How Has Media Affected You and Society- Extra Credit

How media affects us..

I really do believe that media affects or influences everyone in some way, shape, or form. We are constantly consuming media and rather it is consciously or subconsciously, it does something to us as we absorb it. I am not saying every little thing you listen to or see totally sways your views one way or another, but certain majorly impacting messages in the media or continuous absorption of lightly impacting messages in media do affect us. Media can affect us in positive ways and it can affect us in negative ways.

How media has affected me personally.

I do not notice media constantly affecting me, some times I notice it more than other. But if I take a step back and think about it sometimes then I can see it affecting me in certain ways. One temporary example is emotionally. Some days I will just be in a funk and so I have the urge to listen to slow and usually kind of sad songs (typically country). No that media doesn’t turn me into a constantly depressed person but it sure doesn’t help my “down” mood. The media that I am choosing to listen to on those days is promoting sadness. It is promoting me to feel more down and to think about things maybe from my past that upset me.

This could go totally opposite too. If I am in a really good mood or maybe just super energized and pumped about the day I will listen to rap or something upbeat. The media I am choosing to listen to in this scenario helps lift my mood even more or keep it lifted. We can control that kind of media intake and how it affects us. I know if I listen to sad music, I will probably get a little sad. Just like I know if I start listening to fast and happy music, I will probably have my spirits lifted at least a little bit.

Media affects us in other, more permanent ways too though. I am trying to keep this section all personal scenarios so I will switch gears towards television media now. I have always loved to watch crime shows, rather it is scripted like Law & Order, real footage like Cops, or just reenacted like Nightmare Next Door or Who The Bleep Did I Marry. I have no clue what started this fascination but for as long as I can remember it has always been there.  Consuming this time of media has made me slightly cold I feel like. I think that it has made me a little less emotional when reading gruesome things. I feel like watching these kind of shows has made me think of murder in kind of a “unreal” thing, not like I do not think that it happens but that I emotionally detach myself when hearing about it because if anything about death is posted on social media I will be the first to read it but it does not make me sit there and cry or react in such an empathetic way that I think others react in.

Media has affected me by swaying my views. I was raised in a very conservative republican and religious home, but as I have gotten older and been able to choose all the media that I expose myself to, my views have began to change. I try to remain pretty open minded so I try to read media about both political parties and all religious or non religious views, and I think that the way each one is portrayed in social media has really swayed my views. I consider myself much more liberal and less conservative. Seeing and reading the ways that conservative republicans act on media and what they say has really bothered me and one factor in me changing my views away from what my parents views are.

Media affects me in my friendships. Being a girl, gossip and drama is always happening. People are always unfriending and blocking each other or unfollowing each other. Gossip and drama and complaining is at the core of social media, it really is what keeps it going. In highschool, this kept us going. It gave us something to talk about, who is doing what, who is posting what, who is dating who. Social media just gave us another thing to gossip about so I feel like this really determined our friendships and topics of discussion. I think that this broke up friendships off and on because things are taken wrong or somebody sees a post that offends them, or somebody gets cut out of a picture that was posted of the group. Now, as I have gotten older I do my best to steer clear of drama and I really feel like this costs friendships in a different way. Now it is not friendships ending over offensive posts, etc. it is friendships ending because all I see them post is drama and I just do not want anything to do with it.

All of this seems so negative, and it is sad because social media is not all bad. Yes there are days where I hate social media and or just media in general and I wish it did not even exist, but there are great things we get out of it too. I do not have cable on my television so I get all my news from the news stations that I follow on social media, that really helps keep me up to date with crisis’ or things going on around me and it is helpful since I am trying to pursue a public relations career. Social media also helps me stay connected with my parents and close friends. I live an hour and a half away from my parents so yes we text or call sometimes but one main way I see what my siblings are up to and what my family is doing for the weekend is through what they post on social media. Media as far as television goes sometimes just gives me and my fiancee a chance to just be together. There is something so relaxing about just cuddling up on the couch and watching a good movie. It is a time to just be quiet and enjoy being with each other.

