Mass media has become a major influence in our lives throughout the years. We live in a society that is dependent on information and communication. We rely on these daily for direction and help to accomplish basic activities such as work, education, traveling, etc…. Due to the advancement of technology, life has become much easier for people. Today, people utilize their cell phones to communicate, computers to search information, and televisions to watch their favorite shows.
These are some examples of the positive effects of the media, but what are the negative effects? The media provides us all the things that we need from acquiring information to maintaining communication with other people, but when can we say that the media has gone too far? In this paper, will discuss the media’s influence on society and cultural values as well as instances where it has crossed boundaries. Will also explain how demonology would resolve this problem and in contrast, relativism would bring to this issue. The media can be represented in many ways; through print, broadcast, television, advertising, etc…
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Media can influence people’s thinking and instills a negative thinking pattern in the society. One example of media is advertising and its purpose is to sell products. While doing so, the ad also portrays values, images and concepts of perfection. Too often ads have their own portrayal of what it means to be a man or woman. For example, they display the image of ideal female beauty and which is represented by flawless skin, luscious hair and unnaturally thin bodies. Advertisers indicate that having these qualities is what makes a woman perfect.
In addition, women are often portrayed as sex objects. Sexiness is one of the most popular ways of portraying a woman. This is done to primarily appeal to the male gender. For example, there is a new Carol’s Jar. Commercial that shows an attractive young woman who is eating a burger with jalape??os in it, thus causing her to slowly undress to cool down. You ask yourself what a woman has to do with a hamburger. This is a tactic to get the male prospect’s attention by utilizing the female in hopes to sell more burgers. However, there are several underlying factors to consider.
The female being utilized sends a message to women that this kind of beauty is appealing to men. With this exposure, there is also the younger generation to take into consideration. A teenager who sees this commercial will have the idea in their head that women being portrayed this way should be acceptable in society. Also, all those young women will want to be that girl in the commercial. While this does not cause violence, it leads to justifying violence against women as they are seen as less than human. Women however, are not the only ones exploited this way.
The portrayals of men on ads suggest characteristics that represent a so called “real man. ” Characteristics such as being superior, rueful, invulnerable, aggressive, and so on are displayed and become an expectation. The media has a tremendous and almost unrecognizable influence on society and how genders are identified. The media has many Ways of manipulating people’s insecurities about looks. It dictates the social standard for all things. People are exposed to these standards and as a result most set up false goals to pursue in the attempt to become more “socially acceptable or desirable”.
This plays on the ethical view of Motives. Motives “sees our moral evaluations as simply the expression of whether e respond to a given act by liking it, or not liking it’ (Moser, 201 0, sec. 1. 8, par. ID). Today, people are so focused on looks that it leads them into altering their appearances because of what advertisers are constantly showing how a person’s life should be. More and more women become more affected by the media. They have become so obsessed with perfection that they will do anything to change their image.
They will go through extreme measures such as depriving themselves Of proper nutrition in order to look thin or go under the knife to attain that so called perfection that the media emphasizes. Media images that help to create cultural definitions of beauty and attractiveness are often acknowledged as being among those factors contributing to the rise of eating disorders” (National Eating Disorders Association, 2010). Pictures of male models on ads have both expressed and challenged some of the assumptions of masculinity of men.
It discouraged men from pursuing many positive traits that are perceived as unmanly such as, the ability to feel a range of emotions, including fear, hurt, confusion, or despair. Also, they are not encouraged to be compromising and not to seek for assistance because this represents a sign of weakness. Therefore, men who are influenced have low esteem and this can affect their life-style. Others will do extensive exercises to build up their muscles just so they can prove to themselves that they just like those models we see on the ads.
Unfortunately some are so influenced that they turn to drugs such as steroids. These influences play on people’s emotional attachment to their egos. The fundamental principle of ethical egoism states, “l do what I want to do in order to increase my own happiness, my own pleasure. Simply put, I know what I want, and something is good, or right, if it helps me to obtain that sire (and bad, or wrong, if it interferes with my doing so). If doing something promotes my own happiness or helps me reach my desired goals, should do it (Moser, 2010, sec. L . 8, par. 0). The media paints these pictures of beauty, power, and social status; therefore, the egoist will take this influence as a green light to do things to make them happy. These types of issues support the concept that advertising has a major impact on our social identities. Advertisement has altered people’s outlook about themselves that in results they become too focused on perfecting their image and obtaining he ideal look that many ads and commercials present. Media exposure has also affected children’s performance in school and general activity.
Heavy media exposure on students increases the risk of harm, which includes obesity, smoking, sex, drug and alcohol use, attention problems, teenage pregnancy and poor grades in school. Too many children are neglecting schoolwork and exercise in favor of eating chips in front of the television. Video games and television shows have shortened student’s attention spans. Leisure reading is almost non-existent, basic reading and math skills are way Enid. Today, students spend at least six hours a day with media. Students spend more time with media to compare with any other activities, except for sleeping.
Students who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching the television are more likely to be overweight. Students who view violent acts are more likely to show violent behavior but also fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them. Television characters often display risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, and also support gender-role and racial stereotypes. Some verses of songs that dents listen to on the radio or even on the Internet overwhelms them with vulgarity and roughness.
The Internet can be a bad exposure for students, for example, pornography and violent websites. It is easy for the students to get access to these websites because the security is not high. Mass media has also been a factor for stereotypes and insults that often happen in our society. Advertisements in television often attract consumers to buy products that they do not really need, such as the latest cell phone or luxury car. As well as advertisements that are on television to promote rodents such as cigarettes or beer. They are typically portrayed as a cool product to be consumed.
