The influence of the media is a phenomenon that has been growing thanks to advances in technology. The wide scope of the media within the different societies of the planet, allows them to carry messages without space and time limitations.
Using its main attributes, which are to inform, entertain and educate, the media are capable of promoting opinions, trends and modifying the way in which an event or topic can be classified. Radio, magazines, newspapers, television, cinema, social networks are some of the most frequent and characteristic media today.
The information brought to people through the media is capable of generating both beneficial and negative content. With the information and the possibility of generating content within the reach of many, the transmission of false facts, data manipulation and other aspects that can modify the content that is received is possible.
Today, information is necessary for people. It has important functions within society such as providing the possibility of socializing, making decisions, or generating opinions regarding something. It also leads to action, such as through advertising information, which is capable of motivating people to make purchases of a product.
How the media influence
The media and its wide capacity to transmit messages can influence various areas of humanity, such as societies, health, education and different segments such as children, adolescents or adults.
Media in society
Information has become a common necessity. The communications and information that they provide us is the route to be connected with the world and what happens within it.
In this way, the media become part of people’s daily lives, in different ways: as channels to communicate with others, as a means of entertainment, as a resource to acquire knowledge and news, as well as a tool to share opinions and interests.
Many of the opinions and decisions that a person can make in daily life are influenced by the information they receive from their environment, through the media.
Advertising, weather reports, traffic, lists of the best songs, movies or series and news. Each of these data can generate preferences, tastes, changes of mind and even the need to buy or acquire certain products.
As for the health area, the media have been able to generate both positive and negative influences. They are capable of promoting models of conduct, customs or habits on which the quality of life depends.
For example, tobacco or alcohol advertising could promote the use of substances that greatly affect health. However, the media has also promoted the recognition of healthy activities such as exercising or eating healthy meals.
On the other hand, health campaigns can promote healthy measures for disease prevention and awareness of hygiene, vaccination and other useful data for social well-being.
In cases of epidemic, the use of the media to help the population prevent contagion has been vital at many times.
The media in education
Today there are many institutions and educational centers that have adapted to the development of communications, in order to improve student life. Social networks and web platforms have been the most useful ways to generate new ways of learning.
These means of communication allow quick access to information, connection with learning groups and even online courses, workshops or classes. Also, a wide variety of data such as statistics, news, books and other similar tools are available.
Many of the universities, for example, use social media as a way to connect with their students directly. In this way they can provide the student population with any information that may be useful.
The importance of digital media, the web, social networks and others is such that it is necessary for any student to have an active presence within them. One of the most positive aspects for education, provided by the media, is the possibility of transmitting educational content over a long distance. Thus, many people can receive academic training, without the need to relocate.
Media in adolescents
One of the sectors of society with more interactivity with the current media are adolescents. The media are a fundamental part of the lives of young people, to be connected and aware of what is happening in the world around them.
Youth is often linked to social and political life. They can include within their interests issues such as climate change, the promotion or messages of support for a healthy lifestyle and even form an identity through the selection of their tastes and interests.
However, negative influences can also be found. The media can, for example, show social stereotypes that function as references or patterns to follow and that can generate disagreement in young people in terms of self-esteem or even cause insecurities.
Consequences of the media
The use of the media has resulted in new behaviors or habits in people. For example:
– The use of electronic devices has significantly reduced the amount of interaction time outside the virtual world. People spend less time with family or friends.
– On many occasions it is not possible to have control over the content that is exposed or received.
– There are those who fear that the excessive time invested in the use of the means of communication through the devices, can cause attention or development problems in children and adolescents.
– The increase in sedentary lifestyle has been linked to the use of the media, since people spend a lot of time in their lives in front of the different electronic devices that connect them to the world.
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