Never before have individuals connected with social media this easily! With the rapid development of technology, we now can keep up to date with the latest news from every corner around the world just by sitting at home surfing the net via smartphones and laptops; we can enjoy watching entertainment shows at home. It is no doubt that media plays an integral role in everyone’s life and accessing to media platforms nowadays is indispensable to us. However, media integration comes at a cost. Audience themselves have been approaching media passively. That is to say, they have tendency to concentrate on the content of what they see instead of considering an objective overview about it. Depending on the way the message is conveyed, people change their emotion and attitude toward it. Generally speaking, the more we depend on media, the more easily media control us.
In this blog, I would like to cover main aspects that have been controlled by media, including political and social aspects.
Politically speaking, politicians have been using media as a crucial part in their political career. They capitalize media on helping them win the election or as a tool for propaganda. Media audience has constantly been ‘bombarded’ with ideas and messages, over time, they become addicted to it and adopt it as a truth. Undoubtedly, if this happens, it means the thinking faculties of people have been altered. History has repeatedly proved how media could greatly change its audience. Since colonial days, newspapers have shaped citizens’ views of their political leaders. Take Hitler as an example, he exploited mainstream media to persuade others to serve Nazi Party and Nazi Germany military. The twentieth century introduced radio and television as powerful mediums for politics. Recently, politicians ‘wrestled’ with the impact of the latest media form – the internet; U.S. President Donald Trump has successfully utilize social media to influence citizens.
Elite Daily, ‘Social Media Expert Breaks Down Trump’s Twitter [INSIGHTS]‘, Youtube, 20 January 2017
In terms of social aspects, the world of both mainstream and modern media acts as a catalyst for social control. Media audience approach to various sources of news everyday. They know about things going on around by watching TV, reading articles on newspapers or social media. Most of them passively believe in what they see on media without verifying the reliability of its content. Taking advantage of that reality, many governments have been using mass media to adjust people’s beliefs and behaviours. For instance, Chinese citizens have been forced to use Chinese social media platforms only, which means they are not allowed to log into neither Facebook nor Google. Chinese government propagate selected ideas and information to their people. As a result, most Chinese people believe in those so-called facts.
Our goal is to raise awareness of both positive and negative aspects of media so that media audience ourselves can decide how much we should involve in it. In fact, media is not bad at all! It is the individuals who form it good or bad.
Chris Trueman, ‘Propaganda in Nazi Germany‘, The History Learning Site, 9 March 2015 – 16 August 2016, https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/propaganda-in-nazi-germany/, viewed 11 March
Amanda Flavio, ‘Mind Control is Real: United States Patent 6506148 B2 Confirms Human Nervous System Can be Manipulated Through Electromagnetic Fields from Monitors‘, Sitsshow, Blogspot, Friday March 17 2017, http://sitsshow.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/mind-control-is-real-united-states-patent-6506148-b2-confirms-human-nervous-system-can-be-manipulated-through-electromagnetic-fields-from-monitors.html, viewed 11 March
E.H, ‘The Economist explains: How does China censor the Internet?’, weblog post, Economist, 22 April 2013, http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/04/economist-explains-how-china-censors-internet, viewed 11 March
He Qinglian, ‘Media control in China’, Walking the tightrope, China rights forum, 4 November 2014, p. 11-27, http://www.ir2008.org/PDF/initiatives/Internet/Media-Control.pdf , viewed 11 March