Even excessive stereotypes and insults are often seen in the media, especially in various Internet blobs and other sites where we often see people making insults or stereotype others. These may cause resentment and anger among people, and may eventually cause racial disharmony. These eventually cause violence such as hate crimes and bullying. These acts of violence are reported daily in the news nowadays. The ease of access to media often causes many people to post nasty comments, which effects society conformity. Violence in today’s world is unavoidable; it is partly due to constant exposure to media violence, which is common.
It has caused many problems to social life. Media violence, often in the form of violent television programs and video games has influenced our youth. Youths growing up in the midst of violence will show worse effects than adults as they may fail to distinguish between real and fantasy world, and may see the world as an unfriendly place to live. As they grow up, their hostile feelings become more complex and difficult to change and this could be seen in different aspects of a person’s personality. Thus causing an increase in feelings of aggression and hostility.
In April 1 999, two Columbine High school students killed 12 of their peers and themselves; CNN had reported that these youths had played a violent video game ‘Doom’ and listened to Marylyn Mason’s songs. However, reactions to media violence vary to different individuals as different people may show different reactions towards violence. In this case one might argue that the Golden Mean should come into play. Children should not be overstated with influence of media and good parenting as well as informal education should teach good moral ales.
The media carries some social responsibility; it should enable communication-informing people responsibly with factual knowledge without any kind of bias. The media often presents information as if it were a fact when it is simply an opinion. Furthermore, the media can shape opinions of the public relating to other issues as well, such as politics. History has witness to the fact that media has successfully molded the opinion of the public on many controversial subjects in politics. For example, CNN and MASC. provide different views on the election polls and candidates’ running or office.
As a result, the information viewed on these stations may cause a person to not vote for a candidate based on the information they may have learned. Unfortunately, today the role of the media has been completely transformed to suit the needs of few individuals rather than serving the whole society. Media today possesses the power of destroying society by showing only the intended part of the whole picture (Alan & Ernest 1997). The media tends to enjoy great power; therefore, it is essential for the media to understand its responsibilities. The media should realize, the effect, it can eve on people’s choices.
The role of the media is huge in terms of the development of society. However, the main responsibility of the media is to guide people since the masses lack the understanding regarding different issues. Unfortunately, the role of the media today has differed from its initial role of guiding the people, in fact, it has now transformed into different a body, which tends to, kick after their own needs. How many Of us have ever tried to question the role of the media and cross-examine the information it tends to present (Tenth, Bowed & Jones, 2007).
The principles of demonology hero contain many positive attributes, which the media and its responsibilities could benefit from when reporting information. As stated in our text, “demonology is the study of moral obligation and necessity, finding the source of ethical correctness in the rules according to which one acts” (Moser, 201 1). Applying this theory means media should see its job as a duty and obligation towards society. It is the role of the media to critically analyze the intentions behind any act. Demonology theory urges media to stick to its primary job, which is to portray the true picture.
However, one of the ajar strengths is to treat people with the equal amount of respect one tends. In addition, this theory urges that the violation of the rights and thus the governments should adopt the means to improve their performance rather than to restrict anyone to perform his or her role. More importantly, by sticking to the deontological theory, which argues that we have a duty, or an obligation, to treat other people with respect; human beings have dignity, and we must take that dignity into consideration when dealing with them (Moser, 201 0, sec. . 7). This means that a person will follow his or her obligations to another individual Or society because upholding one’s duty is what is considered ethically correct. A person who follows the theory of demonology will produce very consistent decisions since they will be based on the individual’s set duties (Gauss, 2001 Adopting this theory will allow the media to influence society in a positive manner. Demonology will be the underlying factor in which the media’s power will be utilized for the good of all.
In contrast, relativism theory provides the view that right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person’s individuals choice. We can all ecocide what is right for ourselves. This theory as it relates to the media and it responsibilities is relative to one’s culture. Therefore, information received by the media depending on an individual’s culture, may be altered and accepted as true valid information. The experts tend to criticize this theory, as they believe that, in every story, only one side is bound to be justified.
However, this theory’ tends to relate to the responsibilities of the media by speaking and highlighting the opinion of each and every individual. “As per the spirit of the media it is supposed to be fair with everyone, hence, giving everyone the equal chance to present his or her vie”‘ (Glazer, 2007). I believe that nobody can make you feel or think a certain way unless you allow him or her. I come from a background that has very strict values and morals. My parents have always reminded me that we live in society that has many different cultures, views and beliefs.
Although others may find certain things to be acceptable, we may not due to our cultural influences. Therefore, relativism brings argument that although the media might expose us to negative circumstances, it is the individual’s responsibility and choice to follow or accept them. Due to the melting pot we live in, it is important to respect each others choices in how they want to live their life. Relativism can help us accept the diversities presented in our society. It could eliminate stereotypes, racism, and sexism. Thus, minimize hate crimes and violence altogether. You are the product of the way you were raised, as well as your genetics” (Witt, et al. 2010). Therefore, the media cannot be solely responsible for the choices you make to live your life. In conclusion, the media has created an impact on society as they create images based on their assumptions of what perfection s. By doing this, it helps shape people??s own views about how they should look, act or think. This impact leads to a change in their social identities as they try to assimilate the concept of media’s definition of perfection.
Consequently, it also affects our own cultural values. We have become heavily influenced by the media that we try to improve our lives based on the social standards that the media has constructed. The media provides us all the things that we need from acquiring information to maintaining communication with other people, but when can we say that the media has gone too far? This question will be answered in many different ways due to different ethical values people possess. Live that it is the prime responsibility of the media to serve the people since in today’s world media is seen as one of the active pillars of the state. This would only help the people to make the right decisions in the right context since the people are the best judge.