Mass Media has a Negative Influence on Society

Along with the progress of humanity, there was evident progress in the communication means. First people invented the telegraph and post offices and then appeared the radio, the newspapers, the television and finally the internet. Nowadays it is difficult to imagine an individual, who does not use either Internet or television or any other form of mass media. Taking into consideration such mass usage of mass media, it is really important to consider the actual impacts, which mass media has upon individuals. Before doing this, it is logical to consider the basic functions of mass media, which are provision of new information, entertainment and education. The basic aim of mass media is to provide information to the society about everything and this is probably the reason, why the term “information age” has developed in relation to modern world. Individuals want to know the news for different reasons, some of them use them as socialization means, whereas others need that in order to formulate their own opinions. Mass media for the sake of entertainment is also preferred in this hectic and rapid world. Education about individual rights and social and moral obligations is one of the important functions of mass media. Along with the process of globalization mass media has reinforced its positions, as individuals, businesses, nations, countries, the whole world started to depend upon information to a great extent. Thus mass media is present in lives of all individuals, irrespectively of their age, ethnicity, religion, professional occupation or geographical position. People have learnt to trust mass media, accepting its authority and relying upon it in most life spheres. Mass media has a unique power for impacting psychological and social conditions of individuals, especially of younger generation; mass media provides misinformation with the aim of spreading stronger impact upon the audience,  contributes to formation of stereotypes and hinders normal educational process for children and teenagers.

Mass media has serious impact upon formation of human identity in the modern world. Mass media has profound and prolonged influence upon all information processes within society at different stages. Taking into consideration the regular amount of information, available in this world and the speed of its flow, not a single individual is really able to sort it out independently, i.e. without mass media. It was already mentioned that mass media has both negative and positive impacts upon humanity. The core of its negative impact is related to the fact mass media has the task to make the audience accept the offered position or idea via strong persuasion. Biologically individuals are all subjected to imitation and persuasion. Certainly mass media could have positive impact upon society and especially younger generations, if its power of persuasion was directed at creating better social values, support of better interpersonal relations, balanced psychological and physical development, etc. In reality persuasion is related to promotion, which is usually used purely for commercial reasons. Promotion is made up of absolute manipulation of public consciousness, which is beneficial to a limited number of individuals, who have business and/or political interests. There is no chance for mass media to present only true to life information, there are numerous examples of wrongful or biased presentation of facts and information with the aim to convince the audience react in the needed way. This misinformation sinks down in human’s subconsciousness and later these individuals take the “needed” decisions, they vote for the candidate, who has paid for his advertising political campaign, they purchase the products, which were claimed to be the best, because their producer had paid for advertising and so on. Thus mass media is a great resource for making huge masses of people submissive and make them take the defined choices.

Mass media contributes to formation of various associations and stereotypes in the society and by single individuals. Again with the aim to better manipulate the audience, mass media representatives are looking for positive and negative associations, which would be strong enough to make people perceive the information in the way, which is needed. Further this process leads to formation of stereotypes, which could be devastating for social relations. The process of perception is defined as “a mechanical adjustment of still unknown phenomenon under a steady general formula” (Green, 1994). The information, which comes through mass media, is already stereotyped in a specific way, there is no time and no need for the audience to critically analyze the message. Certainly mass media is the quickest and the best available option for getting information. At the same time, it is important to remember that this portion of information was already processed. This could be compared to purchasing meat. When you purchase a whole piece of meat, you are free to make your choice how to cook it, but when it was already processed to small pieces, there is no choice left. Thus mass media is a kind of mincing machine for information. This manipulation of human consciousness starts from the yearly years, when children and teenagers at any rate experience difficulties with formation of their own positions and attitudes and could be easily influenced due to their naivety. By the way mass media’s impact upon younger generations is probably the worst effect of it. A lot has been already said about aggression by children and teenagers; this aggression is directly connected to mass media. There is a great number of animated films and they contain aggression scenes and scenes of sadism. Characters of these films cause pain and sufferings to somebody and show the young audience the corresponding model of behavior. Children get used to aggression and they feel satisfaction, when they start breaking the moral standards. Instead of learning usual human emotions of sympathy, pain, empathy, children have their habitual feelings broken. The characters of these films are bright personalities and children like not only to identify themselves with their behaviors, but also with those personalities and their characters. The supporters of positive impact of mass media state that it provides limitless opportunities for education. Partially this is true, as there is better access to scientific resources granted and there are a lot of platforms for education created for children and adults. At the same time mass media causes severe conscious suppression and dependence by younger people. Some of the psychologists came to the conclusions and mass media is able to cause the same dependence, as drugs cause. “With certain duration of influence, the light flashes, blinking with a certain rhythm, start interacting with the brain alpha rhythms on which the ability of the concentration of the attention depends. They disorganize the brain’s rhythmic, and the syndrome of the attention violation with hyperactivity develops.” (Atkin, 2002). Finally children experience difficulties with their studies due to lack of appropriate concentration and the needed intellectual effort.

Overall, modern world cold hardly be imaged without mass media, penetrating into all life spheres and having mostly negative impact upon all individuals; taking into consideration the current speed of development of new technologies, most luckily the impact of mass media would become even stronger and thus there is a need to conduct further research of protection mechanisms for humans, especially for younger generations, as at the moment mass media has serious negative impact upon formation of human identity, forces development of stereotypes and aggressive behavioral patterns.

References:

Atkin C.K. 2002. Television advertising and socialization to consumer roles. Rockville: National Institutes of Health

Bagdikian, Ben H. 2000. The Media Monopoly, Sixth Edition, Beacon Press

Barker, C. 2008. Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. 3rd ed., London, Sage

Chomsky, Naom. 1997.  “What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream”. Z Magazine

Florescu, Oroles. 2014. Positive and Negative Influences of the Mass Media upon Education. LUMEN

Green RG. 1994. Television and aggression: Recent developments in research and theory. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum

Klein, Sage N. 2000. Advertising and Popular Culture, London: Routeledge

Liebert RM, Sprafkin JN. 1988.The Early Window: Effects of Television on Children and Youth. 3rd edn. New York: Pergamon Press

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: January 20, 2022]
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