Are You Easily Influenced?

August 18, 2019

If you’re a fan of Netflix shows, this one’s for you! Shows for younger viewers (those under eighteen years old) are a big deal for Netflix because a lot of young people watch Netflix. That’s why Netflix produces a lot of shows that they think young people will watch.

But as their shows have become more popular, Netflix has been criticized for the type of content they produce and the potential bad influences these shows may have on young viewers. For the third year in a row, a research report from an organization called Truth Initiative found that shows produced by Netflix showed more use of tobacco recently than in years past. An example? The show Stranger Things showed cigarette use in multiple episodes.

Why is this a concern? According to the Office of the Surgeon General (also known as America’s Doctor) youth who are exposed to onscreen smoking are more likely to begin smoking. The greatest concern, therefore, is that the more smoking appears in shows watched by young people, the more likely they are to smoke themselves. Netflix has taken this study seriously, and has promised to cut down smoking in its shows, and for shows meant for younger audiences (those fourteen years old and younger) to be smoking and tobacco-free.

What do you think? Are there any examples of habits you picked up because you saw a favorite character do it on a show?