Not so great ideals I learned from popular media

The other day a friend and I were talking about our romantic lives, one of our favourite things to do when we should be studying. I told my friend that I’m scared of settling down with someone who is safe. I want an epic romance one where my soulmate and I  get together, have some epic fights, temporarily separate and then find our way back to each other.

I strongly think me feeling this way currently has a strong correlation with the fact that I am currently watching gossip girl. Gossip Girl features some of the most classic epic romances of the modern era, seriously how many times did Chuck and Blair have a dramatic fight, break up and get back together.  This show and others one like 90210, for instance, glamorize almost emotionally abusive relationships by using the idea that these characters are soulmates and therefore this kind of relationship is ok. I think it is important to realize that the chances of your life turning out like a rom-com or your favourite Tv show are not that high. Sometimes we need to lower our expectations to be happier and this can be hard to do with so much media in our faces. This is definitely something I struggle with.

This one might have been just me but did anyone else as a tween watch Hannah Montana on Disney channel and start thinking that is it better to ask for forgiveness than permission?  Miley repeatedly did things she knew her dad would not be ok with and then just asked for his forgiveness after. And he pretty much always forgave her. Elaborating on this so many shows are so much worse with central characters doing horrible things and their friends just forgiving them. Again this happens a lot on Gossip Girl. I will admit in high school I was a lot more like this and it was something about myself I did not love. As I grown up though I have grown out of it and I think trust needs to be built through communication to have healthy relationships.

The last one is kind of a general one but in a lot of shows and movies teenagers are super untrusting of like pretty much everyone. I feel like television has been a strong factor in making me feel like the only person I can truly trust is myself.  A current example of a show that glamorizes this is Riverdale.  The teens of Riverdale are always trying to solve everything themselves and they don’t seem to trust the Sherriff and authorities at all. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what is up with that.

I am not one hundred percent against these things I have picked up from media, but I do think the shows I watch influence me in more ways than I realize, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. Today we all consume so much media, the line can easily be blurred between what is realistic and how teenagers, lives are portrayed on television. I think this is something all young people need to be aware of.

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