Thoughts on the “media situation” and its effects

Here’s a thought I had:

After looking at American history for many years I cannot help but think that one thing it reveals is how the media creates an inability to resolve issues.  To put it another way, the nature of media tends to actually hinder the resolution of conflicts and issues.  In this way, these issues and problems tend to persist and go on and on.  This, it seems to me, has greatly affected the U.S., particularly after the 1960’s, and defines many of its problems, characteristics, and behavior.  In some respects, I would even go on to say that it has impaired American society and keeps it “stuck” in certain conditions, realities, and problems.  The U.S., in particular, is very much “stuck” in the 1970’s (for example, see my article “Thoughts on some origins of many ridiculous attitudes of the American mentality – the ongoing effects of WWII, Cold War, and the Vietnam War era, fear, and on how the U.S. is living in the past“).  Its probably no surprise that this is the situation as the 1960′-70’s is when the media began to make its greatest impact in American society.  In this way, the U.S. is as if “stuck” in the era where media first made its appearance and unable to progress.  This, I think, reveals a lot about the nature of media.

As I looked on this situation further, I could see that, in actuality, the media causes a number of dilemma’s, such as:

  • Conditions, attitudes, points of views, etc. seem to continue on even though they are no longer legitimate, valid, or exist . . . there becomes a tendency to become “stuck”.
  • There is an inability to resolve problems and issues.
  • It seems to often create problems that don’t exist.
  • It often causes an inability to progress.
  • Things are blown out of proportion.

In this way, it suggest that the media tends to create an impairing quality, or so it seems to me.  This, of course, conflicts with much of its claims and what many people think.

This impairing quality makes me wonder of the value of news and media.  Is it really worth it?  I cannot fully answer that question.  I would say that it is one of those situations where it is a “double edged sword” . . . it both helps and harms, depending on the situation.  I do know that the media should be looked at with great suspicion and never automatically assumed to be true.

My own experience is that the only real value of media is in the conveying of practical information.  This includes things like the weather, accidents, robberies, etc.  It tends to fail the more we get into things involving opinion or speculation such as social issues, politics, religion, scandals, etc.  Once it gets into these things its actually best to turn the news off.  Nowadays, especially, there’s too much opinion and speculation in the news and media.  Its starting to take on the quality of a tabloid.  This is why I often speak of the media and news as a “sub-tabloid”.  That is to say, its only tabloidish some of the time (when it does not deal with practical information) and so its not quite a complete tabloid . .  its “under” it, so to speak.  This is true with almost all news media, it seems to me, and is perhaps worse with the big business news, such as CNN and NBC.

THE “MEDIA SITUATION”

A lot of the impairing effects of the media reflects qualities that are inherent in the media situation.  The “media situation” is the conditions that naturally appear when media is existing.  I’ve always felt that there are two specific qualities to this situation:

  1. The fact that we sit passively
  2. The fact that we are told things

I often compare the “media situation” with being an infant . . . we are sitting in a comfortable chair and being “spoon fed”.  Instead of being “spoon fed” food we are
“spoon fed” information.  In this way, we are really nothing but passive recipients.  This, in many ways, sets the tone of the “media situation” and leads to many of the basic problems seen as a result of the media (as shown in examples below).

Forms of media

There are many forms of “media” which include:

  • The news
  • Social media
  • Education and learning
  • Gossip
  • Chit-chat

What we seen, then, is that the media is more than listening or reading the news.  When I use “media” it really refers to any situation that entails the two qualities above, we are sitting there receiving information.  This would then entail even everyday events such as gossiping and even education.  To be more precise, “media”, as I’m using it, refers to the conveying of information to people.  In this way, we could say that a lot of communication is a form of media.

There is a spectrum of the conveying of this information with the extremes being:

  • The conveying of information to an individual person.
  • The conveying of information to the masses.

It seems, to me, that the more its directed toward the masses the more problems there are.  In fact, many of the effects described below are referring to the effect on the masses.

