How do the media influence people?

All about Communication > Media > Media Influence > On People

Have you ever been tempted to buy something just because you’ve seen it on TV? what about when we visit a site just because we’ve heard it on the radio? Obviously, there is an effect of the media on people, which can be negative or positive, although the latter depends on the use made of it by the communicator. In this context, from All about Communication today we want to talk to you about how the media influence people… You can’t miss it!

1. The development of the media

A means of communication is defined as any instrument that allows the flow of information between two or more people. There are many means of communication, however, it is important to clarify that some are focused on mass communication and others on interpersonal and group communication.

Initially, the media were only interpersonal, such as letters and telephones, but with the launch of radio and television the mass media began to emerge. After this, it was impossible to stop the development of the media and now with the presence of the Internet, it can be said that they have reached very difficult limits to overcome.

As the media increasingly connect the world, it is inevitable to ask to what extent these mass media shape the patterns and trends of various societies. In a globalized world where everything is known instantly and where we can come into contact with anyone on the face of the earth, it is necessary to reflect on how the use of technology is changing our lives.

2. The influence of the media on values

From a functionalist perspective, the media have among their functions to educate, integrate, inform and entertain. Knowing this, we can ask ourselves: how does the media influence values? It is very easy: either they promote values or they destroy them.

We’ve been talking about how the media influences people and how powerful they can be. Many times, when there are other factors such as a person’s low level of education, the media are likely to “teach” them about what is right and wrong. The latter can be very damaging, as many entertainment programmes promote debauchery, irresponsibility and dishonesty.

3. The influence of the media on children and families

Many researchers say that children spend more time in front of the TV (or cell phone) than in class. Therefore, when talking about channels specializing in children’s programmes, the communicator must do his or her best to educate. While education in this case is aimed at children, children will also end up influencing the family, as many parents assume that what is said in the media is what should be followed.

When dealing with children, care should be taken to be very careful with the information that is disseminated. This is because the media can influence the creation and promotion of values, making these children good citizens; or on the contrary, encouraging anti-values such as violence, intolerance, envy, lack of assertiveness, among others that can be harmful for a proper coexistence.

4. Problems in the media

The media are not always ethical, they can often be involved in problems or cause them themselves. For example, a good media advertising campaign can increase the sales of your business, but at the same time, and with the same speed, they can present an informative report that destroys the reputation of your company.

Another example of media problems would be the case of the values we mentioned earlier. If in all the media a child often sees, for example, cases of drug addiction, he or she may be tempted to use these illegal substances. This is because for the child in training this will be normal and he will want to try it. The media can be very harmful in some respects, especially in the absence of adequate regulation or self-regulation.

5. Final reflections

It is truly amazing how the media influence people and the whole world. The information provided through them can promote a person’s development, but it can also harm them. The mass media have a special influence on children’s development and on the values they can develop, as they are the ones who are in contact with them the longest. Adolescents are also heavily influenced by the media, which is why it is also important to regulate and monitor their use.

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