During the younger years of human life is when the mind is most molded and shaped into what will eventually be an individual’s personality. What helps shape the way people think and how they act, is the experiences an individual endures and the people in that individual’s life. Most people, children, and teens especially, may be influenced by outside sources without even realizing it. Being influenced can have a huge impact on an individual and the way that they think and act.
One of the primary sources that have an influence on not only children but also adults, is the people that someone surrounds themself with. From birth, an individual’s family is the first variable to influence a developing mind. Although family may not always influence in a negative way, for a child it is the first example to take from.
“I would say I’m mostly influenced by my brother, but that’s because I’ve been around him all my life,” sophomore Braden Amoruso at Air Academy High School said.
As a child gets older and turns into a teenager, they begin to make friends. At a younger age, friends might not have a negative impact on an individual, however, as time goes on and kids get more curious other factors may come into play. Those factors may include things such as drugs, alcohol, nicotine, or the friendship may just be a toxic relationship.
“It wasn’t until I stepped back from the toxic friends that I had, that I realized the effect they were having on me as a person,” sophomore Jadyn Selecky at AAHS said.
As a result of allowing other people to negatively impact an individual, that will inevitably lead to other issues down the road.
Another way that teens may be influenced is by social media and the internet. Since the internet has become worldwide, for many it has also become their main source of information. Unfortunately, just because it is on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s true. Many young adults and children heavily rely on the internet to learn. This makes it incredibly easy for misinformation to spread and fester among the uninformed.
“I don’t really watch the news, but I have social media, so when something is going on in the world I learn about it through social media,” sophomore Owen Bailey at AHHS said.
Not only can the internet misinform people, but it can also set an example for the younger generations. For many online influencers and content creators, the internet is a way to make money. Unfortunately, that means that people will do just about anything to make money and become famous. This can lead to dangerous trends that get the viewer into trouble. Kids that think that they’re being funny or doing a funny trend are actually putting themself or others at risk.
“I remember I once saw this ad for a game on TikTok, and it was literally a game where you would run around and hit girl’s butts, and I was so shocked because there are kids on this app,” sophomore Lily Hernandez at AAHS said.
Many online influencers and companies don’t understand how much of an impact they have on their viewers, by spreading their own agendas, influencers are leaving an imprint on their viewers’ brains.
As a child grows and develops, it’s easy to be influenced by outside sources without knowing it. By being negatively influenced, an individual is ultimately putting themself in a bad position. It’s important to stay away from behavior that will have a negative effect on an individual’s brain.