There are a number of means of communication:

  • Person-to-person (such as in chit-chat or gossip)
  • Person-to-group (such as in school)
  • To the masses (such as on TV or social media)

The way the communication happens also varies:

  • Word-of-mouth
  • Reading
  • Seeing
  • Some form of interaction (such texting)
  • Technology-based

With the arrival of technology, and its power and influence, we find that media-through-technology takes on a very potent and powerful form.  As a result, the problems the “media situation” create are intensified.  It is this aspect of things, really, is what I am discussing in this article.  In other words, I am speaking of the effects of the technology-based, mass-directed form of media below.  More specifically, I am speaking of the effects of the news, various forms of mass communication (such as the internet), and social media that is seen nowadays.  These have created conditions that are unique, more intense, and more extensive than any other form of media that has ever existed.  As a result, their negative effects are much more extensive than previously.

EFFECTS OF THE “MEDIA SITUATION”

The “media situation” has many ways it effects things, many of which have negative or impairing effects.  Some of these effects include the following:

Two natural qualities of the media

The nature of media has qualities in it that make in inherently misleading or controlling.  Two of these qualities entail aspects of the media are:

  1. The passive quality.   This refers to the natural tendency of the media to influence people.  That is to say, the media, being a medium of reporting and stating things, has an inherent tendency to affect people by that nature alone . . . it just happens.  When something is stated it tends to affect people.  A good example of this is the 1938 radio broadcast of H.G. Well’s book “War of the Worlds”.  The first part of the broadcast was portrayed as a reporter on-site reporting the news and sounded so convincing that people began to believe that aliens had actually invaded.  This shows that, by just stating things in a believable way it tends to influence people.  Since the media does this it has an inherent tendency to influence people, whether its intentional or not.
  2. The active quality.  This refers to the active effort by the media to alter things.  The media, for example, will interpret things the way they want, distort things, deliberately change things, add things, leave out things, etc.  In this active way, the media forces things into a certain direction.  This active quality can be done deliberately (that is, intentionally) or unconsciously (not intentionally done).  Either way, the media is directing things in a certain direction, a direction THEY dictate.  As a result of this, the active quality makes it so that we are not hearing “all the viewpoints”, as the media often suggests, but the viewpoints they dictate and show us.

In these ways, one could say that the media tends to naturally affect people and naturally leads things toward a specific direction.  These are conditions inherent in the “media situation”.  That is to say, the “media situation” is not a place where a person has control, or a place where a person has all the information, or a place where a person can choose things.  In actuality, the “media situation” is where a person sits “passively”, and is shown things that lead to a specific direction, and is affected by it.  As a result, a person naturally tends to go down the direction the media suggests, blindly and mindlessly.

The “blind following mentality” and the “media-influenced lifestyle”

For many people there is an assumption that everything the media says is “true”.  I seldom see people question what comes out of the media (the ones that do are usually older adult males).  Many people take the point of view of that “if the media says its true then it must be true”.  In this way, many people become nothing but blind followers, believing whatever they’re told however nonsensical or silly.

My observation is that the media tends to create a “blind following mentality” which makes people automatically believe what they are told without question.  This mentality often goes beyond the media and into everyday life and can even become a “world view” which dictates how they act in the world.  What this shows is that the influence of the media, and the mentality it causes, can affect peoples attitude and behavior in life.

I tend to believe that the rise of the media in mass communication has had tremendous impact on peoples behavior in life.  In this way, we could speak of a “media-influenced lifestyle”.  This would show that the media has greatly altered peoples lifestyle and how they live.  Some aspects of this include:

  • An attitude of blind following.
  • A blind reliance on things like opinion, society, and such.
  • An absence of self and in doing things for ones self.
  • The creation of a “mass mind”, where one views themselves as part of a mass of people and not an individual person.
  • A sense of being part of a society or situation.  This is a good effect of the media.
  • A tendency to be over-reactive or jump to conclusions.
  • A blind confidence that one knows what’s going on.
  • A sense of being helpless to everything.
  • A tendency where problems don’t get solved.

