The question which the research aims to answer is the issues raised by mass media that influence people today. Mass media is communication executed through words of speech, written, print, and broadcast, which reach many people (Tsetsura & Kruckeberg, 2017). The channels of conveying information include movies, radio, advertisement, internet, newspaper, magazine, and television. In modern culture, mass media is a significant force that brings the issue of violence to people today (Wahab et al., 2017). It is a source of information and entertainment that has a significant impact on one’s day-to-day life. Mass media conveys issues that affect children, adults, and teenagers, but impact each age group differently.
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Answering the research question is vital because it helps understand social media’s impact on individuals. People have been subjected to misleading information, which has influenced how they perceive the world. Some of the issues impart bad morals to children, which changes their behavior in society (Tsetsura & Kruckeberg, 2017). For example, some television companies employ girls with specific body characteristics, and people consider such shapes acceptable in the industry. Overweight females are pushed to do things that would give them a good physical appearance (Wahab et al., 2017). Society depends on mass media, and in the long run, people are affected by it.
Addressing the question is important because the issues generated by media influence society negatively. The youth consume information, and it has affected their mind in terms of being violence (Wahab et al., 2017). The appearance of girls working in media stations has been given excessive force, which the brain perceives as the perfect human body. Such insights driven by media are incorrect because appearance should not define a person (Tsetsura & Kruckeberg, 2017). The promotion of products by beauty pageants, attractive models, and cosmetic surgeries has led to the occurrence of the issue. Therefore, the media inform the public on matters that happen worldwide, especially in areas where people do not have experience or direct knowledge.
The basic concept to use in the study includes magic bullet and two-step flow theory. According to the magic bullet model, mass media realize information to a passive audience (Tsetsura & Kruckeberg, 2017). The media aim to transfer knowledge, ideas, and feelings from one mind to another (Tsetsura & Kruckeberg, 2017). Two-step flow theory claims that the message in the media is reshaped before being released to the audience. The study has a significant benefit since it will identify some of the issues brought by the mass media to people (Wahab et al., 2017). The matters such as violence, sexual content, and wrong representation of the world, generated by media influence how a person reacts to and perceive the world currently.
Cultivation theory asserts that exposure to television has a strong effect on shaping social reality by showing a distorted view of violence and risk in the world. The audiences are likely to recognize themselves with certain values and identities presented by mainstream media, but they do not share those values or personalities in real life (Shah et al., 2020). Therefore, television shapes, changes, and influences the social realities of people (Shah et al., 2020). The broadcast cultivates different types of information in people’s minds, and they grow and become shared social reality (Shah et al., 2020). The amount of time people spend on the media creates a conducive environment for distorted values to be instilled in the minds of people about the world.
The Weekend Morning Children’s Programs and Prime-Time Television Shows are associated with a high amount of violence. The African American and Latino children and older people are portrayed as victims of violence compared to their white counterparts (Den Hamer et al., 2017). The disparity is evident because the minority groups are underrepresented on the shows while their susceptibility to violence is over-elaborated. Therefore, the media gives one community an imprint of being composed of depraved people, while others are given a good reputation (Den Hamer et al., 2017). Such information provides a wrong impression about African Americans, and those who have not had the opportunity to interact with them consider the news as true. The mainstream media has presented distorted content about individuals, which has influenced people’s behavior towards different racial groups.
The effects of media viewing and wrong representation of the world are built over time. Those who over-rely on broadcast look at the world as the most dangerous place compared to light viewers (Khairil et al., 2017). The media world syndrome was developed to describe the distorted view of the universe. Television has managed to persuade the public that the world is more violent and people are dangerous, which is not true (Khairil et al., 2017). Those who spend more time watching television have a viewpoint that they are likely to be involved in violence. They consider the prevalence of criminal activity as high because the media has made them believe so (Khairil et al., 2017). Those who trust the media are more suspicious of other citizens, and they question their motives.
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Media is also associated with violence through various programs that are watched by adults and children. In 1999 some students entered Denver-area high school and killed 12 classmates before committing suicide (Thompson et al., 2019). Some people suggested that video games could be responsible for influencing the students. Studies by Thompson et al., (2019) have shown that there is a connection between vicious behavior and violent video games. For instance, a survey conducted on students playing video games reveals they develop aggressive feelings and angry thoughts immediately after playing (Thompson et al., 2019). Hence, the amount of time young people spends playing violent games can increase the number of incidents of aggression. Vehement media are considered the source of violence because they create emotional feelings to which individuals respond (Thompson et al., 2019). Information from the mass media triggers emotions such as happiness, love, fear, and depression. This emotional reaction justifies the intense influence of media on culture.
The broadcast also plays or shows celebrities’ videos, which help reinforce stereotypes that marginalize certain groups. From the mid-20th century, magazines and television portrayed women in domestic and submissive roles (Guo & Ren, 2020). These dimensions both reinforce and reflect the cultural limitation imposed on women at that particular time. Actors, such as Aunt Jemima, played an important role in reinforcing domestic and submissive servant roles for African Americans (Guo & Ren, 2020). Irrespective of the positions played by celebrities, it sends many different messages related to cultural values (Guo & Ren, 2020). They can endorse brave truth-telling, prolong the social problem, or provide an example of abstract cultural values.
