TV Romance: The Good and Bad According to Teens
This week our students weighed in on relationships in the media. Shows from One Tree Hill to Pretty Little Liars to Love and Hip Hop, and even books like Twilight, tell of the drama of love and relationships. Teens let us in on what messages they are getting from the media and whether they are true to life.
Positives and Negatives
Relationships in the media are not all bad or all good. Here are some of the positive characteristics as well as the down-sides that teens take away from media romance:
|Gentlemen- Treating girls with respect||Lying|
|Good friends||Using each other|
|Supportive||Other People trying to break up relationships|
A Note About Loyalty
Sticking together through thick and thin can be really positive in a relationship. Young people put a high value on this loyalty. However, loyalty towards a partner who is not respectful can lead staying in an unhealthy relationship. Everyone deserves respect, and it is not disloyal to demand it. If you have questions about whether your partner deserves your loyalty, take the quiz here.
What’s Real, What’s Not
According to our youth, relationships are seldom like the ones we see on TV or read about in popular books. For one, there is more cheating and betrayal in the media, and in the end it is usually the girl who gets hurt or is used for sex or money. Miscommunication abounds and causes more drama as small matters are blown out of proportion. Plus, girls fight with each other more in our media than in real life. This can all be interesting to watch. Still, when asked what they would write if they could create a show of their own, our students said they would tone down the negative aspects of relationships and write in more positive, healthy relationships. People would be in relationships because they care about each other, not because they are using each other. They would also want to show a variety of relationships, like in Modern Family, where people are different ages and at different stages of their life, and different types of relationships and family combinations are shown including GLBT and remarried couples with families. There would still be some drama to keep it interesting and real, but they would want to see the characters get past the tough stuff to something better. <3
Taryn Tessneer is one of three Youth Advocates at Alexandra House who serve students in Anoka County schools.