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Media in Today's Society
Today, we live in a world that has collided with media. Almost everywhere we go, we see advertisements, magazines, television sets, and radios. We look toward media as a source of entertainment, information, and communication. It has become a contemporary factor in our everyday living. However, we know very little of its true effect on us.
As of today, media has been distorting our minds. We are told that being skinny is good, that being old is bad. We've been told that pre-marital sex is normal and that smoking and drugs are okay to use. They might not say it directly, but sooner or later, the message sinks in and our perception of one's self, of others, and of the environment change. This is the ways of media abuse.
When we see a cigarette advertisement, of course, there is the warning, but people will buy it anyway. When a woman sees an anti-aging cream and she's around forty-five, she just might buy it. Media has its way of influencing us. But it is teaching us the wrong things. It has created its own version of "perfection". It also creates things like "trends" and things that are "in". Why do they do this? Usually, its just to bring the money in. To have us buy their products. Or watch more of their shows. Or suscribe to their magazines and take their drugs.
The bad thing about media is that it only shows the "good side" of things. Okay, so there may be warnings (such as in cigarette advertisements), but these never do their part at all. It will never be persuasive enough. And the people doing this are simply concerned about how much profit they'll make.
This is how media advertisements work:
- They show you something pleasing (A fit girl)
- They state something as a cause (the product)
- They give an explanation on how it works (the product contains L-Carnitine)
- They send the message (Buy NOW!)
It is then implanted in our mind that this "pleasing thing" is what we want and is what the society's standards are. We are influenced by the advertisements and we either buy the product, or try to figure someway to achieve the things we see on the media.
Now, there is also the case of morals.
In things like television shows, there are usually disastrous things happening (adultery, drugs, dropping out of school). This is to catch the viewers' eyes. Then we're thinking "It's a bad thing, but people are doing it everyday." In other words, we're thinking "It's not as bad as I thought it was." If not, we are idolizing the people on tv doing these things and end up doing them as well.
When you see magazines with nude pictures, porn on the internet, it's either your grossed out or pleased. Either way, you know people are buying into it, are fans of it, and are enjoying it. And this is when you start to process that this is accepted by society. Pre-marital sex is accepted into society (Gossip Girls, Dawsons Creek, The Fifth Wheel and so many others). Then there's adultery (Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives...). There is violence. There is drugs. Smoke. Alcohol. You name it. These sink right into the minds of everyone exposed to it. Even those who don't understand it. Especially children. In the case of children, they don't know any better. In the case of adolescents, it's cool. For adults, it's normal. This is what media has done to us.
In terms of perception, media has distorted our mind horribly. From skinny models in dresses, to liposuction, to face lifts...all because of IT. Why? Well, there's always that thing a person can say in his/her mind "These people are famous. They're on tv. Everyone likes them. I should be like thatm too." You don't KNOW you're thinking it, but you can. This has caused us horrible things. We feel insecure. We aren't contented. We want something that we think is good and will do everything to obtain it. A good example would be anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. These victims are OBSESSED with getting skinny. Even if they already are in ourpoint of view, it'll never change for them. This is how horrible media abuse has gotten for us.
Still, we are working our way to repair the damage. People with hearts are extending themselves to prove the other messages wrong. But will it be as effective? Not all people are effected by media's negative messages, but I bet the same number of people don't know the effects or don't care of the effects at all.