Sample Cause and Effect Essay on Media Effects on Society
Different media have projected various issues about our lives in various ways. It is no doubt that the opinion and the views of the public, especially the young children and preadolescents, can easily be swayed (or controlled) by manipulating the content on the various media artifacts. People's opinions can be shaped by what their views are on a certain issue. Children learn about fashion and accessories from television and movies at an early age and they start to imitate these. Also, aside from making the children aware of the things that are meant for the older people, the media also serves to instill certain images of things and ideas into their heads. For example, many television shows and movies tend to stereotype different groups, like some movies showing how typical teenagers act in schools or how every man in a turban and a beard is a terrorist. These stereotypes become ingrained in the children's minds and they tend to follow these stereotypes in their real lives.
Since there are many different kinds of media in the world and since different people prefer different media as their source of information, the choice of media and the way the issue of information security is presented in each media is very important in making decisions as well as shaping people's ideas and attitudes. Today, we are being bombarded with information coming from television, movies, radio, newspapers, magazine, and most of all, the internet. This means that we have so much information coming to us these days that it has become very hard for us to filter out the relevant information and to also differentiate what is right and truthful from what is wrong and untrue. We find that the youths are most affected by television and movies since they are visual media and almost everyone is exposed to the most because they are very easily available and provides the highest level of stimulation. Being so visually stimulating, it can also be derived that television and movies have a different kind of effect on the people. What the people watch on television would then work to shape determine the attitude that the public holds for or against various issues. Television and movies can work to provide us with the information that determines our attitudes towards that issue. For example, if programs on the television keep showing young children wearing makeup and fashionable clothes, and the children keep seeing the same images, views, and ideas, as they are enforced on related media such as magazines and the internet, it is very likely that they will start accepting and believing these ideas too. Similarly, television and movies can work to create many stereotypes (e.g. popular girls in high school being rich and fashionable) and these become ingrained in our minds because we are seeing them everywhere. Thus, images on the television and in movies causes people to form certain ideas, notions, attitudes, and stereotypes towards the people and events around them by presenting what its controllers want us to see and what might not necessarily be the truth.
One of the things that the television and movies cause us to do is to formulate stereotypes for people around us who are from various different social and cultural backgrounds. Television and films provide materials out of which we form our very identities. These have created our sense of what our selves mean to ourselves; how we feel about being a male or a female; which class, ethnicity and race, of nationality we belong to, and of our sexuality; and of “us” and “them.” Perhaps the most important misconception that one can derive from the media is that of the other cultures, and thus makes us form some misinterpreted and false assumptions about people who are from a different culture. It is by observing the media that we learn how to behave, and how to think, what to feel, believe and fear of people from other cultures. For example, most of the action movies depict a woman who is in trouble and a man comes to save her. This is a typical stereotyping of the gender, where the woman is depicted as the weaker sex who always needs help from a man to save her life.
We learn how to react to members of different social groups by learning from the media and its artifacts. For example, many television shows and movies have popularized on many occasions that African Americans are always good at sports. This is why whenever we see people playing, say, basketball, we automatically assume that the black athlete would be better than the white one. Similarly, many television shows, for example Speedy Gonzales, has portrayed the Mexicans to be a lazy. This has affected our perception of the Mexicans and we tend to think that all Mexicans are in fact lazy. Thus, it becomes very important how a certain group of people is portrayed in television and in the movies. This becomes their identity in the eyes of the society.
This is not to say that television shows and movies cannot be used for good. Many television shows and movie out there work for the sole purpose of providing and spreading information. These include channels like the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic, or documentary films about the various issues and events in our lives. This is the positive side of media, where it is being used responsibly and in a very focused and factual manner. Television is best viewed when it is giving news, not views. All the information that are contained in knowledge-based television and movies are mostly fact-based. This means that the public is given facts that they have the option to evaluate for themselves. This is very much unlike popular media that works to instill opinions and views into our heads.
Thus, another thing that television and movies do is that they instill many different ideas into us as they shape our attitudes and opinions towards various events or issues at hand. News on the television, if not relayed responsibly, can cause many problems. Take, for example, the Rodney King Trial. In the early 1990s, a few police officers were filmed beating up Rodney King and this filmed was released all over the media. This caused a lot of problems in the United States as riots erupted in many parts of the country. This is where the responsibility of television broadcasting kicks in. Some images can cause a lot of problems if they are not discreet.
We know that television and movies can have various effects on us, our lives, and our society. We must understand that much of what we see on television or in the movies are there in order for us to change our minds about certain views or opinions. What is this but social control? In the current era of globalization, we must all be aware of the different factor that go into the production of television and movies and their implications on the different cultures and sections of the society. The media culture of today does tend to support many capitalist values, by undermining the minority interests, and shows a strong effort that exists between different races, classes, gender, and social groups. We must fully understand and comprehend the nature and effects of the production techniques of the media artifacts and its effects on the certain group of people. We must look deeper into the lines and understand the media culture as to its working, and how it works to change our attitudes, preferences, and views, leading to a social control at the hand of the media.
Influence of Mass Media
- Length: 1528 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
"People are more influenced by mass media than they think. What evidence is there to support this statement?"
By Mass Media I mean 'the whole body of media reaching large numbers of public' the major ones being newspapers, television and the Internet. The main purposes of mass media are to provide information, entertainment and advertisement. In this essay I will discuss the influence that Mass Media has in the general public and give the evidence to support the statement "People are more influenced by mass media than they think. ".
The history of mass media can be said that started from the ancient Greece. Philosophers, generals and politicians of the ancient Society discuss issues and after spread to the public by the use of word of mouth. The ancient Greek Drama and poetry can be considered as a form of mass media, communicates a message to the society. In other words since the early years people has always being influenced by Mass Media.
