Toxic relationships and the media


Photo By: emma tubbs

At this point, children grow up immersed with media. From the TV shows and movies we watch, the music we listen to, and the influencers we follow on social media, one cannot escape it. 

So, there’s a big question upon us: what harm is this saturation of media doing to our kids? I can think of a big one: the media clearly favors toxic relationships.

The media feeds into toxic relationships because there is inherent entertainment value in them even if it is for the wrong reasons. How many times when you open up any kind of news feed or social media app do you see an unhealthy relationship trending? Too often is the answer. 

From currently trending television shows, movies, and admired social media influencers and celebrities, finding an unhealthy relationship is easy to find. 

Examples of this include TV shows like Euphoria where in one of the main relationships, the male character constantly tries to find ways to drag a female ex back into his world even though their relationship is inherently unhealthy. 

In music, the same examples exist. Take Drake’s Marvin’s Room. With lyrics like, “The woman that I would try is happy with a good guy,” and, “I’m just saying, you could do better,” it projects the idea that pulling a significant other back into a bad or toxic situation is a good thing. 

Even in celebrities’ real lives, you get toxic relationships. The most trending one at the moment being the infamous Kim Kardashian and Kanye West break-up.

Despite Kanye’s controlling behaviors and various mind games, today’s adolescents still find ways to romanticize his behavior even though the toxicity is evident.

Now the question is, if we see what clear toxic behaviors are through the media and celebrity relationships, why do we allow ourselves to be drawn into our own toxic relationships?

The answer: We are saturated with media at this point.

The media almost always gives unhealthy relationships a happy ending or allows them to drag on as long as possible. They make these relationships entertaining, putting us on the edge of our seats with every new update. Plus, the people involved in these relationships are almost always attractive. The younger generation is updated every day, multiple times a day on these toxic relationships.

All these little things have caused us, younger viewers, to find a sense of normalcy in these unhealthy, not normal situations, leaving us with a warped view of what relationships should look like.

In the developing minds of teenagers, high schoolers will repeat what we see. Especially when it feeds directly from what is currently popularized or trending.The worst part: we don’t realize it’s toxic, because that’s all we see. Or even worse, we do realize how toxic the relationship is, but allow ourselves to stay because we want to romanticize our own situation. 

Realizing all of this is important in our own lives so we are able to distinguish these romanticized Hollywood relationships from the dangers that may be in our own personal relationships.