Media-Secret Brainwasher

The media overall is a communication tool, one which deals with the vast amount of information passed from various organizations and governments to us, the population. The way in which this information is passed to us however is one which presents some problems and challenges for the future. The media is responsible for influencing a number of human emotions, both positively and negatively. The media shows us though advertising and other brainwashing techniques that we are always in need of the things they are promoting, which in some circumstances causes problems in other areas of sociology and communications. Such issues as low self esteem which is caused by advertisers using beautiful people to sell their products causes many young girls to think about themselves in relation to the models. The issues of human food consumption and how this is visualized through the media cause people to worry about their diets especially groups such as young girls, who see the media as a projection of how they want to be seen by the world, has led to anorexia and bulimia becoming common teenage problems. The final issue which the mass media has influence over is that of violence. Violent crime is increasing in the world, as is the exposure of violent games and movies to a younger generation. It is quite common to see violent movies on televisions, to see children playing with imaginary guns and shooting each other when playing in the street. The issue is compounded by the widespread access to computers, and to the kinds of violent games that children enjoy playing. These issues of technological advances were not present only a few decades ago, “this accessibility of electronic media has brought the problems of the larger world into our homes and challenged the role of parents in raising children” (Kundanis, 2003, p. 5), something which did not happen when the only media available was print media, and children had to learn to read before they were even affected by the messages conveyed. Teenagers are also affected by violent music and by other images projected at them through the media, those of a fantasy life in which the superstars on the TV are seen by teenagers, and are seen as being role models. Through reality TV shows and through music, teenagers are influenced by what they see or hear, and want to imitate what they are shown. With greater access to social networking, children or teens can also feel connected to their role models, which can influence the child or teen’s behavior. This can be both positive and negative in terms of how the media has affected children today. Therefore considering all of the above issues, it is possible to conclude that the real reason behind these problems is the media corporations themselves, and that these media outlets should be held responsible for the increasing levels of violence, anti-social behavior and even psychological problems in the youth of today. This is not so easily achieved, due to the power held by some of the largest media corporations, for example News Corporation, the media organization run by Rupert Murdoch, is the third largest media company in the world behind Disney and Time Warner. This company however has investments in broadcast media, satellite television services, internet service providers, magazine and newspaper print media, radio broadcasting, books and other elements of communications, including the infrastructure across which all of this is transmitted. Trying to implement a system of control over a vast empire such as this, which operates in many different countries, under different laws in different countries, would be virtually impossible. It is for this reason that the news media should be restricted and held accountable for their actions and for the subliminal messages which they pass to the populations of the countries they operate in, even if the restrictions are a relaxed code of conduct to prevent high levels of sex, drugs, violence and crime from being broadcast. New technologies such as the internet have shown teenagers that they can live similar lives to those they see in the media, and are brainwashed by the media into thinking that by purchasing the goods shown, or imitating what they see in the actions of superstars, then they are similar to their favorite superstars. However it could be argued that this is not a problem for the media, because “whatever is wrong with the media is commonly excused on the grounds that they are creatures of the market, that they give people what they want” (Bogart, 1995, p. 3), which takes responsibility away from the media corporations and puts in back on the individual. This, whilst being told that by using a specific product they will become like the Hollywood star, or sports star promoting the product will psychologically affect the viewer. These problems of “how television instigates antisocial behavior, how it leads children to be more accepting of violence, and how television’s images cultivate social attitudes and stereotypes” (Perse, 2001, p. 2) have now been compounded by the widespread use of the internet, on which these three elements are also a factor. The final issue though is with parental control, and if parents held more responsibility over their children’s actions then maybe some of the problems caused by a media system which is setup to brainwash and sell goods to the consumer of these media types, would not be as prevalent. Parents need to ensure that they do not give in to the pressures of the media, not to allow their children to watch violent movies, or to play disturbing computer games before they are old enough to do so. They must also try and resist the pressure put on them by their children to buy the latest fashions or products marketed through the mass media that they allow into their homes through the TV, magazines or the internet. There must be some level of shared responsibility between the media and the parents, in order to prevent children from having self-esteem problems in the future, or to be brainwashed into thinking that violence is acceptable, or that the latest trend is really that important. The media itself must also start to implement codes of conduct, or restrict access to some of the most disturbing, and psychologically damaging information which they present to the world. It is only through this system of shared responsibility that the problems of mass media can be addressed and can prevent the next generation from being brainwashed further by the relentless commercial drive of media corporations. These are the fundamental issues with the media in today’s world which need to be addressed, as media influence in our lives will only increase in the future, and will need to be regulated, either by parents or the corporations which provide our media to us. References Bogart, L. (1995). Commercial Culture: The Media System and the Public Interest. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from Questia database: http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=57908888 Kundanis, R. M. (2003). Children, Teens, Families, and Mass Media: The Millennial Generation. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from Questia database: http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=108662257 Perse, E. M. (2001). Media Effects and Society. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved October 26, 2010, from Questia database: http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=106226367

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