In these ways, the “media-influence lifestyle” turns people into something like ants, in a way.

Its appearance has come about, over the years, in a successive of different forms which have become more and more influential:

  1. The newspaper and magazines
  2. The radio
  3. TV
  4. The internet and digital forms

With the later forms it has infiltrated into everyday life making the “media-influenced lifestyle” more and more influential.  Even in my own life I can see a difference in people.  More recently, with the internet and digital forms, especially, I can see people are becoming more and more like ants and less and less like individual people in life.  I think the effect of the “media-influenced lifestyle” is far more tragic than it at first seems . . . at least in my opinion.

The media as “idealism”

Many people tend to view media in a very “high” way, almost like its some form of revelation.  For example, many people view the media as having qualities such as these:

  • It portrays “objective information” that is assumed to be unbiased.
  • It expresses different ideas or points of view to issues.
  • It is complete in its portrayal of the facts.
  • It gives a platform or means for resolution of conflicts by the people.

These assumptions have always mystified me.  I tend to believe that they are based on several ideals that are prevalent in Western society:

  1. The ideal of rationalism and logic.  For example, its assumed that the media is a platform for “rational” thought.
  2. The ideal of democracy.  For example, its often as if assumed that the “people” will logically know how to use the information.

These ideals originate with the enlightment in Western Europe, which is rooted in the revival of Greek philosophy.  In particular, they refer to Greek logic and Greek democracy.  As a result, the context of media is looked at from these values.

From the logic perspective, the media tends to be viewed as a platform for “objective analysis” and can even be viewed something akin to an “education”, as I’ve even heard people say.  In this way, people will view the media as something that is “teaching them what’s going on”, almost like a classroom.  In fact, for some people, the media is viewed as the ONLY thing explaining what’s going on and it is the source of information about everything.  Because of this they do not question it.

And since the media is broadcast to the general population it is viewed as being “democratic”, a means to convey the “facts” to the “people”.  As a result, it is viewed as benefitting the people, informing them, and helping them to make decisions.

These, in my opinion, are not a very good point of views besides being erroneous.  I don’t see much truth in these points of view.  It seems, to me, that people are making the media more than it is and giving it more influence than it really has.

A reason why these points of view are erroneous is that they are based on ideals.  We must remember that ideals are based in an image of “what would be good”.  Typically, though, ideals do not fit the “real world reality”, as I believe the case to be here.  The “real world reality” of the media situation does not fit these ideals.

The importance of the “hook” 

The “truth” of media is often based on what I call the “hook”.  This is that part of media that makes a person “pay attention” to it and, in so doing, it tends to make a person believe it.  In this way, the “hook” is very important for the media.  In fact, a lot of the behavior of the media is in trying to create this “hook”.

Forms of the “hook” include:

  • Stating facts.  The news and media is rooted on happenings and reporting them and this is often how it begins.  This is the best part of the media.
  • Emotionalism.  This refers to catering to subjects that affect peoples emotions.  It could include things like “pulling on peoples heart strings”, or preying on issues that get people upset, etc. 
  • It touches on “touchy subjects”.  This is often politics, religion, scandals, and such.  Often, these are controversial and encompass deep feelings to the point of causing arguments and fights.
  • Sensationalism.  This is making things out bigger than they are, often to the point of giving things qualities that they don’t have.  Basically, its like “dressing things up” to make them appealing.

In these ways, the news and media “gets peoples attentions” which tends to make them more believable.  This is because, typically, once peoples attentions are gained, they tend to believe very easily, and once they are believed they watch the news.  This, of course, is the purpose of the media and what keeps it in business.  As a result, we can see that the “hook” is really only the beginning of a process that the media needs to stay in business.

