The media is as much a product of its society as the society is a product of its media. The images, concepts, and dreams the media portrays are the pregnant outbursts of its society, consisting of our collective desires, our wishes, our most fantastical thoughts and our morbid ideas all rolled up into a singular deity, the Media.
The media consists of all the content we consume in all its forms and in however way we consume it, and this is usually localized within a people, a group, a nation, etc. For example, could you imagine the Marvel superhero movies being created anywhere else other than within the United States. These archetypal forms develop out of a compensation and a yearning inherent within the society and has the effect of a catharsis, a release.
The need for information.
There is a need for us to be informed of our surroundings and the life outside our day to day happenings. As our technologies evolve, so does our ability to communicate. The first newspaper in America failed after its first edition. It wasn’t until Isaac Doolittle built the first printing press that mass communication could occur in the colonial times of America. From the time of the revolution, the United States alone had grown in size, spreading across the North American continent from coast to coast. In 1928, it would have been impossible to tell the world outside of Wall Street the stock market had crashed without the ability to broadcast and print media for mass consumption.
Before The New York Times, many publications were biased or held direct contracts with the government to obtain inside information. The New York Times changed journalism by creating exquisite quality information that could be sent out to the masses globally. With the advent of the internet, the strategic organization of news, advertisements, entertainment, and classified ads would become the template for how we utilize social media. The modern times started to see the proliferation of images and ideas portrayed through ever growing channels, newspapers, radios, and then the television. The television arrived and sealed the deal. Today the web is that new medium by which media advances into our hearts and minds, though what makes the web so unique is that singular fact that anyone can create their idea of the world for others to see.
Media Consumption Affects our Perspective.
Wherein conventional Media ideas are conveyed usually by groups in power, ie: governments with propaganda, companies with marketing, interest groups, etc. The new media allows bipartisanship, it allows democracy, it allows the individual to exist. However, at the same time, those who are organized and well funded can and do direct the narrative.
We live life on the go with an unprecedented ability to access and share information for free. Newspaper sales may be obsolete in a few decades but their purpose and organization are built into our human nature. According to Bitable, there are seven major social media platforms that we utilize to stay informed, to express ourselves, or to assist us in our daily lives: Social Networking Sites, Social Review Sites, Image Sharing Sites, Community Blogs, Discussion Sites, Sharing Economy Networks, Video Sharing Blogs
Media consumption influences our mood, how we feel about ourselves, and how we feel about the world outside of us. Continually consuming negative content that targets our emotional response deteriorates mental health and overall day to day productivity. Some may experience increased stress, low confidence, loneliness, eye fatigue, and worsening levels of productivity. That’s not to say that if you’re experiencing some or all of the symptoms previously stated, that you should delete all access to media content. Monitoring your screen time can help you determine how to limit the time you spend viewing content. If you’re required to be on the computer for work, something as simple as closing your eyes for a minute can lower the stimulus your brain is receiving, allowing you to reset.
Our Expressions on Social Media.
Facebook, for instance, is considered both a discussion site and a social media networking platform. The content that the everyday Facebook user will post says a lot about who they are as an individual. Some may post to promote information about their career and level of expertise. Others may post simply because they feel empowered to contribute an opinion. Social Review Sites like Trip Advisor can help a traveler plan the perfect vacation by ranking search results within the desired radius in any given city. These rankings stem from a conjunction of endless reviews, star ratings, and photographed evidence. Instagram, an image sharing site, allows users to connect by sharing stories and visual content that encourages creative originality. We typically consume content from each of the seven types of platforms daily. Most smartphones have a feature that measures app usage time, or screen time, to help us to better prioritize our time and improve our overall productivity.
History was shaped by the media. The historical fronts on science, art, societal equality, etc was first conceived by the media; it was our hopes, our fears, and our ideals of how it ought to be that brought about social advancement in all these area.
Business trends in Media.
We change and adjust from the images we see on the television, from the shows that we watch on TV, we form generalities and stereotypes from everything that enters us through our five senses. The modern media caters to two the most, the eyes and ears. Our thoughts of who we are from what we have received from these five senses, in theory a society can be influenced to act, to hate, to like, and to love. It’s my theory that the individual can be influenced by the media and thus society can be influenced one way or the other.
Businesses have observed these trends and now allocate larger portions of their budget to social media outreach. In advertising, the more you know about your clientele, the better your chances are of converting sales. A study was done by The New York Times Customer Insight Group found that if we understood the motivation behind why consumers share on social media, then marketers could create more shareable content. They found the number one key factor in getting content shared was to appeal to consumers’ motivation to connect with each other — not just with your brand. The CIG study also stated that the second key factor to achieve successful content sharing is understanding trust is the cost of entry for getting shared.
Trust is what sets The New York Times apart from other sources of information. The internet and social media can seem saturated without rhyme or reason, but establishing trust drives the consumer to further engage and eventually transact.
Media and the Symbiotic Relationship.
Historically, there are many examples of how the media created American sentiment to support war efforts. From the use of yellow journaling which sparked the Spanish-American War, to the national broadcast of actions taken after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Today, we have coined terms like, Twitter war and keyboard warrior, both of which indicate evoked emotional responses from shared content.
Society has a symbiotic relationship with the media. It is imperative to have discernment with the information you consume and to recognize the physical and mental signs associated with the overconsumption of media, especially when the content evokes negative emotions.