Role of the media in today’s society

In modern times media is a very important tool for the dissemination of information and influencing pop culture. Ideas, propaganda, news and product promotions and readily available at every media outlet such as on television, social networking sites and on the radio. This can be beneficial and also detrimental to the society as facts can be tweaked for the benefit for those in control.

The media can be said to be largely responsible for many consumers’ body image, especially for female consumers. Currently the media depicts the ideal female body type to be skinny with contoured features, and for men to be tall and muscular with chiseled features. Frequent depictions of such images would raise the people’s perception of the perfect ideal figure drastically, leading to a drop in self confidence. The poster below would show recent statistics on how the media influenced the public.

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Apart from body image it also influences pop culture in the sense where people would like to dress like their favourite celebrities, hence resulting in the setting of trends worldwide and affecting the history of pop culture.

Media is also used as a tool to spread messages that people may not be able to convey publicly to the rest of the world. This can be in the form of blog posts (such as this assignment!), and social networking platforms. This is more commonly used by youths to air their views efficiently, and could even help them achieve their one shot at fame online through sites like Youtube. An infamous recent example would be a video uploaded by Stephanie Koh, who was a finalist in a Korean singing competition, justifying her statement made on local television on her disdain towards Singapore. Not saying that she was wrong for airing her point of view, but I felt that her reasoning could be done in a more well-thought out manner.

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One lesson we can take away from the prevalence of media would be to view everything with see with a critical eye and not to be fooled by bigots who abuse the availability of media to exploit the feelings of consumers. It is also important to not abuse the privilege we have in freely voicing out our thoughts on media platforms which would undermine the benefits the media can bring.

(Infograph taken from http://www.raderprograms.com/health-concerns/infographic-eating-disorders-and-the-media.html)

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2 thoughts on “Role of the media in today’s society

    • I would say that this media effects model introduces quite a narrow view towards the above-mentioned problems of weight consciousness in society, especially among youths. Many youths may feel inadequate about being chubby or looking different as compared to their peers due to bullying by their classmates or playmates. It is common for human beings to ‘reject’ or criticize things that may seem foreign or different to what they are usually exposed to in their families, and upbringing would play a big role as well. For teenagers and young children especially, they might not have developed a certain level of maturity to comment on the differences of their overweight peers and as a result may unintentionally disregard the feelings of others when they are unable to react appropriately to what they see. In my opinion this actually plays a big role, but many choose to put on the blame on the media rather than on themselves for not being able to educate their children on proper behavior and respect.

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