Mass media and social media has been a phenomenon ever since the age of globalization and digitalization. Both of these have had various effects on the people who are using the media, both negative and positive. Both mass media and social media are used to propagate information, ideas, and entertainment for billions of people on Earth, and it would be unwise to assume that it does not affect society or individual experience of the world.
First of all, it is undeniable that the mass media can keep us informed. Before we have a mass media, you will not be able to know what was going on outside your village. But since mass media occurs, mass media keeps us connected. We are able to consume information from any distance. This results in people being informed in order to be prepared for anything that would happen. Mass media not only inform us about what happens around the world, but only make us able to make a decision for our life. For instance, we have been informed about CoronaVirus before it comes to our countries through mass media. We will be able to prepare ourselves to handle this virus before we are infected. So, it can be said that without mass media, we will not be informed. We will not be able to prepare and handle any situation properly.
Apart from the statement above, mass media can also be a place for spareding art and culture. Mass media can be an excellent medium for spreading cultures due to the fact that it connects people with different cultures together. Mass media has more or less influenced our life. When we consume media with different cultures, it has an influence on you. For example, when you watch K-dramas, Korean culture can have an influence on your daily life. You may want to eat Korean food or dress like a Korean. This is because the mass media has spreaded the Korean culture to you. Besides promoting foreign culture, it can also boost the economy as well. Being influenced by foreign cultures makes you consume more of the cultural products of foreign countries which results in more economic stimulation. Even though this may cause cultural imperialism, it is equal in terms of spreading the culture. Nowadays, not only Western countries can spread their culture on media, but thanks to the reverse commodity flow that allows every country to spread their culture. A good evidence of this statement is the Japanese animation that includes a lot of their culture in it. Many Western people were influenced by Japanese animation. This evidence shows that at the present every country can spread their culture not only one country.
For social media, people use social media through a variety of communication devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. For the good effects of social media, there are numerous reasons: first, it brings individuals who are geographically separated closer together. Because people have many communication applications such as Line, Instagram, and Whatsapp, this point may be demonstrated in our daily lives. And no matter how far apart they are, people can use social media to voice call or video call each other. In terms of communication, social media can also help introverted or socially anxious personalities connect in a safe environment. More than 25% of teenagers say social media has made them feel less shy and 28% more outgoing. Furthermore, 20% also said their interactions on social media made them feel more confident. Teens who describe themselves as “less socially adept” claim that social media helps them find friends. Adults, meanwhile, report that social media is a welcoming environment for social contact. (Baker & Oswald, 2010)
Another beneficial aspect is that it spreads news, demonstrating that anyone can be a reporter or journalist in today’s world. This is due to the fact that they have full control over what they post on their platform. This is to create a flood of knowledge that can be quite beneficial to those who use social media. According to the fact that social media allows people to take full control of their use, it can also be a place of representation as well. Social media use can represent their voice using social media. It can make their voice go viral. A good example of my statement is the case of black lives matter, LGBTQ+, beauty standart or representation of women. Those cases are the cases that started from the hashtag on social media to big social movements for people around the world. All of those cases illustrate the power of social media to create a social movement among our society.
On the other hand, because the media has a huge impact on people’s lives. Perhaps too much will cause negative consequences. Mass media can be used on a larger scale and have a similar effect throughout a group of people. Mass media can sometimes be used to spread false information and cause fear among people. For example, during the first Ebola case being known in the United States, media coverage has been all over the topic which caused massive fear throughout America as the threat that is in reality is not as high as it is in people’s minds that consumed the media. Or during the pandemic of COVID-19, misinformation and false information also has been spread which has caused fear among groups of people who are without the right skills to classify information as true or false.
A common media that every urban person has at home is the television. Some of these television shows and dramas have a negative impact on people. For instance, shows that contain violence and sexual contents. When violence and sexual contents are promoted through these shows, people will have the idea that it is normal to behave violently and aggressively and tend to replicate the same acts that are being exposed to them in real life. Various experiments show that people, especially children and youths who are exposed to violent shows or movies have a higher chance of behaving aggressively.
Social media has become an essential part of life for the majority of the people. We use it to communicate with friends and family, share ideas and information, host events, share pictures and videos, and much more. While social media has allowed for increased communication and connection, it has also caused new and significant mental health challenges society is still learning to navigate. There are many papers and research done on the negative effects on social media. In fact, it is well known that social media can cause people to view their own life as worse than others because they perceive the best moments of other people’s lives and not their worst, as well as compare their lives to others. This can be especially true for women who compare their appearance to others which leads to mental problems as well as viewing themselves negatively.
In many cases, people are beginning to realize the deep impact that social media has on their mental health, both good and bad. Some research shows that it leads to a rise in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders or the worst case is suicide. As you can see from the recent news, The recent suicide deaths of a Korean male professional volleyball player bullied online for many years for his feminine appearance. Cyberbullying has long been a serious problem in the world, with cases of celebrities taking their own lives after suffering from online hate speech for years, such as K-pop stars Sulli and Goo Ha-ra
People in Thailand and other countries should be taught how to use media properly so as not to harm themselves and others. Whether it’s dealing with fake news or using the media without affecting your mental health. Those abilities are very important in this day and age. In addition, the proper teaching of media usage should not only be taught to students or mass communication personnel, but should be taught to everyone in the society so that our society does not have these problems anymore.
Social media and mass media have good results on the population, but this is not without negatives. As social media and mass media use increases and more time of a person’s life is spent on social media and mass media, there is no doubt that there will be both positive and negative consequences on people in the future.
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