The Medial Infuence

Reads: 365  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
An essay. If you want to read it, read it. =P

Submitted: January 23, 2009

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 23, 2009

A A A

A A A


In today's age, the media influences almost everything in society. Advertising is quite possibly the world's largest business area, as when anything is sold, it usually caries one or more advertisements along with itself. The entire media, though, is a double edged sword. It bestows information and communication with the masses, invoking awareness, inspiration, knowledge, and other various things that are beneficial to our society as a whole. However, with the good comes the bad; negative mental programming into the minds of those who perceive it. Often, the population's perspectives, morals, and ideals are distorted by the media's influence; for good or bad.

The change of thought isn't by accident, however. Advertising companies will actually pay psychologists and mental experts to study how various things affect the human mind as a general rule. Effects such as using the colour red in food ads to cause a sense of hunger, bold sharp edges to invoke a thought of adrenaline, dark smooth images to give a sophisticated or sleek feel, are all common attributes in many ads. Even the way the products themselves are designed follows this mind-game. Many products are shaped with rounded curves, like the attractive qualities of a female body, or with unnecessary LED's to draw the eye, using colour contrast to make it more appealing. This isn't necessarily a negative thing though, as it does improve the overall impression and quality of the products in capitalist society. It does however show the extent of programming that is subtly hidden in the media we see every day.

With the subliminal coding comes the large and obvious ones, silently screaming to be heard. This is in many ways, the worst type of influence. Images of how people should behave and live are frequent, and carry many implications with them. “If you do this, you'll be happy” is a common statement brought with ads, usually “this” is purchasing their product or service. Of course this goes both ways, in that “If you do this, you'll be unhappy” is also common. Showing people being punished for wrong acts makes onlookers not want to do it. People work on an “observation equals learning” rule. This means that when we perceive something, we learn from it. If someone reaches out to take the cupcake in front of them and are met with a shock, they usually won't try again. The same is true if they see someone else meet with such a consequence. This is a good psychological aspect of ourselves, but it also makes us vulnerable to external influences. When the lessons taught or false, problems are caused.

The biggest problem though, is that many companies are willing to sacrifice the well-being of the mass population, as long as it means enough profit. Look at the tobacco industry for example; it's quite obvious that cigarettes are bad for one's health, but sales still continue no less. The reason such industries haven't been shut-down and removed, is because they've been present for long enough, and grown to such heights, that they are already a deep-seeded part of the world. Many people's wallets would become suddenly lighter if tobacco manufacturing plants ceased in existence. Global warming is a wide-spread concern, as is using up our resources. The oil industry is well-known for it's exploits against people who developed re-usable energy sources or engines that run off such. Though the concern is present, the instant loss of money is a far greater concern than bigger problems years down the road.

In conclusion, media and advertising aren't completely negative, but rather powerful. It's ability to influence and change can tilt in either direction, of good or bad, depending on the intent behind it. Our responsibility as a population is to ensure we don't allow our society to change our own perspectives negatively, while still maintaining the flow of information, awareness, and knowledge. We can't blame alchohol when we drink it, so we can't blame ads when we let the affect us. It's difficult, but it's up to the individual, or community to keep healthy and unhealthy clearly defined; without the industry-based bias of profit.


© Copyright 2020 SandMan. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments: