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Elizabeth Heidt

Professor Malcolm Campbell
English 1103
02/07/15
Medias Affect on Relationships
Introduction/Overview
Since the beginning of time communication, media, and technology have changed.
Although we have made great advances, is every advancement for the best? Are changes
based off of influence? If so, what influenced these differences over time? I believe media,
such as movies, and technology, such as cellphone apps, have influenced society the greatest
over the years. There are not many who would disagree about whether or not things have
changed, but there are disagreements about whether or not these changes are good, and
what caused the changes. The important question is, has media and technology affected relationships? Clearly, it has affected style, attitudes, education, and many other things, but
what about the way humans view each other romantically? I believe one of the biggest effects of the media, is its effect on male and female relationships. I will be examining the differences of relationships over time trying to see if the media has played a role in the
changes of them.
Initial Inquiry Question(s)
There are many questions that I am trying to find answers to. Why does love seem
different than it used to be? Why have most people in college hooked up before a first date?

Does social media effect the way we view each other? Does media influence or raise the standards of how our relationships or sex lives should be?

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According to The Office of Adolescent Health, “Between 2006 and 2008, 14 percent
of female adolescents and 25 percent of male adolescents had sex for the first time with
someone they had just met or with whom they were ‘just friends’”. Currently, at UNC Char-

lotte, eight out of ten students asked, admitted to having hooked up with someone the night or
day they met them. This number is not surprisingly, but would be to someone who grew up before the past few decades. I`m trying to discover how much of the media is to blame for this.
Why are people more used to hookups rather than relationships? When I listen to love stories in
the past they are incredibly different from the stories of today. People met in person, not with
dating apps like Tinder, they asked each other on dates in person, not over text, or they had dinner with their families. Now days, many people are dating before they have met each others families. I interviewed many people around the UNC Charlottes campus. Surprisingly, I learned
many people have had multiple intimate partners before actually being in a relationship. This is
coming from real students, not possibly fake polls online. I am aware that things have not always
been this way. Of course, there has always been a few people like this, but now it seems the majority of people are preferring hookups and fun, rather than a committed relationship.
A lot of females say they have noticed changes in effort when it comes to dating. How
has the media played a role in that? Well social media makes dates less personal, asking people
on dates over the phone instead of talking about things in person. I asked people around the UNC
Charlotte campus if they prefer to be asked out in person, mostly all replied yes, but are accept-

ing of being asked out online. A student said, “I would love to be asked out in person, but I do
not expect it to happen that way”. An online source called, Connect Safely, said “The most
common way relationships begin and end is texting: 77% of the teen respondents chose texting
as one of the top two ways relationships begin; 82% chose texting as one of the top two ways
relationships end”. It is easier for people to talk online because they can say what they want and
don't have to put themselves in uncomfortable situations. Also texting creates laziness in relationships. Instead of saying I love you it can be spelled like luv, lav, or even sent with an emoji.
It may seem cute this way, but it is less meaningful. The changing of the word love is lazy and
less personal. Also, things are easily misinterpreted over text and can lead to silly fights, uncomfortable situations, or misunderstanding of feelings.
I used a lot of blogs and personal research for my paper. I interviewed willing students around
the UNC Charlotte campus because I wanted their personal views and opinions as well and online research. There is a lot of information on my topic. Researching this topic is very beneficial,
but hearing the stories of people face to face puts everything in a whole new perspective. One
website I used a lot was The Office of Adolescent Heath. I simply looked up sexual behavior in
children and this website came up. I liked it because it mentioned media as a reason for the spike
in sexual behavior. I learned a lot through my research. For example, I didn't know that between
1998 and 2005 sexual scenes on the television nearly double. It was interesting to listen to peoples stories and hear their opinions. Originally I wanted to talk about how media has changed
morals, but the more I researched things I decided to focus it on relationships.
I appreciate this topic because it is one people can agree with or disagree with. The majority agree that the media has changed relationships for the worse, but many would say they like

the changes. Some say media makes it easy to flirt and help people talk who are shy. I agree that
media has both positive and negative effects. I believe the media is mostly a negative influence,
but has some perks. According to CNN`s webpage, The Upside Of Selfies: Social Media Isn't All
Bad for Kids, one in five teens say social media makes them feel confident, media helps keep
friendships lively. Media doesn't seem to positively effect relationships, but can have positive
effects. One positive thing about movies, is that people can get good romantic ideas from movies
for dates.
I chose my topic for many reasons. There is a lot of information about it so the research was not very hard, I am very passionate about this topic because it is something effects me, and because I have noticed the changes and have always been curious in what
caused the changes. I have observed the vast differences in people who grew up more sheltered from explicit content versus people who have been subjected to it early on. People
who were shielded from sexual content at a young age tend to mature faster and have more
respect for people. I really enjoyed writing about this topic because I am getting to discover
the reasons for the complications of relationships and answering questions I have had for
years. The media is effecting the world I am living in, its effecting me, everyone around me,
and the relationships my friends, family, and I are enduring.
In conclusion, it seems pretty clear to me that relationships are being greatly influenced by todays media and technology advances. Movies are effecting how we view relationships, porn is effecting how our brains develop and view each other, and social media
apps are effecting how we communicate with our potential partners. Personally I believe
people are being selfish, they can not handle only having one partner when there are so

many to chose from, I believe porn has a huge role in that. A lot of people are not mature
enough to handle relationships because they are being falsely educated by the media. NCBI
is a website for The US National Library of Medicine and National Institutions of Health.
They have preformed experiments, conducted polls, and researched the media. Through
their research they came up with an answer for why people are changing. They said, “Adolescents in the United States are engaging in sexual activity at early ages and with multiple
partners. The mass media have been shown to affect a broad range of adolescent health-related attitudes and behaviors including violence, eating disorders, and tobacco and alcohol
use. One largely unexplored factor that may contribute to adolescents' sexual activity is
their exposure to mass media”. Relationships are being changed due to the influence of the
media whether relationships are romantically altered, problems with trust, perspective of
what we deserve in a relationships is changed, or our actions with partners outside relationships all of the changes over time to these categories is due to the media. Because the
media is brainwashing people at a young age to have different perspectives about love, sex,
and relationships, than how they used to be in the past. Most changes are good, but not all
changes are for the best.

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