Media and Advertising

Media and Advertising
E-Parenting: Media and Advertising
Twenty-first century children and youth are wired like never before! They have never known a world without cell phones, Internet access, texting, and video games. Spending an average of 53 hours a week with media and technology, this generation spends more time in front of screens than any other single activity including school, family, sports, or even sleep! 1

The Digital Age

There is no doubt that there are enormous benefits to being a member of this remarkable cohort, often nicknamed “Digital Natives.” As young people navigate this wired world, they are developing the skills that are critical to their academic success and, ultimately, their capacity to compete in the global economy. The same electronic screens that give young people access to a world of information, friends, and entertainment also give marketers, advertisers and producers direct access to them. In addition to communicating and being entertained for 53 hours a week, children and youth are also consuming powerful messages, stories, and images that will shape their understanding of who they are, what they should have to fit in, and how they should think, look, and act.
  • Learn more about teens and self-expression >
  • Unmasking the Media

    The Unmask the Media Project was developed by the Youth Philanthropy Initiative. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Unmask the Media is a student-run program that addresses the issue of the media’s negative effects on teenager’s self-perceptions.

    This campaign is a prime example of youth using the media for good. Watch as young people use the tools of their generation (video and images) to urge their peers to critically think about the media messages they consume.

    Learn more about Project Unmask >


    1. Gentile, Douglas; Walsh, David, A normative study of family media habits (Minneapolis: National Institute on Media and the Family, 2002).




    Excellent article. Every generation faces changes, but media today is influencing our children like never before. 53 hours a week is a staggering number! There are several articles that may be of interest to readers, “Texting and Children” and “Too Much Violence on TV? What can you do?” found at

    Also for help in viewing TV critically, see “Children and Television” at