All these changes in media and communication that have taken place over the last century are due to a huge technological development. Furthermore, this is a cultural and technological evolution and it is the nature of evolution that it accelerates. Therefore "the pace of change is itself accelerating", according to Ray Kurzweil "the 20th century was like 25 years of change at today’s rate of change. In the next 25 years we’ll make four times the progress you saw in the 20th century. And we’ll make 20,000 years of progress in the 21st century, which is almost a thousand times more technical change than what we saw in the 20th century".
"Technology is a drug.
We can’t get enough of it.
We feed it to our kids and watch them grow on a forced diet of desensitisation. Switch on the TV and someone will tell you 50,000 people died in India. Two seconds later you’re watching a comedy. Technology can do that. It gives us simulated realities that make us oblivious to the real world. Heroin does the same thing. So do most class A drugs. Basically we are all addicts – addicted to the comfort and convenience that technology provides – addicted to the notion that progress is directly related to the size of your computer screen… When I look in front of me, I see two paths – spiritual or material. Two worlds – developed or developing. You decide which is which…"
NitinSawhney, Prophesy (2002)
Yes, our daily lives have improved greatly thanks to new digital media, satellite communication and all the technological advances that surround us. But one thing we must not forget is that all that is there to help us, not to make us become its slaves by making us oblivious to what really matters. Now that we have access to more information we should make good use of it in order to try to solve the problems that we have around the world.
It is quite evident to all of us that the mass media has become an essential part of everyone’s life.
Rather, the media plays a constructive role in today’s society – from increasing public awareness to collecting views, information, and also the attitude of the people towards certain issue.
What Is Media?
It is one of the most powerful tools of communication in the developing countries, as well as in the developed countries. It can aid in promoting the right things at a right point of time, or can make use of any situation to create disturbance around the people or in the society. Media helps to provide a strong message to the world about what is right or wrong.
Media is present all around us. For example, when we watch the Television; listen to the radio; read books, newspapers, magazines, journals; etc.
The world is making a steady progress towards a better future everyday. But still, people are bound by the social problems and issues directly or indirectly are “ affected by the people,of the people and for the people.”
Media Keeps You Informed Irrespective Of Geo-Location
No one can deny the blessings of media in today’s world. The mass media helps people to remain informed and updated about the various news, events, social activities, lifestyle, entertainment, and advertisements irrespective of the geographical barriers. For example, while sitting in India, one can get all latest news and events of UK, or USA. Like, even while sitting miles away, one got the breaking news of Barack Obama winning the Presidential election. He became the first African American to hold the office.
How It Impacts?
Mass media have made profound impact on societies and their culture. It ceases the boundaries of different societies among the individuals and creates ‘Globalization.’ The globalization is a decent case to delineate the friendship of media, since people can witness what is happening in different nations or how they dress up and what their way of life is. Subsequently, they typically mirror what others do.
Furthermore, media are a storehouse of information. It educate individuals about day to day occasions or new revelations. This data some of the time is utilized to change individuals’ sentiment. For instance, in race of president, the devotee of candidates publicize in media such as, TV or the web for them, and ingest consideration regarding choose any individual that they need.
Thus, it can be concluded mass media have a powerful influence in shaping a persons’ lives.
However, mass media can have both positive and negative impact on the lives and on the minds of the people. It depends on the mindset of the people, as to which side they look for.
Media: The Good & Bad Aspects
Media can help to create awareness among the people faster than any other thing. In fact, mass media can have a great impact on peoples’ lifestyles and culture. For example, girls living in a conservative country or girls who are growing up in a conservative culture can be prompted and motivated to wear short dresses by watching TV shows or by following another country’s culture. They might consider by wearing short dresses they can become cool just like the TV personalities they admire.
While the above point stresses on the negative impact of TV, it also have made some positive impact for the society. Through television, one can create social awareness about many social and economical issues like AIDS, Child Abuse, Female Foeticide, and so on which are For example, television channels organizes TV shows like “Satyamev Jayate” which focuses on making people aware of the harsh realities of life. It mainly discusses and provides possible solutions relating to the various social issues of India. It aims to empower citizens with informations. Hence, through this type of shows, many NGOs comes up with the social causes and holds campaigns, demonstration, and protests in order to demand justice.
Even, National TV channels like Doordarshan, DD National used to air shows like “Bharat Ek Khoj” which was an Indian historical drama based on the book ‘The Discovery Of India’ written by Jawaharlal Nehru that covers a 5000-year history of India from its beginnings to the coming of independence in 1947. Hence, media also played an educative role by hosting programs like “Bharat Ek Khoj” in order to enlighten people about their country’s struggle to freedom.
Some Other Mass Media Platforms
a. Social Media has the power to mobilize mass movement. For example, Tunisia and Egypt saw an increasing use of the social media platforms, i.e., social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to help the citizens in organizing, communicate and ultimately initiating street action and civil-disobedience campaigns. Also, during the year 2009, the Iranian “Green Revolution” was closely followed by the Western media channels via the following social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube, and the latter even gave Moldova’s 2009 revolution its moniker, the “Twitter Revolution.”
b. In India, literacy forms an substantial barrier to the development of a country. In order to deal with this type of situation, radio especially, Community Radio can help to reach out to a large number of masses, like the poor people because it’s affordable and also uses less electricity. Community Radio lends a voice to the community they serve with programmes in local languages, and also respecting the local culture and tradition. It also provides a counterbalance to the increasing globalization and commercialization of media.
Any programmes can be successful, if the information is disseminated at grassroots level. Hence, radio forms another major platform that helps in reaching out the rural masses, especially creating awareness regarding government policies. The Community Radio movement can help to create awareness among the rural masses about the different flagship programmes like ‘Digital India’ or ‘Make In India’ or ‘Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao’ or ‘Swachh Bharat’, etc.
c. National TV Channels holds educational programs. It helps in educating the children.
d. Social networking platforms like Facebook has brought people closer to each other. People now can easily connect with their friends, relatives who resides abroad.
With technological advancements, such as the Internet, have made it possible to bring the various forms of electronic media to our workplaces and homes at the click of a button. To conclude, the influence of mass media is undeniable as it can make or break the belief of the people, or start a movement for a right cause.
I feel that even though media has appeared as a prominent innovation but individual aspirations can effect in the formation of ideas and opinions.
A post by Soumi Biswas. 24th Mar, 2016.