The media is the source of information in society today. It is also known as the fourth estate. Why do people use social media? The media is used for informing, educating and entertaining. The media uses different methods to educate people about the various issues in society. They use different techniques. There are various channels of communication such as television, radio, print and the new media. The traditional media has become the mainstream, and the new media is facilitating the development of society. The new media influences are as powerful as the traditional media. It impacts people and shapes the belief system both directly and indirectly.
Media Effect on People: How Media Shapes Beliefs
As mentioned above, the media shapes the way people think and consequently what they believe by framing the information. The media gives priority to different news and keeps on reporting about it. This is known as highlighting. Framing involves how they report it. The media can report news using different angles. MCT (Pg 1) shows that the media influences the public opinion by how they develop the news and the news culture. For instance, the media can shape how people think by influencing one issue such as politics. The media influences different spheres in the society such as politics, economy, culture, education, religion, health and different issues.
The media can exaggerate details and use it to make people think in a certain manner. Also, the media can highlight and frame the information and use it to achieve its agenda. For example, the media can influence how people view relationships. The media can highlight and frame news in a way it shows how people relate and the issues people face in a while in relationships. The media can affect not only what people think about but even how they think about it as shown by Wolfsfeld (Pg 55). If the media highlights what relationship by consistently reporting about relationships. People will think about it and think about it using the opinion of the media. For example, if the media points out some of the common issues in marriages such as domestic violence. The media can encourage people to talk about it even while it is believed to be a taboo. This has been seen in the case where the world has awarded young children who ran away from early marriages. Early marriages were seen as a norm traditionally, but nowadays girls are running away and having access to rescue centers. This is achieved if the media articulates the issue of early marriages and how it has affected the lives of a young girl.
Social Media Effects on Education
The media can articulate the role of education in society. The people will be receptive and understand what it means for them when they are educated. This is how education has been embraced in Africa. Education was known to be a thing for the men, but this belief is changing since people now know even women can do it. The media highlights the power of an educated woman and how helpful it is for her community. This will encourage women to enroll in different educational programs and get an education. The belief will be transferred to the community and people will understand the role of education. Thus, the media influences the approach of matters in society. Evidently, many women have received an education using the funding of different bodies that encourage women to be sturdy. There has been the establishment of a girl school. Also, the school where young women study even when they have children has been created to empower the girl child. This shows the power the media has on the different issues that shape the society.
Media Influence on Politics
The media influence the political arena of a nation. For example, if a presidential aspirant promotes policies that support the nation, the media can enhance his winning. For example, when President Barack Obama was campaigning the media used its channels. The celebrities created songs that campaigned for him. In Rwanda it was different, the radio was the channel that propagated the political clashes that the country experienced. People believed that the other people were evil and deserved death. Thus, the media can even make people act according to the way they report their coverage as shown by Geoff Kemp (Pg 6). Thus, the media should use its power to support positivity in the society rather than animosity.
Impact of Social Media on Health Care
The media has played a big role in developing how people approach health. The media has made people understand the different health hazards and how people can avoid them. For example, the media has influenced how people live a healthy lifestyle. Women have been challenged to reduce weight and use good shapes even after birth. Unlike in the past where people were not concerned about their body shapes. People now care about their weight and choice of food to eat. This shows that the place of the media in society is a high place. People's approach towards their weight has been influenced, and people embrace the different ways of living life in a healthy way.
Social Media Impact on Religion
Unlike in the past when religion was sacred and could not be pointed fingers at, the media has liberated people from such misconception. The people have a choice of religion and understand what they are doing. People can go to church and are in a position to understand what they want to know about spirituality. Hence, there has been the establishment of many churches in society. Also, the pastors who are cheating their congregation have been exposed causing people to be cautious about who leads them. The society has embraced the new churches that are accessed online, and people can now learn from their pastors from whichever place they are in. This shows how the media has influenced the people in the society.
Media as Entertainment
The media has used entertainment as a platform to influence people more. They play music that causes people to have an emotion they want to achieve. For example, the different genres of music have been appreciated in society using the different approaches that people have in life. People can now enjoy music from a different part of the world. The people understand how they do it and the culture of people is spread. For example, people in Africa can appreciate the Jews culture even if they are not Jews. This is one of the factors that has facilitated the intermarriages of people from different cultures. Thus, the media has achieved its purpose in influencing society.
What Is New Media?
The new media is social media which includes podcasts, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, emails and Skype. The new media has increased connectivity. Although it is a threat to the traditional media because it is fast and efficient. The traditional media has its place in society. The new media has made it easy for people to collectively demand what they want. The new media is a facilitator for the society to air its needs. The traditional media cannot capture the whole of society. The new media is like a bridge that gap as shown by Chat (Pg 2). The new media played a role in society as well since people can now do things that were not possible before its invention.
Social Media Impact on Business
Social media has managed to develop the business world with a significant impact. Social media is a market on its own for the business people. Social media has enabled people to access other products and has developed new products in the market. It has enabled people to achieve different goals in a lie with the business goals. This will be achieved through creating a positive image for their businesses online. The people can get new consumers and even keep their old clients. Social media campaigns have attained different goals for the society in large. Social media has improved society, and its impact cannot be underestimated.
How Strongly Can Social Media Influence and Control People?
However, as much as the media has power, the media cannot control people. The people have a choice to make. The people can choose according to their gratification. Cruickshank (Pg. 3) shows that people do not consume media products if their needs are not met. This is true because people do not necessarily act according to the way the media cannot influence them. The media do influence people, but it does not affect everything. This is so because if the media changed the society, then the people would be like robots however this is not the case.
In conclusion, the media has the power to change society. Evidently, it has changed society in major aspects as shown above. The media has achieved different results using its various channels. It has also used different methods to perform the different reactions in the society. Social media has also impacted the community positively as well. It has enabled people to articulate their needs, and they've achieved goals. Social media has given power to the society and a choice for the information they want.
Chat, Seo. "Social Media and Society." Seo Chat (2015): 2.
Cruickshank, Jordan. "Uses and Gratification Theory." LinkedIn Share (2011): 1.
Geoff Kemp, Babak Bahador, Kate McMillan & Chris Rudd. "Politics and the media." Aukland University Press (2010): 6.
MCT. "Agenda Setting Theory." Mass Communication Theory (2010): 1.
Wolfsfeld, Gadi. Media and political conflict : news from the Middle East. Cambridge : : Cambridge Univ. Press, , 1997.
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