History On The Technology And Human Lives Media Essay
As technology develops, the way we receive information and the sources of information we have differ from the olden times. Media is the main source for us to get many different information. It serves as the medium between the news, updates, information and the public. Therefore, it is no doubt that media plays a very important role in many people’s lives. The Media plays a great role in all our lives. Having been youngsters of the 21st Century, we are mostly the ones to have been affected by the media to the maximum throughout our different upbringings. Media is a great source or even the main source of information to almost every one of us. The information about what is actually happening around us, and in the world comes from different types of media. Nowadays, most of us call our source of information the “Social Media”. Social media is not just an extension of the traditional media, it also encloses the popular social networking sites these days, such as Facebook, twitter, etc. and also other file sharing sites, example, Youtube, Flickr.
Although this social media has been very popular among most of the people now, there is still the notion that if it is printed on papers, it has some validity. The type of media, the “traditional media” that most of the older people have known or have been familiar with encompasses television, radios, newspapers, magazines and trade journals. There are Baby Boomers, and Generation X and Y which still turn to papers and radios for their news and information. For generations, we were taught to gain information from watching news, commercials, and other programs on the televisions. Televisions have been the most influential way of being entertained by or a helpful tool in getting other interesting information. With social media, we all have to build or be involved in an existing community to get a message in or in order to get your message out. There is no community building or being involved in such with the traditional media. The community is already there and it is only within your reach to get the information you want.
On these social networking sites, of course, we do not use formal and bombastic words to interact with the community and the people involved. We use easier, simpler, informal and conversational way of communication with the people online. This is the greatest difference from the traditional media. Social media keeps changing every day and the way it delivers the news and information would also be different today from yesterday. Another question is, ‘are these social networking sites and the information they (people) deliver trust-worthy?’ Anyone in your friends’ list on these social sites can post anything they wish to. The important thing is for you to at least do a research about something you see before you actually trust or believe. Since people are relying on social media sources to learn about what is happening in the world almost all the time, the traditional news outlets become increasingly less relevant.
The accompanying rush to be first to report a story also comes with pitfalls. It has also been said that some 50 percent of news consumers have received “breaking news” via social media and found out later that it was erroneously reported. Hans Peter Ibold (2012) from the News-Journal has said that, “amid the withering of newspaper revenues and the ascent of Facebook, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that social media refers to tools for connecting with others and sharing information. These media aren't inherently transformative. They're tools with no fixed outcomes.” Social media are actually being used by more people around the world to report on themselves. The emerging numbers of risk-taking videographers are out there to provide an accurate picture of life.
Therefore, which in a sense also means that it is almost impossible for us to stay away or ignore the information we get through the media outlets, regardless of how much truth the media disseminates or spreads the news. This also means that people like us have somehow been manipulated by the media on how we think and perceive the news or the updates of the current events happening all around us. The media which has often been regarded as the most credible source of information can be intentionally or unintentionally accelerating political agendas and propagandas.
The marketing and advertising strategies by the media and the public manipulators cannot be taken into account lightly in the commercial world. The way the media represent certain marketing strategies affect people in many different ways. People might not even notice that they have been affected to a great level by the media’s way of manipulation. All of us are being affected by the media in so many ways that we do not even realized to what extent we have been letting ourselves go, which means we are not in full control of what we buy, use and see or get from the media almost all the time. Commercials and advertisements look very much appealing that we even start to believe instantly that whichever products being shown on televisions or ads are capable of satisfying us just by using or having that particular product.
