with the world examples set by others. These are just a few points to the positive features of our modern culture nevertheless it has corrupted the children in unimaginable ways and who know what the other possibilities of harm are there.

In conclusion, culture plays great role in varying a child’s youth, it affects their psychological and physical health. Not only with technology but the demands of the society as well. As they are obligated to do certain tasks to belong and this creates uncertainty. Media also gives false images to children and damages the way the think. Therefore, it is definite that culture does greatly impact the youth although it can be controlled and in some situations parents can put certain restriction from earlier ages that allow children to have moments to themselves where they can discover their true self apart from the social life. They can encourage children to participate in activities like singing, dancing, music, art, sports, cooking and reading. The change can only be made by them.


  1. Lenhart, A., Purcell, K., Smith, A., Zickuhr, K. (2010). Social Media & Internet Usage among Teens and Young Adults, Pew Internet & American Life Project, Washington, D.C.
  2. Lenhart, A., Kahne, J., Middaugh, E., MacGill, A., Evans, C., & Vitak, J. (2008). Teens, videogames and civics.Washington, D.C.: Pew Internet & American Life Project.
  3. Eskin, M., Ertekin, K., Harlak, H., & Dereboy, Ç. (2008). Prevalence of and factors related to depression in high school students. Turkish Psychiatry Journal, 19(4), 382-389
  4. Toros, F., Bilgin, N. G., Bugdayci, R., Sasmaz, T., Kurt, O., & Camdeviren, H. (2004). Prevalence of depression as measured by the CBDI in a predominantly adolescent school population in Turkey. European Psychiatry, 19(5), 264-271.
  5. Abuse, S. (2014). Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA). Results from the 2012 national survey on drug use and health: Summary of national findings. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2013. NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13–4795. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  6. Sparks, G. G. (2013). Media Effects Research 4th Edition, Boston, MA: Wadsworth-Cengage Learning.
  7. Smith PK, Del Barrio C, Tokunaga RS. Principles of Cyberbullying Research: Definitions, Measures, and Methodology. NYork/Londres: Routledge; 2013. Definitions of bullying and cyberbullying: How useful are the terms; pp. 26–40.
  8. Lancet 2017; 390: 2627–42 Published Online October 10, 2017 S0140-6736(17)32129-3
  9. “Cyber Bullying: Statistics and Tips.’ i-SAFE Inc. Accessed February 10, 2014,

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