Media has helped the public to access information from the comfort of their homes. Nevertheless, how the citizens process the information has an enormous effect on culture (Guo & Ren, 2020). The populations have developed a new perception of information since its access has grown, and they are available freely. Presently, consumers can read the information form where they are published, and they can share part of the content with others (Guo & Ren, 2020). With such behaviors, there is a new development in media information with regards to its subjectivity (Manetti et al., 2017). Those who consume the information from the social media filter shad share what they want other people to know. Any section that reports which they regard as unwanted are blocked. Researchers have established that the information filter has contributed to political instability resulting in loss of civic discourse.
Media has also helped increase literacy levels among the public because it is used as the primary source of information. Internet content has been developed through increased web texts which are used to get information (Guess et al., 2020). Many people have contributed to the internet culture through a forum, blogs, and personal websites (Guess et al., 2020). Some people have criticized internet literacy that they have replaced authentic and reliable printed books and newspapers. In society, the literacy level has increased, and this can be attributed to the media. People can access the information they require by using a small amount of money (Guess et al., 2020). Those who could not buy an expensive book are lucky because they have alternative sources to obtain knowledge.
Findings from Literature Review
Media has a great impact on behavior, and which it can instill positive or negative morals. All the messages and information developed by the media are meant for public consumption. Grytten et al. (2017) noted that some of the messages media conveys can either be regarded as propaganda. Some researchers have suggested that most messages influence behaviors and those at high risk are young people (Khairil et al., 2017). Compulsive behavior, violence, and sexual activities are associated with media consumption, which raises an important relation to the media’s effects on culture (Grytten et al., 2017). Through broadcast, young people learn how to indulge in drug abuse, which pushes them to engage in sexual activities. Therefore, mainstream can contribute to moral decay, and this result in social problems in the community.
The new media sources, such as the internet and digital form of communication, have also affected society. This communication revolution has developed a great deal of suffering from digital literacy and other social change issues (Walther, 2017). The natures of communication and literacy have been changing by these online media. People can use social media to communicate with people who are a mile away, but they neglect those close to them. For example, families are broken, and communication is destroyed, which acted as a pillar to hold them together (Walther, 2017). These social media changes have created social problems because people’s attention has been shifted to other things, and forgot what is most important.
Many media channels are playing sexual content which has strong emotional messages. There are several types of mass media content in television, music, movies, and magazines (Den Hamer et al., 2017). Researchers found out that people exposed to sexually themed broadcasts are at high risk of engaging in sexual behavior (Den Hamer et al., 2017). This is because media acts as a source of information about sex where young people can learn from. Teenagers are forced to watch this content because they desire to learn about sex during their puberty stage. Most parents or guardians do not share with their children about sex, so they resort to the media to provide them with the information they need (Den Hamer et al., 2017). After gaining knowledge about sex from the mainstream media, children are forced to practice it. Within some period, they found themselves addicted to the acts, and it becomes difficult to quit.
Media message also plays an important to reinforcing cultural values. Some of these values can only be seen among celebrities; depending on the roles they play (Weingartner, 2020). The aspects of femininity and masculinity were represented by actors Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne, respectively. Media organizations adopted their values during the mid-20th century. Some people claim that celebrities cannot be used as a reflection of a nation’s values because they are not real (Weingartner, 2020). Social reformers, civil rights leaders, and other public figures have managed to accomplish a vital cultural component through their media representation. For example, when the image of Abraham Lincoln is displayed in the media, it resonates with historical and cultural themes greatly separated from mere fame.
The method identified for this study is known as a cross-sectional study, which involves interviews. This study design involves examining data from a population at a given point time. Since interviews will be conducted, participants will be selected depending on a given variable of interest. This study design is observational, which will explain issues brought by media to the human race. The participants will be interviewed and the information collected to be used in the research. The design will help to understand what is happening within a given population and allow researchers to look at many features at once.
Benefits, Problems, Limitations, Advantages, and Confounded Variables
The study is important in media because it will help expand new knowledge on mass media issues on a human today. Due to limited funds, the study will not cover a large population, the small used will be small, and the findings cannot be applied in another setting. The small sample used, which will be used in the study, will not help in coming up with reliable findings. This study will help identify issues generated through mass media, which has brought changes in behaviors, values, and society’s culture. The variables of the study include the level of exposure to mass media and the effects of its exposure.
Plan to Remain Ethical
The following will be observed to remain ethical and unbiased during the study: being conscious of multiple roles, discussing intellectual property, follow-informed consent rules, respecting privacy and confidentiality, and tapping into ethics resources. For example, those participating in the study will be notified of the purpose, and they will be required to participate voluntarily. Observing the above guidelines will help avoid conflicts with the government and ensure that the findings are true.
Media has contributed positively to society’s development by delivering information, but it has also contributed to moral decay. Some of the content played instills destructive behaviors among youths, adults, and everyone in society. Teenagers have learned some of the behaviors from the mainstream media. As a result, a social problem has been created in which the rate of violence and sexual activity has increased. Therefore, issues brought by media to people can either be positive or negative. Educative material reinforces cultural practices, while sexual content promotes wicked morals.
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Grytten, J., Skau, I., & Sørensen, R. (2017). The impact of the mass media on obstetricians’ behavior in Norway. Health Policy, 121(9), 986-993. Web.
Guess, A. M., Lerner, M., Lyons, B., Montgomery, J. M., Nyhan, B., Reifler, J., & Sircar, N. (2020). A digital media literacy intervention increases discernment between mainstream and false news in the United States and India. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(27), 15536-15545. Web.
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