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Influence of Television on Child Development

Teenagers of this generation are quite familiar with Disney’s High School Musical. It is one of the biggest movies that Disney has made to date. The movie portrays a typical teenage couple who comes from two different high school cliques. Troy, played by Zack Efron, is the team captain of the basketball team and his college future depends on his skills for a chance to receive a scholarship. On the other hand, Gabriella, played by Vanessa Hudgens, is a smart and beautiful girl who tries to fit in her new school and does not understand why the students are divided into social groups.

Together, they try to overcome the obstacles of a typical high school relationship hindered by their social differences. As a whole, the movie is a great show for middle childhood to adolescents. It demonstrates friendship and love. Most of all, it teaches young kids to come out of their shells and not be afraid to show who they really are. It teaches them how cliques make people feel that they do not belong and not capable of doing other things.

The situations that were presented by the movie can be considered appropriate for its audience. It does not show any lewd acts and the language used are not explicit and is appropriate for children and young adults. Even the characters of Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel, as Sharpay and Ryan Evans respectively, were not significantly mean compared to other antagonists in other high school themed movies. They were casted as the typical rich and snob kids who make others’ lives difficult.

The other supporting characters also display antagonistic actions when they try to sabotage couple’s relationship emphasizing that they do not belong together because of the differences of their social groups. Because of the pressures from their friends, the couple started to realize that they were really different from each other. They followed what their friends and what the “society” dictated and ended up being miserable. In the end, the antagonists make up for their actions and showed that individual differences can be put aside and everyone can work together if they wanted to.

The movie had its sequel and a third installment is on its way. The High School Musical album was a complete phenomenon to its young audience as it reached the number one spot on Billboard only after seven weeks from being released (Kaufman, “What is ‘High School Musical’ and How Did It Get to #1? ”). Aside from the physical looks of the main characters, the movie became a hit to children and adolescents due to the storyline. It is not complicated making children appreciate and understand the movie even more.

It deals with the pressures that high school students are known to encounter. It shows how the characters value friendship and following what they believed in instead of the norm. Disney is known to be a channel for the young and the young at heart. It shows cartoons and family-oriented shows. Its commercials do not show advertisements and instead promotes its other shows and segments that are made for the kids. Parents do not have to worry about what their children would see on Disney channel as they only show those that are appropriate for the age group that it caters to.

Because High School Musical is a big hit to the public, it can not be helped that the actors and actresses be scrutinized by the public. Their every action is documented by the media. An example of this would be the naked photos of actress Vanessa Hudgens that surfaced on the Internet. She then immediately apologized to her fans for the photos and stated that she was “embarrassed over the situation” (People, “Vanessa Hudgens ‘Embarrassed,’ Apologizes for Nude Photo”). Fortunately for Hudgens, it did not ruin her career with Disney and is continuing to be a role model for younger kids and teenagers.

Television has a great influence on children and their development because they spend most of their time watching it. It is essential that they choose what they watch, as more often than not, there are things that can be learned from television whether good or bad. Disney channel can be considered a good example of a safe channel where children and adolescents can watch shows and not let their minds be exploited of things that are not appropriate for their age. There are many channels, which show unnecessary things and do not do any good not just for the kids but even for adults.

It is important that parents monitor what their children are watching on television because their development is greatly influenced by the things that they see and learn on television. When they see good things and shows that promote friendship, love, and family, children will learn that these are the important things in life. It is also important that the actors and actresses who portray the characters can serve as a good role model to their fans or else their audiences might get confused. On the other hand, when children only see the negative side of television, it might hurt their view and beliefs and end up applying them in real life.

Adults, especially parents, should not underestimate the power that television can have on children. It is essential that children are properly guided whenever they watch television.

Works Cited

Kaufman, Gil. “What is ‘High School Musical’ and How Did It Get to #1? ” MTV. com. 2 March 2006. 4 April 2008 <http://www. mtv. com/news/articles/1525204/20060301/index. jhtml? headlines=true> “Vanessa Hudgens ‘Embarrassed,’ Apologizes for Nude Photo. ” People. 8 September 2007. 4 April 2008 <http://www. people. com/people/article/0,,20055380,00. html>

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