The most visible examples that have been persuading or manipulating us are the TV commercials, popping ads on magazine covers, giant billboards, etc. from which the media conveys the message in a very skillful manner or a thoughtful manipulation through the visual images or clues. This; in a way brings up or promote the idea of “sex sells” and social accordance that relates to our self-esteem and also our psychological ways of thinking. One of the major functions of the media is the “persuasive” communications. Louis Alvin Day pointed out that the American society has embraced both advertising and public relations as legitimate functions – after all, advertising is the economic mainstay of mass media in a capitalistic system. (2006, p. 27). It is very much true that most of the people in the world today has been brought up in a way of living up to what the Americans has shaped us into. When we rewind and think of the olden days, even our ancestors were somehow taught to dress up in certain styles that in a way comes from the Americans’ way of dressing up. Another obvious example would be the Holly Wood industry which everyone in the whole world talks, thinks, write and dream about today. Holly Wood has influenced so many of us that we even try to shape our lifestyles into something similar to the people working for this industry. This shows how much influential the media has become or has always been.
It is true that the media is the greatest source of information and the business today. But when it comes down to thinking honestly whether it is healthy for people to just rely or depend on the media, is it even really that healthy and trustworthy? Is it not just molding or shaping our lives into something they wish to see? Or is it just their money-minded business? But yet, we all still somehow trust the media in many different ways. Edward Bernays has said that, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” ( History is a Weapon: Propaganda (1928), n.d.) . Is it even ethical for the people’s conscious and intelligence to be manipulated in anyway not just by the media? People have the right to make decisions on their own and also have the right to beware of the product they are purchasing. People have the right to utilize or apply one form of philosophy – “let the buyer beware”. It is important for the people to know about what kind of products they have to deal with.
An online documentary video expresses how the people in Indonesia are being influenced and manipulated by the Tobacco (cigarette) industries. The posters, billboards, TV commercials and ads have been placed or can be seen everywhere in the country. Even children who barely understand what cigarettes are made of started smoking under the concern of the parents. It is also shocking to see how underage children are encouraged by their own parents to learn to smoke. The cigarette-selling companies in Indonesia are so powerful that they are now even influencing the minors to be able to smoke all the time. The minors have seen smoking as a way of living a classy lifestyle or being popular among other minors. They are being able to purchase cigarettes at the road-side vendors if they have the enough amount of money to buy one. It is totally unacceptable for young children to be seen smoking or even being influenced to smoke. This is what people can see what the media has been a powerful influencer and conveying messages to young children in Indonesia.
The popular TV series that are being watched and seen by so many young children also influence them. Since there are always advantages and disadvantages in everything, this influencing TV series would also affect children in both the good and bad ways. But usually, children can be seen imitating their favourite heroes they have seen on TVs. It is good for them to believe in something that seems so great in their eyes, but are these heroes even real? For example, a child might even try to jump from a higher ground with his hands pointing forward, believing spider-webs would come out after watching his favourite hero; the Spider-man. It is a total nightmare to even think of children trying or mimicking such super heroes on their own and especially when there are no adults around them. These acts are life-threatening and are very dangerous for a child to have the urge to mimic certain super heroes.
One more example is about a child named Zach Avery who has had a disorder called the gender identity disorder in the United Kingdom. He was just a normal three year-old boy when he first wanted others to see him as a girl. According to the interviews, his mother has said that her child was a a normal baby boy until he became too obsessed with watching girly kids' TV character Dora the Explorer and started dressing in girls’ clothing. (The Telegraph, n.d.) . There are such disorders which are difficult to understand and still new to most of the people in the society. When you think of a boy being too obsessed about being a girl from watching TV shows and the girly cartoon characters, you can also wonder whether if this really is a disorder or the child has been too influenced by the certain amount of information he received through the media.
Therefore, media should not be influencing, manipulating, or persuading every single thing around people. The consumers have their own rights to choose what kind of product they would deal with and the freedom of choosing what actually goes into their minds. People should also know that they have their rights to select what is able to influence them and what is not able to do so. The technology which has been developing all around us makes us become very tech savvy and also helps us become more organized and able to arrange things that we want to in our own ways. It has helped us do the things that we are supposed very conveniently and complete in a very short period of time. Although there are many disadvantages about the media, the internet and the developing technology, there are still things that help us in many ways to complete our given tasks on time, in time and in a short period of time. Thus, it really is impossible to run away from the technology and its developing strategies.
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