In today's world people cannot live without Mass Media and with the help of technological improvements to send messages to the masses is becoming easier and easier. As we are been shower with tons of advertising, information and other sort of materials by the different types of Mass Media has influence in our everyday life styles.
Newspapers are typically daily or weekly publication that contains news and opinion of current events, featuring articles, and advertising. By fact there are now about 9000 daily newspapers around the world.' Therefore newspapers reach a wide audience worldwide, which is why newspaper is a type of Mass Media.
The newspapers are an incredible influence tool in society; they can easily turn on people emotions in favor or against an issue or something. This is because we as readers tend to believe everything that is written in the newspaper even do it might be the wrong information. We can take the case around 12 years ago of the murder of James Bulger by Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, the British press had alleged that the kids were influence to commit such an act because of a spiteful video that they had watched, at the end the end they two kinds had not seen that video. What does this tell us about the newspapers? They mislead information that goes to the public which immediately influences the public to react, in this case the parent of kids prosecute the media that had influence their kids, but they don't know that the same media is influencing them to do act that way.
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The same case of the Bulger Killers according to Salmon Rusty they can only life the rest of their lives in anonymous peace ' although they had they had shown an excellent recovery according to the experts, so in this case what are the press doing? They are influencing people's feelings regarding these two individuals for their past acts, which they already pay the time in jail.
Newspapers can be very biased about a story. Although reporter tend of being impartial about a current event, sometimes is not always likely to be that way. An example of this we can take the newspaper coverage of the Iraqi war; also know as war on terrorism. In this case the American Press influenced the readers to unleash feeling of patriotism about their army, which lead to feeling of prejudice against Middle Eastern looking people. If at the time or still a Middle Eastern looking person is to be seen in America bring fear to people, the articles published in newspapers help this influence of fear to spread.
Television is the transmission of visual images of moving and stationary objects, generally with accompanying sound, as electromagnetic waves and the reconversion of received waves into visual images.' Television is of very big influence in today's world. It transmits images and as one has probably heard of the saying One picture worth's more than thousands of words this is way have a major influence in the viewers. Mainly in the consume habits of the public, yes, advertising is probably one the most influential item about Mass Media.
Every the average American sees more than 38,000 TV commercials ' now if we multiply that amount to 20 seconds, which is approximately the average commercial lasts will give us a result of 760.000 second an average American sees of commercial advertising products. How does this affect their consuming habits? The fast food industry is a great example of the influence of advertising in people consuming habits.
According to the documentary by Morgan Spurlock Supersize me', only McDonalds itself spend $1.4 Billion US dollar in direct media advertising, which includes television with the contrast of the 5 a day vegetable campaign that spend in his peak year the sum of $2 million US dollars. But what those this figures mean? These means that McDonalds spend a larger amount of cash into advertisement to persuade the general public to consume their food, especially kids; that are easy to influence with just giving them toys. What does this influence has on the general American population? More than 60% of Adults in America are overweigh or obese.' In others words the advertising of McDonalds and all fast food industries are working efficiently, they get large sums of profit because of their influence in the public of buying them.
The clothes industry also used Television as main type of media to advertise it goods. They also use celebrities and famous athletes in their advertising campaigns. These are very influential in the population for the reason that many of these athletes and celebrities are like role model for kids. Michel Jordan, David Beckham can be said to inspired kids to play a respective sport and to even wanted to look like them. Their popularity influence the society to a great extent that not only them, but also the clothing firms make large amount of cash of the influenced buyers to look cool wearing the latest Jordan Shoes .
Propaganda can also be achieving trough use of television. In Bush administration the television coverage of his speeches about War on Terrorism acquaint that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Around year and a half later no weapons of mass destruction have been found. And the American citizens were convinced about the unproven fact that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and were ready to sue it against America. This is other example of the influence of Television in the viewers.
Internet also known as the World Wide Web (WWW), it contains of a web of computers working together and connecting to each other like a spider web, and it allows the person to research all kinds of material on their computer and learn more and the topic or issue they are after.' this is the newest type of Mass Media there it reaches world wide, if one has a webpage made in Thailand someone in Colombia can see it. That is how amazing Internet is, distances become shorter and shorter.
One of the main problems is that Internet is very addictive; games influence kids to spend hours and hours sitting down in front of the screen practically wasting time. This have an effect on less kids developing social skills, therefore it link to the depression problem that most teenagers are suffering from in the 20th century.
One can find anything, absolute anything in the Internet; if we got that The number of World Wide Web pages indexed by the Google search engine is 3,083,324,652 pages.' One look for lets says the lyrics of the cucaracha in Russian language; there is a pretty high chance of finding it. This is way Internet is so controversial, finding web pages that helps revels produce weapons, show druggies to grow drugs, they can influence people to do acts that society consider wrong, I mean extremely wrong. But at the same time the Internet has help million of people like me to finish their work more efficiently and I short time.
Other example of the increasing influence of Internet on society is the next fact 2002 online sales rose 34% to $47.98 billion from $35.87 billion in 2001. Of which, $17.4 billion were in the fourth quarter alone, up from $12.4 billion in 2001.' these number show the increase of use of the internet in business, therefore advertising in internet is very influential and persuasive too.
Overall I conclude that Mass Media does have an effect of society. For the simple fact that is become part of our daily routine. Every morning the family guy reads the newspapers to get inform with out any type of criticisms. Citizens of society spend hours and hours watching Television to get entertain, the same case with the Internet. So as becoming part of our daily life, we can say that has a unconscious effect in our habits, like the shopping habits that people has these days, if they something on television, the Internet or the newspapers there is a high probability that they will consume it. Or the way society acts, if the Media said that something is wrong, like the Bulger killer case, society believe it.