The reactionary nature of media situation and its effects

The nature of media situation is that it is reactionary.  There are a number of ways this happens:

  • The reactionary stance of the media.  This refers to the fact that the media, itself, is only reacting to an event or situation which it then reports it.  In other words, the media situation is based in reaction.
  • The reactionary stance of the people.  The refers to the fact that the people who cater to the media are only reacting to what the media states.  This shows that the purpose of the media situation is to cause a reaction.

So we see that the media situation is based in a reaction and whose intent is to cause another reaction . . . “reaction in, reaction out”.  In these ways, the nature of the media is that it creates a condition where “reaction is the only path”, you react and that’s it.  Aspects of this reactionary condition include:

  • A person is given something to react to.
  • A person does not initiate anything.
  • A person is not in control.
  • A persons response is dependent on the dictates of the information supplied by the media.
  • A persons reaction has no value and does nothing in the end.

In other words, a person is as if “confined” to the conditions of reaction whose end result, in actuality, is nothing.  The reactionary condition, then, tends to limit a persons ability to respond which, in a way, creates a sense of helplessness.  Some news is particularly like that.  You’re shown something, and may be appalled, but there’s absolutely nothing you can do . . . all you can do is react, and that’s it.  This helplessness is one of the problems of the reactionary condition.

The medias quality of “leading you on” and “distant observance”

We must remember that when one listens to the media it is the media who is controlling things . . . you are only listening (and reacting).  This creates a condition where the media is “leading you on”, they are directing where things go.  They do this a number of ways:

  • The media determines what to report.
  • The media determines what not to report.
  • The media determines how to interpret the facts.
  • The media adds any embellishments they want.

In these ways, the media has “complete control” over the news, how it appears, and even the reaction it may cause in people.  It creates an attitude of “distant observance” in people.  The media creates a condition where no one is in charge nor can anyone do anything.  Everything is seen as if at a distance.  A person is only reacting in a “mindless” and helpless state. In this way, the media situation actually relies on people to be “mindless”.  In fact, it depends on it.  I truly believe that if people were not so “mindless”, and thought about what the news and media reported, then it would be looked at with great skepticism.

The “mass mind” and its effects

The nature of the media causes what can be described as a “mass mind”.  This tends to undermine and even destroy what can be called the “individual mind” of the person.  The “mass mind” tends to make people ant-like, “mindless”, and believe everything, which is good for the media.

The media situation tends to cause the “mass mind” in a number of ways:

  • The catering to media tends to cause a loss of a sense of self as we are hearing its dictates and its telling us how to think.
  • Since the media reports things that are happening in the population it tends to cause a person to see themselves as part of a mass of people.
  • The reactionary condition makes people do whatever it says.

These cause a loss of the “individual mind” of the person and a growth in the “mass mind”.  In some ways, the effect of the media is not unlike the mentality seen in a mob or a riot.  But since people are usually at home, or with minimal people, it never turns into a mob or riot.  Despite this, the mentality is the same, in actuality.  Some situations, though, can bring this mob-like quality out later on.  It can even promote mobs or riots too, if the situation is right.

One effect of the “mass mind”, and the loss of the “individual mind”, is that things are not done on a human and personal level.  As a result, we are unable to deal with our problems.  In other words, the “mass mind” makes it difficult to resolve dilemma’s and conflicts.  A person as if becomes stuck in conditions that they cannot resolve.  In other words, the “mass mind” tends to cause a situation where dilemma’s and conflicts go on and on.  This effect can appear a number of ways:

  • As a personal issue.  It may cause something like a “perpetual neuroses” in the general population.  Personally, I think a lot of the issues and problems of liberalism is a form of this “perpetual neuroses”.
  • Socially.  Here, the society cannot resolve issues, as a whole, and so certain “social problems” never seem to end.  This, it seems to me, is a particular problem with the “media-influenced lifestyle” and may, in a way, be one of its main traits.  The U.S., I feel, reflects this trait.

