Literature and the media combined have a powerful impact on those who wish to truly realize and understand their message. Study, read, learn, experience, feel, and know the culture of your present and those cultures of your past. Only then can one understand the ideas of life and theory and how the two work together to help us better understand each other and ourselves.
For all intents and purposes, “media” is the same as “influence.” Whatever influences us, is media. Recently outside Regal Cinema, Mark Brandon explained the difference between media and non-media. He had just seen Shaft, Samuel L. Jackson’s new hit summer movie. Jackson plays a vigilante ex-cop. To Brandon, Shaft was “damn fine action entertainment.” When asked if he had seen last year’s Boys Don’t Cry, Brandon replied: “No. I heard it was about some chick who wanted to be a guy. What’s the point? I don’t need to be told that chicks who want to be guys have it rough. I don’t need that forced down my throat. I want to see a movie that’s happy with who I am, not a movie that wants me to change. I like who I am.” Mark’s parents, Mark and Ellie Brandon, who had been to Mel Gibson’s new movie The Patriot, agreed. “We came here to get away from the media. We came here to be entertained, plain and simple.” The people have spoken, and the people want a medium without a message.
When we engage any media, no matter what form it may take, we are in essence receiving the ideas from those authors. Simply, it is a different format by which we now exchange ideas. Hence, it is no different than having the creators, writers, entertainers and advertisers with us in our living room. As far as advertisers are concerned, they are banking on this fact. Why? If we talk with one another, write a letter to one another, or text or tweet a message, we are conveying our thoughts to another person. We are socializing. It makes no difference if this is in person or electronic. The effects are still the same.
Another interesting fact is that, whether consciously aware of what is being displayed or not, media plays a substantial role in influencing consumption patterns and lifestyle. Researchers noted television's power to influence even people who are illiterate. Smith-Speck and Roy (2008) explained that even individuals who cannot read or write can be highly influenced by advertising to purchase certain products, or develop certain lifestyle values. It is this media picture that portrays, and actually molds, our society's value system. In essence, media is conveying what we should buy, who we should be, or who we should become, in order to be "happy". Unfortunately, whether young or old, this seems to be working.
Influencing the illiterate seems like it would be the easiest way to influence. If one is illiterate, where are they going for their news? A radio station or a television news station. Certain stations have been proved to report the news favoring a certain side or subject matter influencing the viewer to think that way.
Research shows that "heavier viewers of the local news are more likely to experience fear and be concerned about crime rates in their community than are lighter viewers" (Schnieder, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). So my question for you is, can you think of any media source that you that you take in which may alter your perception of people or the world in general?
According to cultivation theory, media "cultivates heavy viewers' social reality. Research has consistently found that TV influences heavy viewers' perceptions of the world" (Schnieder, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). According to this theory, one of the negatives aspects of media violence is that it causes people to view the world as more dangerous than it really is.
Buffalo, NY—More than ever, the media seems to influence the decisions of citizens in the free world. People of America who are otherwise impervious to influence find themselves utterly bereft of the strength needed to resist the media’s terrible influence. In other words, influence is all around us. One cannot help but note the connection between “influence” and “influenza”—or what is commonly known as the “flu.” Are we sick? Sick and tired of being influenced?
Society cannot determine the amount of influence electronic media or advertisements have upon a person in one given day because it would be like trying to define every function of a computer. The existence of media in society is infinite. There is not a way to confine it and therefore cannot be measured. Without an accurate way to measure the precise influence of electronic telecommunications, researchers have to resort to other measures, mainly a comparison of society before and after the introduction of wireless technology.
The influence of the mass media has existed since the invention of the movable type and printing press. Whether we take notice or even hold significance to this influence other than crediting it to our present day way of life, it is subjective. Some believe that the influence of advertising is purely socioeconomic but not psychological while others accredit it to being the very basic form of human development (DeFleur 107).
Thanks to the advancement of technology in the last century new methods of mass communication have grown dramatically. Before the late 19th century, there was only the printed word to convey information to the masses. Since then, the world has seen the invention of radio, television, and most recently the internet. One of the most powerful means of communicating ideas is through the use of mass media. In contemporary cultures, the advent of mass media has created an important means of discussing, shaping, and reflecting the values and behaviors of each culture.