Influence Of Media On Delinquency

Delinquency is antisocial behavior or moral misconduct committed by an underage person. Since the problem is beyond the parent’s control, it sometimes makes it necessary to take the child to a juvenile court (Nisar, Ullah, Ali & Alam, 2015). Examples of the vices are disobedience, truancy, and violence among others. Despite the positive impacts of the media on the society with regard to education, quick information exchange, and entertainment, their content may be harmful to the children below 18 years as it may negatively interfere with their moral values (Abdullaha, AbdRahman & Santiago, 2016). The media may also be too addictive in terms of interfering with the daily routine of minors. Regarding adverse impacts of the mass media, parents and the society in general have a reason to worry about as part of the younger generation appears to head in the wrong direction. Therefore, it seems appropriate to regulate the media content and check on the time spent in front of the media to avoid exposing the minors to the negative influence or minimize these effects. In particular, media promotes juvenile delinquency by showing inappropriate content to the adolescents, nurturing their acceptance of wrongdoings as normality, and making vices the part of their belief systems and activities.

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Social Media and Bullying

To start with, social media have become the tools for peer bullying on the global scale that allow adolescents to offend others as a norm in their attitudes and behaviors with detrimental effects for the victims. Young people have adopted the social media as warfare means whereby they post offensive and vulgar materials about fellow adolescents to humiliate them. For instance, Nisar et al. (2015) state that mobile phones and the Internet have promoted bullying at the international level. Oftentimes, children fake identities to disguise as strangers and have an opportunity to terrorize their victims online (Amedie, 2015; Nisar et al., 2015). In the UK, 20-35% of the juveniles aged between 13 and 18 reported having involved themselves or encountering bullies on such social media as Facebook and the problem had different consequences ranging from mental disturbance to suicides (Nisar et al., 2015). The claim that social media promotes delinquency is justified because children tend to misuse the platforms with or without the knowledge of their guardians. Hence, they tend to develop the behavior that may have adverse consequences for themselves, their peers, parents and the society at large. It follows that inappropriate and uncontrolled use of the online platforms can be the favorable grounds for peer bullying.



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Social Media and Terrorism

Due to the fact that social media may act as a platform for terrorist activities, children are vulnerable in this regard as their minds can be distorted in this way leading to delinquent activities. Indeed, terrorist groups spread their propaganda to the masses seeking funds, recruits, and sympathizers. Particularly, Amedie (2015) states that terrorists have used the Internet for more than 15 years. Since then, the number of websites manned by terrorists, such as Jihadist movement, is over 9,800 (Amedie, 2015). In this context, the increased use of the social media by the young population exposes them to the risk of influence by these antisocial formations. Thus, youth may develop a habit of celebrating deaths of civilians or even joining the militant groups. Hence, engagement in the social media propaganda of terrorist ideologies can be a sufficient driver of abnormality in their behaviors.

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Video Games and Violent Behavior

Some of the modern video games played by the youths are undesirable as they portray aggression and violence that negatively affects the players by nurturing these traits as normality in their mindset and activities. For example, Fischer, Aydyn, Kastenmüller, Frey and Fischer (2012) indicate that video games reinforce delinquency by engaging the players in virtual fights, attacks and other offensive behaviors, such as road crashes, have an adverse impact on the players, including making them aggressive and indifferent when involved in similar real-life situations. The findings report that the players of aggressive games tolerate road offenses in the real life situation as compared to the players of non-violent games (Fischer et al., 2012). The habit turns into actual behavior because the players fail to differentiate between the virtual and real life circumstances. The study also associated delinquent video games with such a vice as stealing (Fischer, et al., 2012). Specifically, when the players of violent games engage in the delinquent habits in the virtual environment, this becomes a practice and incorporates common attribute of the behavior in the juveniles’ minds. Due to the fact they spend much time playing these games, it may be difficult for them to make ethical and morally accepted decisions in real life. These individuals may find themselves behaving as if they are in the reality of gaming. Therefore, video gaming can be another threat imposed on children in terms of contributing to their delinquency.

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Inappropriate Content of Movies and Television Shows

Some television and movie shows may adversely affect children’s behavior by promoting their engagement in immoral and self-destructing activities, including uncontrolled sex, smoking, drug use and alcohol consumption among others. For instance, Abdullaha et al. (2016) states that in Pakistani, television crime shows are popular among the adolescents. The long hours they spend watching this content act as a lesson time whereby they learn how to engage in the thug life, and thus, they get criminal training from the media. Definitely, oftentimes, the media contents can be destructive for people’s ethical and moral stance as a result of inappropriate material that they depict to children, and so, influencing them negatively. For instance, when a teenager observes people smoking in the movies, it is possible that he/she will also try tobacco use and further develop the harmful habit. When minors watch criminal movies, they may tend to be thrilled by the tactics employed by the characters in committing crimes. Thus, they may end up embracing the skills and using them in real life, and this transforms their lives into the ones overwhelmed with delinquency.

Too Much Time Spent on the Media

Moreover, children watch inappropriate content that substitutes minors’ time for learning the proper behavioral standards, leaving them no room for understanding the concept of normality as an ethical and moral aspect. The use of the media in socialization, playing games or watching negative contents may adversely influence the juveniles by making them abscond their daily routine, and thus they end up becoming disobedient. To illustrate, DeLisi, Vaughn, Gentile, Anderson and Shook (2012) state that some children spend much time playing games or watching the immoral contents. The statistics vary. However, there are minors who spend from 10 to 40 hours in a week and more for these activities. As a consequence, the media occupies the entire adolescents’ time and make them avoid engaging in the usual and useful activities, such as attending classes (DeLisi et al., 2012). Therefore, the media may be too addictive, thus, affecting the daily routine of the children. The players may end up spending their time watching on the screens at the expense of going to school, doing homework, eating, going to sleep, or doing the household chores given to them by their parents. Thus, children’s long-term exposure to the inappropriate media content definitely causes their habituation to vices and acceptance of these factors as common aspects of life instead of proper behavior patterns.


Delinquency is antisocial behavior that involves the young population. The media has a negative impact on juveniles by encouraging them being delinquent since different media expose the underage individuals to a variety of inappropriate content. One of the ways in which the media promotes delinquency is through bullying on the social media. In addition, social networks can host terrorist groups which try to solicit funds, recruits, and sympathy from the general population in this way. Hence, it may influence the juveniles to associate themselves to the movements. The violent video games are likely to cause the development of violent behavior in players. Some movies and television shows expose the teenagers to inappropriate behaviors, such as smoking, alcoholism as well as thug life, promoting the normality of these behaviors in their lives. Based on the fact that media occupies much time in minors’ lives, it interferes with their daily routine, such as going to school or doing assignments.  Moreover, the exposure to the negative content and its influence is over limits, thus, should be an alarming factor to the society as a whole.

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