These days, American children spend an average of 40 hours a week consuming media outside of school. Most of those hours are spent listening to the radio, watching television or using a computer, constantly absorbing learning content–some of which they may not be very conscious. The majority of children spend this time without adult supervision–most children over the age of 8 have a TV in their rooms. Many advertisers see children as a highly profitable market, as buyers themselves, influencers of their parents’ purchases, and future adult consumers.
As children gain learning content and are entertained by the media, they are also receiving messages from advertising–both subtle and obvious–about who they are, what life is like, and who they should be and what life should look like. This learning content helps to shape children’s lives in many ways–including some unhealthy ones.
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