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  • Children spent $2 billion per
    year in 1960
  • Children spent $6 billion per
    year in 1990
  • Children influence $132 billion of household purchases
  • Children betwee ages 2 and 11
    spend an average of three hours per day watching television
  • By the time they are 10, the majority of the television children are watching are shows geared for adults.
  • One-quarter of children are overweight or obese - a 300 per
    cent increase in the last 20 years.

Media Minds


North American culture -- television, computers, video games and videos -- exert a major influence on children. Corporations have direct access to an entire generation of “digital kids.”

Computers are part of mainstream curriculum, regardless of the age of the child. It is common to see 4 year olds sitting at computer stations. Schools are enticed to promote software that has not been proven nor tested, so the possible negative or positive effects on developing brains is definitively unknown.

"Children & teenagers influence some $132 billion worth of house-hold purchases."

However, there is evidence early computer use can be damaging to young children's minds. Corporations have both created and perpetuated a children’s computer market in order to reap massive short and long-term profits. 


Advertising has slowly and methodically infiltrated into the world of children driven by corporate interests to create a lucrative consumer market. In 1960, “young consumers” were spending $2 billion a year in the

United States alone; by the end of the 1980s, this figure had risen to $6 billion. 

Furthermore, it is estimated that children and teenagers influence some $132 billion worth of household purchases. The blatant manipulation and sexualization of children in order to market their image as a commodity is evident, though not always considered by parents. Although the targeting of children in advertising is not entirely new, the current trend to promote consumerism to children between the ages of 0 to 6 is occurring at an unprecedented frenzy. For example, McDonald's spends $1 billion a year in advertising, much of it directed at young children — to hook them for life on a diet deathly high in fat and dangerously low on nutrition.


Children are exposed to a flurry of images, sound bites and mental chaos through numerous media sources; a world that denies children an opportunity for peace, tranquility and reflection.  Children have become increasingly dependent on television, computers and all forms of electronic media that deliver digital messages as the means of occupying their time.  North American childhood has been radically altered by the infiltration of media, including what children play with and how. 


Television  allows corporations to deliver their messages quickly, repeatedly and relentlessly.  Television dramatically shapes how children think, what they believe about themselves, adults and their culture. As young children are particularly impressionable, it is possible to alter their behavior and thoughts to such
Children spend more time viewing television than engaging in any other single activity
besides school.
an extent as to influence their understanding of consumerism and solicit their compliance, to the extent that entertaining an alternate view becomes difficult to impossible later in life. 


In North America, children between the ages of 2-11 view an inordinate amount of television -- three hours

per day on average. Children spend more time viewing television than engaging in any other single activity besides school.  There is ample evidence to suggest both the amount viewed or what is viewed has adverse consequences for some children, including: the displacement of time that might be spent acquiring scholastic skills; decreased reading ability; the promotion of negative moods and behaviours such as fearfulness; reduced impulse control and attention span; reduction of play and imaginative processes; and the facilitation of aggressive and antisocial behavior.


By the time children have reached the age of nine or ten, the majority of the television they are watching is adult programming. This has important implications with regard to both the content of programs viewed and advertisement exposure.