Drug Free Pennsylvania hosted a Media Literacy and Prevention Seminar in October.
This workshop was interactive and thought provoking.
Renee Hobbs, was passionate about this subject.
There are many dangerous messages that our children are presented with in the shows they watch and the music they hear.
Alcohol use is glamorized in the media. Our children are presented with dangerous messages constantly.
"Young people learn about drugs through both their real life experiences and from vicarious images and stories they encounter in the mass media. By the time a teen hits age 18, he or she will have seen thousands of messages for alcohol, presented through attractive, fast-paced, humorous messages. These messages make beer drinking seem a normal part of social life, connected to sports activities, something that people of all ages and races partake in. But beer commercials don’t tell the whole story about alcohol use. Alcohol use endangers teens by leading to violence, driving accidents, and unprotected sex. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and nearly 60 percent of all fatal accidents involve alcohol."
Taken from the Media Straight Up Website.
Have you heard the song Last Friday Night by Katy Perry? I have heard it and even sang along with the chorus a few times. Our teacher had us watch it with the lyrics.
Here is the first stanza:
There's a stranger in my bed
there's a pounding in my head
Glitter all over the room
Pink flamingos in the pool
I smell like a minibar
DJ's passed out in the yard
Barbies on the barbeque
Watch it. You will be startled at the message.
We looked at print ads such as this one for Captain Morgan:
and this one:
We talked about who these ads are targeting and what message they are sending.
It is important for everyone to talk about drug and alcohol use with the children in their lives.
Schools in Cincinati, Ohio had a program for the high schoolers called
#yourlifeyourchoice where the students were encouraged to post pictures of things they were doing instead of drugs.
The focus of Ohio's program was for students to tweet or share images on instagram about the good choices they were making instead of doing drugs.
If you teach or work with teenagers, you can download the Media Literacy Curriculum for free at this link. I have used it with several of the teenagers on my caseload.
I also plan to do some of the activities in the curriculum with Kaishon, Sabria, Naji and Jonathon this summer.
I think this quote sums up what I learned at this conference best: Over and over, the mass media reinforce the false belief that consuming products can take away all pain and stresses making you feel truly alive. But the media doesn’t often show us that the best ways to reduce stress and feel truly alive is not by consuming a product — but doing something meaningful, like being with people, learning, being creative,
exercising, taking action in the world.