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Think about your own media consumption and life experiences. What are some of the ways that the media has influenced your opini - Essay Example

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Name Influences of the Media For today’s generation, the media holds almost as much importance as food and clothing; it has almost become a basic necessity. In some countries, America being one of them, one’s views are largely the result of media bias…
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Think about your own media consumption and life experiences. What are some of the ways that the media has influenced your opini
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Influences of the Media For today’s generation, the media holds almost as much importance as food and clothing; it has almost become a basic necessity. In some countries, America being one of them, one’s views are largely the result of media bias. Thus, it is fair to say that the media plays a significant role in shaping the society today as well as the public’s perspectives on various subjects. Similarly, the media has influenced my friends, both physically and socially, to a large extent. Media lays a great impact on the everyday lives of all individuals and different business strategies implied by the media are also highly responsible for this influence (Podmore). The media has been affecting women’s perceptions of an ‘ideal body’ for ages. Fashion magazines, movies and television serials have all set the standard for the ultimate body, which is a combination of ‘curvy’ and ‘thin’. The proof of this is the way my female friends obsess over “so-and-so’s flat stomach” or “so-and-so’s curves”. I even recall one of them going into depression just because her body size did not match the standards set by the media. Media not only stresses on the need for the ‘ideal body’, but it also contributes to obesity. The more my friends are getting addicted to television serials or surfing the Internet, the less physically inactive they are becoming. This has led to them gaining a noticeable amount of weight and thus compromising on their health (Kirsh 126, 128, 135). The media’s portrayals of cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs have had a huge impact on my friends’ attitudes and behavior. Majority of my friends are deep up to their necks into such activities, most of whom had started before even turning eighteen. The reason is simple: they have been influenced by all the movie actors and other similar famous personalities who carry out such activities. In movies and television serials, those men and women who do not smoke, drink alcohol or do drugs are shown as being ‘nerds’ or ‘not cool enough’. As a result, these activities have literally become a social norm for my friends-there might not be a single one of them who has not tried any of these activities yet (Kirsh 149, 156). Another negative habit of my friends which I hold the media responsible for is their tendency to buy unnecessary items. The media has inculcated a culture of buying excess products by portraying it as a positive thing. For instance, although a product advertised by the media is not necessary for one to buy, media depicts it as a ‘must-have’, therefore convincing one to buy it. One look at the juicy burger advertised by a famous food company and off my friends go and order it, regardless of whether they can afford it or not. Moreover, I remember a friend of mine-who was still financially dependent on her parents-constantly persuading her parents to buy her the new cell phone she saw in an advertisement, even though she already had one. After a month of heavy persuasion, her parents finally gave in. The media makes my friends want to shop for unimportant goods just to ‘keep up with the world’, thus causing their basements to be full of stuff they have not used since a year (Cain). The strategies used by the media play an important role in influencing my friends. Fashion magazines containing pictures of females are almost always edited; the spots and other ‘problem areas’ on their skin are removed, and they are cropped to make them appear thinner or curvier, thus causing them to appear almost perfect. This drives my friends to immerse in social comparison processes-comparing their own bodies with those advertised by the media. The media uses the marketing strategy called ‘The Nag Factor’ by directly focusing certain products on the youth. This encourages the youth-or in other words, my friends-to nag their parents to purchase those products for them. Cigarettes, alcohol and drugs are cleverly embedded in movies, television serials and even songs, thus promoting their use. The media has also strategically advertised smoking and alcohol in some magazines read by my friends, further encouraging them to get involved in such things (Kirsh 135, 136, 156, 158; Cain). The media is on the frontline of having an adverse impact on my friends. Fashion magazines have set standards for the ‘ideal body’, causing my friends to be dissatisfied with their bodies if their bodies do not fit into this image. Movies and television serials show smoking, consumption of alcohol and drug use to be positive things, thus influencing my friends to engage in such activities. The media also convinces my friends to buy unnecessary items. Many strategies have been used by the media to cause the mentioned influences, such as ‘The Nag Factor’, editing the physical appearance of females in fashion magazines and inserting cigarettes, alcohol and drugs inside movies to promote their use. Works Cited Cain, David. “Your Lifestyle has Already been Designed.” THOUGHT CATALOG. 25 Jan. 2013. Web. 20 Feb. 2013 Kirsh, Steven J. Media and Youth: A Developmental Perspective. Chichester, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print. Podmore, Emily. Obama vs Romney: Why Americans Should Reassess the Two Party System. Policymic. 2012. Web. 20 Feb. 2013 < http://www.policymic.com/articles/16173/obama-vs-romney-why-americans-should-reassess-the-two-party-system>Read More
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