In these ways, we see that the “mass mind” affects the person and society.  This makes the “mass mind” very influential and that its effects can be quite extensive.  In general, its effects tend to undermine the individual person.

The illusion of “thinking for ourselves” – the “media puppet”

As I said above, the media typically thinks for people.  It can do this to the point of even coming up with the “explanation”.  But the nature of media situation is that it often tends to give the illusion that people are thinking for themselves and are the ones who have come up with the “explanation”.  In some sense, the media “does their thinking for them” but they don’t know this.  When this happens I speak of “media puppets”.  These are people who are really only catering to what the media is saying but think they are the originators of it.  I’m often amazed out how prevalent this is.

This, it seems to me, tends to have the effect of an undermining of the person and individual.  It makes the person an “appendage” to the media and makes people live an illusionary life as it makes people think they are in control when they are not.  In this way, a “media puppet” is really something like a slave.

The “mass mind” and the problem of authority

The “mass mind”, which often creates a sense of “great social presence”, tends to create a quality of great authority.  This is particularly so in a society that has democracy as its  value, as democracy gives “power to the people”.  As a result, the “mass mind” is equated with the people . . . whatever the “mass mind” says assumed to be the”will of the people” and, therefore, correct.  It becomes authority, often almost “god-like” in quality, and many people treat it that way too.

The problem is that the “mass mind” is not authority.  The “mass mind” creates a blind and mindless mob-like mentality in people.  The effect of this is that it tends to undermine the person, in a similar way as the “media puppet”, and it tends to undermine authority in general.  In addition, it undermines the authority of common sense and wisdom for, with the “mass mind”, people follow whatever the mob wants.  The mob, though, is mindless, haphazard, reactive, hysterical.  In other words, it lacks qualities of common sense and wisdom . . . the mob is basically “stupid”.  Therefore, by following the “mass mind” one is really following an authority that is “stupid”.  In my opinion, this is a quality of American society . . . people following an authority without common sense and wisdom.

The contagious and infectious quality of the media

The media has a contagious quality to it.  Some things that spread easily include:

  • Specific points of view and opinions
  • Emotionalism
  • Fear and panic

Once these start they can spread like wildfire.  In addition, when something does spread it is hard to stop it.  In fact, even if it is wrong, or proven wrong, it still often runs rampant.  In some cases, its almost difficult to undo the damage done by this effect, even though it can be proven wrong.  Sometimes, it can get so out of control that it turns into a hysteria.

I should point out that the media has no way to control it, stop it, or even a way to remedy the problem.  In other words, the media often cannot even control what it starts.  This is why I often say:  “there are times when the media is nothing but playing with wildfire”.  With all the media-through-technology nowadays, this is far more prevalent, I think, than it may at first appear.

The media catering to fear, panic, and tragedy

The media tends to prey on fear and panic as it is a very effective “hook”.  With any tragedy, the media wants to “get in on it” as it gets peoples attention.  This is why, when there is a tragedy, I often say:  ” . . . this is a big money-making venture for the media” or “there’s a lot of money to be made in tragedy”.  But fear and panic is a very volatile and reactive situation.  Once fear and panic starts it tends to spread easily and can easily get out of control.  In this way, the media often tends to promote fear and panic by catering to it.  In some cases, it actually causes hysteria in the population falsely and needlessly.  Personally, I actually consider that a lot of social fear, panic, and hysteria is because of the media.

Sadly, the media tends to prey on peoples fear and panic like it is some sort of a plaything but it has no way to control or solve its effect.  In this way, the media is as if “playing with fire” by playing with these volatile and explosive emotions.  What’s worse, they are playing with something they have no way of controlling it if it happens to get out of control.  For much of the media, any hysteria it causes is just more to report.  As a result, they tend to be oblivious to the effect they have in it all and their influence in the cause.  Its always “someone else’s fault” which they, of course, report.

