Can we really blame the media?

For those born after or during the 2000’s would know that technology and the internet has become increasingly popular, it has become a necessity in our daily lives. I don’t think I’ve gone through a day and not looked at a screen at least once. This notion of needing to be comforted by a screen has made us dependent; we can’t do anything without checking it out on our phones firsts. We spend so much time on screens or looking at screens that we miss everything that’s going on around us. We become disconnected from the world and can only find hope and happiness through a screen. In this day and age everything is presented on screens, take me for example, for me I need to sit at a screen to post this blog post I need to sit at screen to write it and then I spend endless hours scrolling through comments and responding back that I get lost in this vortex of binary code, that the next time I take the time to look out the window the sun has already set.

We’ve become so engaged by the image that is projected at us that we become oblivious to its control as it dictates our entire lives. But as soon as we’re able to pull away from the screen and witness the damage it has caused, we are quick to place blame onto its sister, the media. This is where we are at in society, attached to the screen, attached to the media, which influences our every move, and decisions we make. Showcasing and dictating what is right and wrong, the right way to look for young girls, that the type of body you have effects you in more ways than one. This YouTube video clearly showcases just how influential the media can be,it is absurd to think the media doesn’t have any hand in the issues and actions of people in society.

However, it is always absurd to believe that media is the only cause for violence and outbreak in young people especially. An article written by David Gauntlett, ‘Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model’, quite rightly proves this point through its selective criticisms of media depictions of violence. Now we all now how this one goes, parents are sure that violence shown through media has a direct effect on the behaviour and minds of young children. However this is not the case, as psychological studies have shown that when young offenders were asked what their favourite TV show was or which character they’d like to be.

“The offenders stated that they watched little television, could not remember their favourite programmes and, consequently, could not think of anyone to be.”

This had me baffled, psychological research…if we have come to learn so much about our brains and how they work how on earth can we still believe that media is to blame for that is wrong in the world? Surely the media and its effects aren’t the main source for all our corruption, violence and abuse but instead those of our working minds.


References

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2 thoughts on “Can we really blame the media?

  1. I agree with your idea that whilst it is no lie that as a society we are progressively relying more on the media as we become increasingly exposed to it in our everyday lives, media on its own is not the origin of many social anxieties labelled under the ‘media effects’ banner. As suggested in your post the causes of these anxieties spread much deeper than what influence the media on its own may have over an individual.

    I agree that the emotional and psychological state of an individual can be seen as a major instigator for many of these anxieties, but I also feel as though any number of other demographics such as an individual’s socioeconomic status, their geographical location or even any number of past events or incidents that may have changed their view, could also influence or act as a cause for any of these anxieties.
    An example of this would include the 1993 trial for the murder of James Bulger. During the trial it was suggested that exposure to violent films may have been the cause for the attack on the 2 year old boy, as his case showed striking similarities to the film ‘Child’s Play 3’. It was later found that other factors such as family dysfunction, neglect, poverty, bullying and martial breakdown all contributed in some way to the behaviour and acts of the two convicted boys. Demonstrating in a rather extreme case how the media on its own cannot account for the entirety of any social issue or anxiety, as many other factors can be influencing it as well.

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  2. This post seems a bit misleading to me, people born during the 2000’s wouldn’t have a good grasp of how quickly technology has been improving and how popular the internet has become because they would have been already born into this technological age whereas someone who grew up without as much technology or access to the internet would as they are able to contrast their experiences as a child with little technology with current dependency on their phones, computers and the internet. With that said I agree that society has become attached to the media and is quick to blame media for current issues, especially violence. In one of my own blogs posted I talked about how video games cope the blame for violence in most cases such as the 2012 Aurora mass shooting and when reports were doing to test the theory that video games are responsible for violence, a 2013 study in the Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma concluded that claiming a link between the two was “flawed, flimsy and inconclusive”.

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