Staff Writer: Max Smith
Communication has always been an inseparable part of human activity. The need for communication is so strong and is central to the life of everyone. People have always sought ways to share thoughts and be understood. This gave birth to the numerous communication tools that are available these days.
These methods of communication also change with time. Before the introduction of technology, communication is highly limited by geographic boundaries and is only possible with a small number of people. With the aid of technological advancement, conveying information to a large group became easier.
Mass Media and Media Com
Mass media is essentially the collection of all tools and processes that we use to communicate to a wide audience. The main categories of mass media are primarily print and broadcast category. Print media refers to all written communication tools to a big group like newspapers and magazines. On the other hand, broadcast media refers to methods of communicating to a wide audience that is not done through written means. Media of the broadcast category include the radio and television.
The power of mass media in reaching out to a wide audience makes it a very powerful social tool. There are so many uses and functions of mass media. Direct influence of mass media tools are truly evident because of the large audience that it caters to. The sphere of influence of mass media places it in a unique position to influence the greater public. The use of mass media as a way to influence people is called media communications or Media Com. when used properly, media com can be a very powerful and effective way to influence public opinion and guide their actions.
The Influence of Media
Media activity is very visible in our midst. It is very hard to escape media influence because the fruits of media production have been a part of our daily lives. We could not last a day without hearing or receiving information via the television, radio and other mass media forms. Even in subtle ways, mass media has an influence and power among us.
Why does mass media influence us so much?
Mass media has so much power over us simply because it is everywhere. Television ads, radio broadcasts, magazines can be seen and heard everywhere. They are simply inescapable and hard to ignore. Almost every people have a television sets, radios and computers with internet connection. You are bombarded with information sources through these mass media outlets.
The great influence of mass media on us can also be attributed to our great reliance on it. Mass media performs many functions that humans need in various aspects. Mass media fills our need to be informed. It also serves as a form of staying connected with people from different locations. Mass media forms also offer a great deal of entertainment. These media tools can make us cry laugh and learn. Sometimes, these media forms offer a form of escape from the complexities and problems of the real world. Indeed, media influence is an inescapable part of being heavily reliant on mass media.
Issues Associated With Mass Media
The widespread use and scope of influence of these media com tools brings with it several issues and controversies.
- The accessibility and availability of mass media information to a great number of people raise issues on privacy. Sometimes, a media company divulges information that is not meant to be shared with the general public. Once information has reached mainstream media, it will reach a great number of people. Privacy issues become a problem as information is given and shared to a large audience.
- Issues about people losing a sense of individuality are also present. Mass media has so much influence on people to the point of exerting control on the way they think and behave. Sometimes, the bandwagon thinking makes people jump to whatever services or products are popular as the mass media presents it to be. We follow and accept things presented through these mass media outlets. We always follow the general opinion as the correct one. The best way to get a glimpse of what is popular and what is acceptable is through the tools of mass media. Hence, people tend to lack self-determinism and just follow with whatever the present trend is. Just look at the effect of mass media on advertising and promotions. Popularity of these media tools makes them a very effective campaign material.
- Sometimes, mass media could also be used to manipulate people in a bad way. The broad scope of mass media coverage can be used to influence people with negative things. We often see violence, crimes and other dire things on mass media. The wide audience scope of mass media places it in a vulnerable position for people who may opt to abuse it or use it in a bad way. When powers of mass media are not used in the proper way, it may end up becoming a negative tool. A media company could abuse the powers that mass media holds when not properly guided with rules and regulations.
How Internet media transformed communications
Communications has been greatly changed with the introduction of computers and the internet. The connectivity of the internet allows people to bypass geographic and cultural boundaries. Information exchange and transfer is now faster and more efficient than ever. The sophistication of communication styles is truly evident in the new form of mass media called internet media. Direct communication through chat rooms, video conferences and other internet aided tools are now possible.