Update:/ Following my previous post about the power of social media that led to the overwhelming response of Occupy Wall Street in the U.S., just an update – the protest has gone larger last week but as of yesterday (22 Oct), it has been diminishing.. but still, the ability to group these strangers together through virtual means. I am still awed by the effects of social media.
Mass media is also known as new media, as it is an emerging category. Its funny how so many of us are ‘stuck’ on this, isn’t it? We use it almost everyday – on our computers; our smartphones; our iPod/iTouch/iPads. The ways of life are evolving as well – one can transfer bank funds, carry out retail therapy, book air tickets, chat with friends, watch videos, read news and current affairs and so much more. This supposedly cuts down time spent on each task itself and increases efficiency, but we need to all ask ourselves – are we doing that? Or using that time saved up to scroll through Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter? Using it to promote good causes, share news and ask after one another are some of the reasons why I use social media – but it is important to keep in mind that personal touch is still very much essential for communication – we can’t rely on a virtual screen all the time.
Media imposes their reality of what many is thinking about. It may vastly change the public’s views many a times, and changing the way one grabs hold of information. Very good examples include the cancellation of Night Safari’s Halloween Horrors and the passing of Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs. I believe many read it on social media and found out first before seeing it on official news media (well, for me at least!).
Did You Know?
We all need Digital Quotient nowadays besides IQ and EQ! I would agree with this – it is important for an individual to be able to filter certain information and process it intelligently (or at least, with some common sense). Not just absorbing every single piece of news you read online. Various perceptions are required for subjectivity, with minimal bias-ness. Always be open to various opinions and think from other perspectives; look past the cultural and social barriers. That way, it definitely brings one’s understanding to a whole new level. I am still learning! 🙂
Would like to share some media communication theories which I found interesting:
- Powerful effects theory
This is one of the first concepts which can be compared to that of a hypodermic needle – that the mass media is extremely influential on the general public. Food for thought: are we just feeding on what the media communicates blindly?
- Limited effects theory
This states that audiences are able to resist certain media messages – comprises of active screening. Good old common sense helps sometimes!
- Moderate effects theory
The ability to influence audiences remains but it does not mean no effects at all. It is inherently biased in some way or the other. Especially when certain messages are constantly repeated, with images (may be distorted sometimes if the whole picture is not depicted fully such as this one below).
I know this picture kinda doesn’t make full sense because why on earth will you feed someone water at gunpoint, but you never know there may be a story behind this. What if the person in question was Hitler? Something like that. Anyway the objective is to illustrate that things may not seem like what it is on the surface.
As much as I prefer point no. 2, I have to admit that point no.3 makes more realistic sense. What do you think?
Citizen journalism is powerful as well – it allows breaking updates! Check this out on The Straits Times’ STOMP:
On most occasions, there is this spiral of silence whereby one refrains from unpopular ideas due to fear of isolation, i.e. being different from the rest. You may have a different view that you feel strongly about (maybe issues like homosexuality; pre-marital sex etc) but because of the fact that the media “imposes their reality of what many is thinking about”, one may be dissuaded from speaking too much. What is your response and approach to the media then? In Singapore, are you constantly engaged within the mass media and what is your take on this?