Over the last few decades, ever since the televisions and computers were invented, self ethnic identities have been influenced because of the progress in technology, which we commonly known as media, and whether the globe benefits from this approach or not has become a controversial issue amongst most of the people in the world. As what survey shows that a dominant group of peoples who tend to believe that identities were being ruined by spreading through mass-media which is the most inappropriate approach ever made because of it’s extremely destructive effects.
For instance, one of my friends ignited the other’s hair without a reason, and when he was asked why, he said “That’s what I saw from the movie”, and he seems to be happy with it. What it shows that, young children were being brainwashed by the media and they start to imitate what they see. All of a start, media has become responsible for the shaping and influencing of our identities, as the traditional sources of identity, such as family, social roles and the church, have begun to disappear. Because we are constantly being surrounded by the media, we allow it to create stereotypes, and let it change the way we act and think.
For example, popular television shows such as ‘Simpsons’ are constantly bombarding us in devastating ways with believable stereotypes and misleading images, whilst songs such as ‘I am woman’ can change the way we view different social classes, and create completely new identities. Secondly, mainstream media creates images which, though almost impossible to imitate, young people strive to become. When a young girl sees a magazine with a model on the cover, she won’t be thinking about the fact that the model has a make-up artist and Photoshop; she’ll be thinking why she doesn’t look the same.
Teenage girls have been brainwashed by the media to believe that they have to look thin and beautiful, wear expensive dresses, put on makeup and that they have to fit this idealized image, or they won’t be happy or loved. This pressure to conform to such an image has a psychological effect on young girls, and will change the way they dress, eat, act and think, thus changing and influencing their identity. Moreover, the media also influences our identities by creating stereotypes. Taking back to the television show ‘The Simpsons’, for example. Homer, the father, is stupid, lazy and fat. Marge, the wife, is always nagging him to do work.
Lisa, the smart one, is unpopular at school, unlike her mischievous brother Bart, who gets to hang with the cool kids, who are all bullies. Because people see these stereotypes, they begin to make generalizations about other people. People also fall into these stereotypes because it is what society expects of them. These stereotypes created by the media take away our individualism and instead provide us with a common identity which to most of us seems to be the same. Also, the media affect the way society views social classes. Previous to the Second World War, the society was predominately paternal.
Women were seen as inferior, and were bound to a domestic role. However, when the war ended, a large feminist revolution took place. The song “I am Woman” by Helen Reddy perpetuated the idea that women were just as capable as men, and should no longer be treated as second class citizens. Feminist movements on the radio and television allowed people to see these new ideas, and change the way they viewed women. A new identity for women was created, that women were no longer bound to the home, but could have jobs and work just as men would. Thus, the media created a new identity.
Half of our identities today are completely based on what we see in the media. Although our names, cultures and religions are determined otherwise, our clothing, behavior, hobbies and interests are all determined by mainstream media. What we see in magazines and on television dictate the way we run our lives. They indicate that we need this car, that dress, those games, because they’re what’s “in”, what everyone’s getting The media is the cause of our completely consumerist society, and is always telling us “what’s hot and what’s not”. We always want what’s trendy and what’s new, because the media tells us that we want it.
This both destroys individualism, and influences our identity. All in all, the media is influencing our identities which tell us what to be, and because we are constantly surrounded by it and that’s sort of trepidatious effect for us to care about. In my personal point of view, it would be even worse if we just neglect the influence of media without reflecting on it and let it happens. In that case, media would have a hazardous effect on our next generation’s culture and identities. Plus, it may also disturb our peaceful society.
Pages “how does TV influence your life? ” Stefan Anite, 14 December 2007