The creation of social frenzy

Since the media has such an exposure to people and plays with explosive feelings its not uncommon that this combination can create a social frenzy.  In this situation people are as if are “worked up” to a frenzy of emotion and passion which can often get out of control.

This frenzy can appear in a number of ways:

  • Good effects.  This could be something like Beatlemania or even charity in a tragedy, such as after a hurricane.
  • Bad effects.  This could be some scandal, controversy, etc., such as the Vietnam War or the Civil Rights Movement.

So we can see that social frenzy can go both ways.  Regardless of which way it goes, it can reach the point of hysteria, where people become “mindless” and act in ways they normally wouldn’t and doing things without thought.  What this means, more or less, is that there can be hysteria with good effects and hysteria with bad effects.

The creation of “false realities” by the media – the “media world”

Media often creates realities that don’t exist.  In many cases, they create news and happenings that aren’t happening.  They also create explanations that have no substantiation.

Media creates false realities for a number of ways such as:

  • They report only what satisfies their specific intentionsFor example, its anything that makes money.  In other words, they “report news that sells”.
  • They leave details out.
  • They focus on specific things.
  • The twist things to fit the interpretation they want.
  • They don’t give alternate viewpoints.
  • They cater to any quality that creates a “hook”.  This includes things like fear, panic, outrage, etc.
  • They exaggerate problems and issues.  This is often done to such an extent that it often exaggerates these problems to unbelievable proportions. Sometimes, they add more problems and issues as part of the “hook”.

In this way, the media creates a condition where it “calls the shots”.  As a result, it tends to fabricate the world it wants and leads everyone in that direction.  The world it creates tends to serve the media and its purpose, perhaps we could call this the “media world”?

But we must remember that this is an illusionary and false world.  It is a world that has been fabricated to suit specific ends.  The effect of this include:

  • It misguides people.  It makes people think black is white or that something is happening that isn’t, for example.
  • They offer conditions that aren’t real and can’t be solved.  In this way, its like saying “the aliens are going to attack . . . so now what?”

Sadly, many people accept the “media world” as real and go about living in a false world image as a result.  I think the media is responsible for a lot of weird and unrealistic world views.

How media makes the worlds problems everyone’s problem

The media, now, reports news from everywhere all over the world.  This gives the illusion that problems a thousand miles away are our problems when they really aren’t.  In this way, the media has made the worlds problems our problems.  This makes the world, and life, appear worse than it really is.  I tend to believe that if people only concerned themselves with what was going on in their area people would be more happy.  I don’t really believe that most people need to know what’s going on in Pakistan or Laos.  In other words, most news we don’t need to know.  In general, we don’t need to be concerned about what’s going on in other countries or other areas.  At any one time there is a tragedy or bad event going on in the world in some way or form:  people are being killed in a hurricane, people are dying of starvation, people are being murdered, the government is exploiting people, a horrible accident has happened, someone died tragically, etc., etc., etc.  I know people who cry over every tragedy in the world (liberals are the worst).  If you are going to do that then you are going to by crying for the rest of your life.  One thing the media has taught me is to try to focus on your area and what affects you . . . that’s all that matters.  

The problem of repetition

With big issues the media tends to repeat the issues over and over, often to the point of nausea.  They keep a continuous repetition of the same mentality, same issues, same problems, same solutions.  This repetition tends to make it appear bigger and bigger, often becoming bigger than it really is.  One effect of this is that it keeps the issues “in memory” and as a result, it makes the issues go on and on.  In this way, repetition makes issues never-ending and “alive”.  About the only way for some issues to be resolved is for them to be “forgotten” or cease in the memory of the people.  In many cases, the media continually reminding the people will make many “big” issues literally disappear over night.

The fact that the news is a business and acts as a business

The media is a business and much of what it does is motivated with the business perspective in mind.  In short, the media tends to report what makes money for them.  As a result, things like “big news”, disasters, scandals, etc. tend to be favored over mundane everyday news . . . they get the biggest attraction from the people and have the biggest “hook”.

