Mass communication is the term used to describe the academic study of the various aspects by which individuals relay information through mass media to large segments of the population at the same time.
Back in the 1920s – 1930s, mass media is still under developed and its primary focus of media is the RADIO station. The Magic Bullet theory or also known as the hypodermic needle model is one of the first concepts on the effects of mass communications.
Essentially, this model holds that an intended message is directly received and wholly accepted by the receiver. The model is rooted in 1930s and is largely considered obsolete today, as the audience now are not as passive as those in the past.
The Evolution of Mass Media
In the last 50 years the media influence has grown exponentially with the advance of technology, first there was the telegraph, then the radio, the newspaper, magazines, television and now the internet.
credits to om3r
We live in a society that depends on information and communication to keep moving in the right direction and do our daily activities like work, entertainment, health care, education, personal relationships, traveling and anything else that we have to do.
How mass Media Influence works
Of all the media distribution channels the most influential has been the television, we are constantly exposed to thousands of images of violence, advertising, sex, celebrities and much more, in fact a its known that a child is exposed to about 40,000 ads a year.
But who owns the media, which are the companies or people that shape our values, beliefs and decisions? The media is basically dominated by five major companies they are:
- Time Warner
- Vivendi Universal
- Walt Disney
- News Corp
Those 5 companies own 95% of all the media that we get every day. They own the major entertainment theme parks, entertainment movie studios, television and radio broadcast networks and programing, video news and sports entertainment.
They also own integrated telecommunications, wireless phones, video games softwares, electronic media, the music industry and more.
And here is a video of HOW Mass Media Influence on Today’s Society
Then again, we see companies pumping in millions of dollars trying to advertise their Ads to influence on the Youth.
So how do they do it?
The answer : Role Models or we could call them > Celebrities
These are the effects of mass media in teenagers, they buy what they see on Tv, what their favorite celebrity advertise and what is acceptable by society based on the fashion that the media has imposed them.
There are some positive and negative influences in the youth.
A positive influence example – if there is a sport that is getting a lot of attention by the media and gains popularity among your friends and society, you will more likely want to practice the sport and be cool with all your friends. The result is that you will have fun with your friends and be more healthy because of the exercise your are doing.
However a negative influence in teenagers is the use of cigars by celebrity movie stars, the constant exposure of sex images, the excessive images of violence and exposure to thousands of junk food ads.
Young people are in a stage of life where they want to be accepted by their peers, they want to be loved and be successful. The media creates the ideal image of a beautiful men and women and tells you what are the characteristics of a successful person, you can see it in movies and tv. Its a subliminal way to tell you that if you are not like them you are not cool yet so its time to buy the stuff they buy and look like they look.
Effects of violence in the Media
When we watch Tv or a movie we usually see many images of violence and people hurting others. The problem with this is that it can become traumatic especially in our children as we see it more and more. Our kids that are starting to grow and are shaping their personality values and beliefs can become aggressive or they can lose a sense of reality and fiction of what they are seeing.
In the past years there have been some cases of kids carrying a gun at school and even hurting others with it. Those kids have been linked to excessive use of violent video games and war images.
Another problem is that real war is used as a form of entertainment by the media, we should make our kids and teen aware that war is not a form of entertainment and that there is no win or lose like in video games, in real war everyone lose.
Here is an example of it :
How media influence public opinion
As i have said above, the media has a huge impact on society and also in public opinion. They can shape the public opinion in different ways depending of what is the objective.
And here is a video explaining to us how the media influence public opinion >
In conclusion, the media has a strong social and cultural impact upon society. This is predicated upon their ability to reach a wide audience with a strong and influential message. Its just scary to see the power of the media advancing through the years.
In just the year of 2010, we have seen its “brain-washing” ability.
Now just imagine, what will dawn upon us 20 years from now?