Mass communication plays an extensive role in an individual’s daily life. Right from the second you wake up till you go to bed after saying goodnight to your wife, kid, parents, siblings or friends, you are surrounded in a world built just for you by the media. With the help of technology, there has been a drastic shift from the telegraph, and then the radio, newspapers, magazines and now to the internet.
Our daily activities depend heavily on the information that is provided to each one, and the way that is communicated to us, be it entertainment, hard or soft news, personal relationships, travelling, or even healthcare.
This could relate to the decisions made at the workplace which may be based on the information that come from television, newspapers, the internet, friends, family or any other related individual. The mass media works like a pull factor; it just drags you into its world, and makes you believe that whatever you do, you see and you hear is true, and the most trustable. They come to you, not just to provide information, but also to lead you into their world, which ultimately makes you realize that most of the decisions, values and beliefs are based on what we know for a fact, our assumptions and our own experience.
Magazines: The Power of Words and Images
The magazines are not just something we are reading, it’s something that’s changing the way we see and think about ourselves and the world. With all the tips on how to act and how to look, we are falling under the magazines trance. Our self-esteem and self-image is gradually failing, because of the influence and the role magazines play in our lives. Magazines are filled with beauty products, weight loss tips, photo shopped models, and the ideal perfection. Most photos in magazines are altered so that wrinkles, fat, and pores disappear. Teens are in a stage of life where they want to be accepted by their peers, they want to be loved and be successful. The printing media creates the ideal image of beautiful men and women with all the ingredients of a successful person, you can see it in movies and TV.
Newspapers and the News: Reflection of a Democratic Society
Newspapers today have a great influence through the news that they print, or do not print, and the colour which they give to it. Newspapers provide a wholesome intellectual food, trade contacts and also job opportunities. It is through the newspapers that marriages are arranged, and lost things are found. People pay homage to their dead relatives through the obituary notes in the newspapers.
Perception of crime is highly dependent on local news reporting. When we are exposed to crime stories from our own area we are more likely to feel afraid of crime, while crime stories from other places make us feel more secure because our cities are relatively safer. Print media is often called on to act as the government’s watchdog from the political point of view, but it can just as often be used to help governments’ direct public opinion.
They have been around for centuries, spreading information and opinions, and helping people to form a view of the world. Some people believe that printed media uses this influence in ways that hurts the public in order to increase sales and ad revenue.
Television and Radio: Broadcast and Beyond
Many critics think that TV and radio are responsible for pulling down society. Others argue that television contributes to a shared culture, which exceeds geographic and ethnic restrictions.
Violence on television distorts violence as being good and acceptable. Today’s television programming is violent and influences children’s behaviour and views on violence. Children become immune and numb to violence, acceptant of violence as a way to resolve problems and wanting to imitate what they observe on television.
Not all profane language is censored on television and radio. The more times swearing and profanity is used on television and radio, the more it can be seen as normal.
There are television shows and radio channels which help expand the imagination of not only kids but adults as well. The Discovery Channel, History Channel, the Food Network etc are some examples which encouraged people’s creativity and artistic abilities.
Movies: Mass Producing Entertainment
If you are a fan of movies, it certainly had influenced you a lot in your decisions, thinking, mood, views, etc. Films are produced on every topic of life, classic, action, suspense, thrill, history, romance, mystery, biography, research-based, animals, and others. Every topic of a film has different influence to the audience. A romantic movie will give you romantic influence. It may give you some tips on how to persuade and please your partner or the person you love.
On the other hand, there are films that will serve as your sources of information and knowledge. Research-based movies give you influence of research and inventing new things. A historical movie tells about the ancient times and their lifestyle which urges man to adopt or in some manner, influence from them. Classic movies give classic arts and lifestyle. These films are usually the sources of students for research purposes and it also serves as a means of broadening their knowledge about different things because it is more lively and perhaps, entertaining.
The Internet: Mass Communication Gets Personal
The Internet is the decisive technology of the Information Age, and with the explosion of wireless communication in the early twenty-first century, we can say that humankind is now almost entirely connected. Communication is no longer done face-to-face, but on Messenger, Skype or simply via webcam, sometimes even among people who are in the same building, or even in the same room. Intense use of the Internet increases the risk of isolation, alienation, and withdrawal from society, but can also increase sociability, civic engagement, and the intensity of family and friendship relationships, in all cultures. It all depends on the individual. People use the Internet to help them achieve their real-life goals. And rather than technology’s changing people’s social and psychological reality, people change their use of technology to facilitate their creation of a desired social reality.
Internet users should closely examine their behaviour, to ensure that excessive time online will not negatively impact their personal well-being. We shouldn’t throw our computers out the window, but neither should we charge on blindly into complete dependence on the Internet. As with many things in life, it seems that moderation and balance are key to maximizing the Internet’s positive effect.