Mass Media’s influence onSocietyStatementof the Problem Mass media isaccessible on a worldwide scale, so it has the complete potential to be asocial problem.
The reason is mainly because media itself controls thedirection of society. “Whatever we know about our society, or indeed about the worldin which we live, we know through the mass media” (Luhmann, 2007). WM1 The media has the potential toshape people’s personality, change how people perceive and understand the worldand actual reality (Clark, 2012). The media persuades people into thinking thatit’s acceptable to act, look and live a certain way. Media has become a part ofpeople’s daily lives and it has played the dominant role in every part of thelearning process.
“The most regularly used information sourcefor acquiring knowledge, by all accounts is the mass media” WM2 (Clark, 2012WM3 ). In his theory, the news (aform of mass media) occupies a critical position in society and theirresponsible for educating society and disseminating important information butwe can’t say everything that is disseminated is completely true (Clark, 2012).In fact, the society has already accepted the deficiencies of the media (Bechmann & Stehr, 2011). The media canindeed vastly shape the life of any individual and completely change thecultural and moral values of society. The TV, computer, cell phones are themain sources that has a strong effect on members of this society. People haveargued that our society is more mass mediated interacted than human interacted.
WM4 The media have failed miserablyin addressing and helping to solve real social issues and this is what makemass media a social issue. ConsequencesThe media affectsthe physical and mental well-being of people to a certain extent. “Interaction isruled out by the interposition of technology, and this has far reachingconsequences which define for us the concept of mass media”(Luhmann, 2007WM5 ).
The media has certainpsychological effects and those effects would be the ability to change people’soutlook on their own life and life itself. Majority of the people exposed tomedia are bound to believe what is depicted by the media, especially the youthtoday. “America’syouth are awash in media” (Roberts & Foehr, 2008WM6 ).
Young girls are known to keeptheir cell phones at hand as well as boys but the young girls that looks up tomedia generally depicts gender-bias in the terms of reinforcing gender roles.Advertisements usually show attractive dressed women with makeup and nice figureswhich tells these young girls that they should look like that. The norm(culturally speaking) for the girls would be that these girls are most likelygoing to be influenced by the mass media’s cultural expectation of genderWM7 . In fact, “Contemporary digital technologies are the playing field of today’syouth, places where lessons are learned, attitudes are formed, and body imageconcerns can be cultivated and metastasized into convictions” (Williams& Ricciardelli, 2014)WM8 . Mass mediais basically mainstream media and it’s a part of almost any type of culture, sothis basically means that violence in certain ads that the media presents,people will take in what they see and accept it subconsciously.
Media mostlyfocuses on the “negative” and by this it effects not only the youth, but iteffects the entire worldWM9 . Based on my research, it’sbelieved that “exposure to television violence in movies, shows and video gamesincreases the risk of violent behavior on the viewer’s part just as growing upin a bad environment with real violence increases the risk of violent behavior(Huesmann,2007WM10 ).”The influence of the violent mass media is best viewed as one of the manypotential factors that influence the risk for violence and aggression” (Huesmann, 2007). They say entertainment is a function of mass media and violencein movies/shows is what the media advertises daily. OriginsThe problem starts from Massmedia itself, preferably news outlets and entertainment. The media’s role is tobasically educate, inform and entertain but it also deceives and corrupts,contributing to the degradation of society.
“Mass media has a habit of not presenting atruthful image of reality that they have distinguished but tend to create theirown views of reality which they communicate through daily as news, reports andadvertising” (Bechmann & Stehr, 2011). “Although truth, or rather theassumption of truth, is indispensable for news and in-depth reporting, the massmedia do not follow the code true/untrue, but rather the codeinformation/noninformation, even in their cognitive area of programming”(Luhmann, 2007).WM11 Media hasmade its contributions in many ways that both apprised and improved society,but in other ways it has degenerated and bewildered it. Since people’s mind and their self are socialproductsWM12 , itcompletely makes sense as to why individuals understanding of cultural norms isinfluenced by their complete digestion of the mass media. Developing thesetypes of norms would be by digesting advertisements, The radio, TV shows andmovies.
According to his WM13 theory “The basis for advertising is not thecreation of pretty appearance of reality: on the contrary, advertising openlystates its desire to manipulate, and by doing so it is better able to influencethe motives and memory of its target audience” (Luhmann, 2007WM14 ). Remedies Media consumption is what’s influencingthe society, too much consumption can be a problem. According to research,measuring the consumption of media for television viewing every year between1972 to 2004 were divided into three groups, those groups being high, mediumand low consumption (Johnson & Kellstedt, 2014).
TV viewing for individualswho watched only one hour or less of TV: resulted as being “low consumption”,Individuals viewing TV two to three hours, resulted in being “mediumconsumption” and lastly individuals viewing television for four or more hoursresulted in “high consumption” (Johnson & Kellstedt, 2014). Based on research people of the society arevoracious in their consumption of media (Johnson& Kellstedt, 2014).WM15 Monitoringmedia consumption and making sure that hours spent on media is a way to preventmedia corruption. Media is highly influential; however, it is important to get awell-balanced view of information as opposed to one view from one news mediaoutlet. It’sbelieved that media influence depends on that person’s level of politicalawareness (Johnson & Kellstedt, 2014). An individual with a high level of political awareness are less likelyto get influenced by certain negative views the media presents. WM16 ReferencesBechmann, G., & Stehr, N.
(2011). NiklasLuhmann’s Theory of the Mass Media. Society, 48(2), 142-147. doi:10.1007/s12115-010-9410-7WM17 Clark, R. (2012). Bringing the Media in: Newspaper Readershipand Human Rights. Sociological Inquiry, 82(4),532-556.
R. (2007). The Impact of Electronic MediaViolence: Scientific Theory and Research. The Journal of Adolescent Health: Official Publication of the Societyfor Adolescent Medicine, 41,S6 13. Johnson, T., & Kellstedt, P. (2014). Media Consumptionand the Dynamics of Policy Mood.
Political Behavior, 36(2),377-399.Luhmann, N. (2007). Thereality of the mass media.
Cambridge: Polity Press.Walum, L. R. (1975). Sociology and the Mass Media: Some majorproblems and modest proposals. American Sociologist, 10(1),28-32.Williams, R., & Ricciardelli, L.
(2014). Social Media andBody Image Concerns: Further Considerations and Broader Perspectives. Sex Roles, 71(11-12),389-392. doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0429-x