You want to imitate an action sequence just because your favorite action hero looked 'cool' doing it. You want to wear the LBD just because you are a fan of Coco Chanel. You want to wear the shade of nail polish Lady Gaga wears for that frantic gaga look. You want to sport your favorite actors' hairstyles and you want to walk like those ramp models do. You want to do everything that people from the glamor world do, you want to be like your favorite celebrity. Even you want to be in the news. Any publicity is good publicity, you begin to feel. Your role models are people that the media exposes you to. You want to be someone, but not yourself! And now you say media does not influence you! Oh come on, it surely does! Mass media does affect the way in which masses think and act. It influences their behavior both positively and negatively. The positive effects are surely celebrated by one and all. But the negative effects are not conducive to a healthy society. Here, we will try to understand how media influences us negatively.
Media's Negative Influence
Blind Imitation: When you try to imitate your role models from the glamor industry, do you give a thought to whether you are doing right or wrong? It is often seen that young girls and boys imitate celebrities blindly. The impact of media is such that the wrong, the controversial, the bad is more talked about. Sometimes, little things are blown out of proportion thus changing the way they are perceived by the audience. Media highlights controversies and scandals in the lives of celebrities. The masses fall for this being-in-the-news and end up imitating celebrities without much thought. Those at a vulnerable age, especially children and teenagers are highly influenced by anything that is put before them in a jazzy way. At that age, they are attracted to anything that's flashy and anything that can make news.
Wrong Message: The negatives in society are highlighted with the purpose of awakening people about them. For example, the negative effects of addiction are portrayed through advertisements. Newspapers, television and the Internet are used to convey social messages. But unfortunately sometimes, the message is misconstrued. The 'awakening' does not reach everyone or it reaches the masses in the wrong way. So there is a section positively influenced by the media while there are others who take the wrong message from it. Media influences them negatively. What is shown with an intent to 'spread a message' ends up becoming a bombardment of the bad, the ugly. The bad is overinflated and the good goes unnoticed. Depiction of the bad has a negative impact on kids not mature enough to interpret what they are being shown. It's not just media to be blamed in this case. Parents and teachers have a big role to play in selecting what the young should see and what they should not.
Negativity: To some extent, media is responsible for generating negative feelings among those exposed to it. An early exposure to bold or violent films, books publishing adult content and news portraying ugly social practices has a deep impact on young minds. If children are bombarded with fight sequences, stunt work, sex and rape scenes, suicides and murders through books or movies, they are bound to leave a scar on these impressionable minds. And not just children, the unpleasant can impact even an adult's mind. Adults may have the maturity to distinguish between the good and the bad, but bombarding only the bad can affect anyone at least at the subconscious level. Haven't you had experiences of a bad dream after watching a violent movie? Or of imagining something scary happening to you after watching a horror film? Or a sudden fear gripping your mind after reading about a murder in your city? The reality should be depicted but not so gaudily that it'll have a lasting impact on people's minds.
Unhealthy Lifestyle: Media is held responsible for the change in eating habits of teenagers and the...
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