How media has affected us as a society

Everyone consumes some type of media. Even babies watch tv or listen to the radio in the car with their parents, they may not know what is going on so I am not sure how much it really affects them at that young of an age but it just shows that we all consume media somehow throughout the day and our lives.

Media ruins people’s relationships. This is a huge, huge impact I see media having on other people. Husbands or wives secretly viewing pornography as an outlet to fulfill their sexual fantasies rather than confiding in their spouse, this causes divorce in many situations. People consume that type of media and hide it from their spouse or partner. People do this because they are not happy with their current life and want something more or because they have developed an addiction to it. They do this and then get unrealistic wants and desires or begin to value time with their pornography more than they value the time with their spouse and their marriage or relationship slowly goes downhill.

Social media ruins people’s relationships. Social media can be awesome for reconnecting or staying connected with people, but sometimes it can lead to a connection or reconnection with the wrong kind of people. Social media gives people the opportunity to talk to “the other person” and their spouse might never know. It is on their social media that has a password on it. This gives people a good way to communicate with somebody they should not be behind “the closed doors of social media” meaning like the password protected messages.

Media affects people’s views of others. It can make you think of someone in a different light after seeing things they post or repost. You might not know this person’s political or religious (or non religious) views but then see them put something on social media leaning one way or the other, this might make you like them more or like them less- maybe make you decide you do not like them at all now.

Media affects people’s societal views- political especially. People who are running for office often have situations or aspects of their lives that are just blown way out of proportion. You cannot believe everything you read on media, but sadly most people do. This will cause people to lean one way or the other. This also influences people to really bash or just dislike individuals based on a social media story on them.

Media affects how society dresses and acts. Famous people- athletes, actors/actresses, singers, etc. are always in the spotlight. People are always paying attention to what they are wearing and doing to decide what is cool and what is in style. This affects what people wear and do. If they see Miley Cyrus wearing something and they just love it, well Miley was wearing it so it must be cool so they are going to go buy a similar outfit for themselves. A perfect example of this in the past is smoking. When smoking first started becoming popular, advertising was everywhere. Everybody smoked. All the cool and good looking people would smoke. This influenced and encouraged average people to start smoking because “everybody was doing it”, yet these people had no idea how bad smoking actually was for them.

Media influences people’s moods and tendencies. Playing video games is a very big thing especially for teenage and young adult men. Many video games are violent or gory and this can affect them over time. It temporarily affects their mood is what I have noticed. The guys (or girls, they play video games too) will play these violent and aggressive games and get very mad. The mental atmosphere that these games create promotes anger and aggression. This puts them in a certain mood, their aggression level increases with playing the game and then after getting away from the game for a little while it will go back down to a normal level.
Media affects people in that it gives them a crutch. Media has become an easy babysitter for many parents or babysitters. Most kids, even toddlers know how to mess with an iphone or ipad and trust me, they want to play with it. When parents or babysitters are out with the kid or busy and want them to be quiet it is so easy to just be like “Here’s a device, occupy yourself.” This has made kids more and more reliant on technology because they think that is how you play, that is the way to keep yourself entertained so that is what they want.

Media affects us as a society in making us very here and now. It makes us very demanding and impatient. All I have to do is pick up my phone, which is already in my hand most of the time so I do not even have to pick it up, and open an app. I can find out what the weather at that very moment is anywhere, I can look up any question I have, I can see what all my social media friends are doing, I can read all the latest news stories, I can see all the gas prices surrounding me. I did all that just at the touch of a button without ever having to leave my couch or exert much effort at all. This makes us so demanding and impatient because we are used to pushing one button and having stuff therefore we do not like when we have to wait or when we have to actually search for something.

Summary

Media is very influential and it is all around us. Media is part of our everyday lives and can be fantastic or can be very bad. It is something that does affect us in both positive and negative lights. Media is definitely something that we should not take lightly, just because it is posted does not mean it is always true so just like everything else, we should not rely on it to be our only source for everything in life and all our entertainment. It is a great resource when used correctly and appropriately. Appreciate it but do not abuse it.

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