The business of media is particularly associated with the “hook”.  This is because, by emphasizing the best “hook”, the news attracts the most people and makes money.  As a result, the “hook” often determines the path the media takes.  I would even venture to say that the “hook” determines the news.  It determines what’s reported and how its reported.

 The media’s influence in the view of the world

My feeling is that the media generally tends to cause a poor view of the world in the many peoples mind.  There are a number of reasons for this:

  • It primarily reports problems.
  • It tends to exaggerate these problems.
  • As a result, it keeps these problems in the peoples mind.
  • In addition, it gives the illusion that these problems are everywhere.
  • It makes people feel powerless against them.
  • It often gets wrapped up in trivialities that seem bigger than they are.

As a result of these, I consider the media as greatly responsible for making people feel ways such as:

  • That the world is “going to pots”
  • It makes people feel frightened
  • It causes anxiety
  • It causes contempt
  • It causes depression
  • It causes confusion

Because of these I tend to feel that the media actually causes a poor view of the world, in some people, and can even cause mental problems in other people.  

The media’s effect on people

The media has a great effect on people.  One interesting effect that I see is that it is more likely to take things “out of the individual persons reality” and, in so doing, it takes conditions out of the scope of the individuals control.  Many of the examples above reflect this quality.  In short, then, the media actually removes control from people . . . it doesn’t give control.  Its probably no surprise, then, that people who cater to media strongly often have these tendencies:

  • A tendency of hysteria
  • A tendency of being disgusted with things
  • A tendency of overreaction
  • A tendency to despair
  • A tendency to be very opinionated
  • A tendency of overvaluing their control and importance
  • A tendency to blindly believe things

In fact, I can often tell a person who caters to media by how strongly they show these tendencies.  It seems to create several character types of people:

  1. A person who “thinks they are in control but really aren’t”.
  2. A nervous over reactive person.
  3. A mindless person.

Keep in mind that these characters are found in people that are really “into” the media or are “affected” by it strongly.  Just because someone is involved with the media, from time to time, does not mean they are one of these characters.  They reflect a person who is, in a sense, “controlled” by the media and have no control.  In this way, they are “media-dependent” people.

AFTERTHOUGHT

What we see, then, is that the technology-based, mass-directed form of media isn’t the great “conveyor of truth and happenings” as it may seem and is often supposed.  In actuality, it is more likely to prey on deeper and more base aspects of human psychology.  In fact, one could say that the issue of media is primarily an issue of mass psychology and its effects.  It is not a question of “informing” or “conveying truth”.  In this way, the media is more a matter of psychology than news or information.  To put it another way, the ways, techniques, methods, and manners of media are dictated by psychology more than “informing” and “truth”. 

Media affects human psychology on many levels.  One one level it caters to a sincere and honest human psychology.  On another level it goes into other aspects of psychology, of manipulation, deception, and lying.  It can bounce from one to the other in a flash.  It makes it difficult to determine if media is good or not.

Overall, it seems to me, that media causes so many variables, illusions, and plays so much on psychology that it actually has an overall impairing quality in people.  In addition, it seems to cause a more negative view of the world.

My personal feelings it that we would be better off without technology-based, mass-directed forms of media.  I think this for a number of reasons:

  • We don’t need to know the majority of news.
  • It caters to mass psychology and depends on it.
  • It uses underhanded techniques and manipulations.
  • The negative aspects outweigh the good.

The only news that interests me, and which I actively seek, is practical information (weather, traffic, etc.) that is limited to the area I live in.  Most of the other forms of news I see I just “happen” to see (I hear about it, I see it on the a newspaper on a newsstand, etc.).  I don’t look for it.  I think that, for most people, that’s the best path.

That’s what it seems to me anyways.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Mass communication: media, social media, and the news, Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Society, The U.S. and American society and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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