The Impact Of The Media Essay

1514 words - 7 pages

What makes you? Is it what we see or listen to? Many people believe that our media is a major factor in who we are. Some think that it can change a person throughout their life. Everybody has heard that violent television or video games cause people to become violent in real life. There is also the common phrase, you are what you eat, and we consume massive amounts of media. If people are consuming such amounts, it leads to the belief that this media that our brains absorb will have some effect on us. There are extensive studies involving visual media’s affect, such as television or movies, on people. However, the fields that are studying audio media are more limited in their ...view middle of the document...

22). IVET, or Immersive Virtual Environment Technology, is used to study the different effects of environments on people. IVET submits test subjects to different stimuli in order to see how their brain activity changes and how their written thoughts have changed (Pajares et al. 20). Those people subjected to positive sources of media were found to have more positive thoughts and emotions after the test such as positive attitudes towards exercise (Pajares et al. 21).
Conversely, this also applies to the negative side of the media. This was seen in test concerning music genres and lyrics. It was shown that those who listen to rap or heavy metal music had a higher percentage of conceived bad morals and behaviors as compared to other more light hearted and positive genres. Those people were more likely to do drugs, have a decrease in academic success, arrests, and underage sexual activity (Anderson et al. 961).
Additionally to the morality factor of the human conscience there is the ever present social factor. This is how people act and respond to social situations presented to them. Everyone is taught how to act and be social differently based upon where they were raised, who raised them, and the environments that they have been subjected to. In today’s world media is a big part of everybody’s environment. It is nearly impossible to avoid some speck of radio, a television series, or even a magazine article if you do not live under a rock. For example, children ages 8-18 spend 3-4 hours per day watching some sort of television programming on average (Huesmann par 16).
Children are a major target for media that is looking to promote activities and ideals. Children are the easiest to influence and therefore make great subjects for media producers to put pressure on. They must go through their parents to get the things that they found that they want. This subjects adults as well influencing them vicariously through their children. Many times this is for the latest and greatest video game. On average, children between the ages of 8-18 spend about fifty minutes a day playing some kind of video game.
There is such a thing as a thin-ideal in today’s world. It is the idea that the thinner one is the more beautiful that person is. This is most common among women who are exposed to a lot of media that portrays extremely thin models as beautiful (Shaw et al. par 1). Social pressure to be beautiful and look the best has driven some of the propaganda toward thin beauty. The barrage of this thin-ideal on women is being studied and thought to be linked to eating disorders among women (Shaw et al. par 2). It also can produce negative thoughts about oneself which affects self-esteem and can change how one acts around strangers or go to another extreme and cause suicidal thoughts along with depression. The feelings produced range from low self-esteem to pure stress over one’s appearance. Viewing the social stereotypes all around in...

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