This is a post submitted by one of our readers, Jason P. Kalum.
I’m not too much of an opinionated person, in fact, I’m pretty indecisive, so in this age where everyone has to pick a side about things like politics and race I tend to keep my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself. However, I’ve been seeing more and more comments about the media lately that have me wondering.
What benefits does the media give us both now and in the past? Does this constant stream of information that we are subjected too really do anything to us?
The pros of media: It can provoke a response
With everything from weather events to crises happening both on our shores and around the world, a small video about destruction or an injustice can begin a worldwide response from countless people and bring nations together to show the good in people.
Even smaller crimes such as hate speech, bigotry, and racism can be exposed and the ones responsible can be held accountable for it. Mass media can shine a spotlight on the bad in the world, but it can also be a force for good.
Good moments of human kindness can be shown and broadcast to the world, and the world’s faith in itself can be rekindled. Plus, because of the media, we have all those cute cat videos!
It can spread the beauty of the world
Art, interviews with influential people, and culture can all be accessed worldwide with the tap of a few buttons. I’ve always wanted to see Scotland and thanks to travel shows I can, I can look at the foods of Europe, and I can see the sights that I can’t see just yet all from my TV screen.
Anything and everything about the world can be accessed from a device, from the music and art to the rich lives of the people who live in the places that I want to go.
Cons of the media: It can spread hate
For regimes that wish to consolidate their power over the world, the media is a powerful weapon to control the spread of information and control people’s thoughts. Certain races of people and countries can be turned into enemies, and lies can be backed by those in power and then can be believed in by the people.
News can be biased, and the truth can be twisted, whether that’s for good or ill I can’t say, but it’s certainly a problem these days.
It can become the only source of information
Most people choose to parrot out whatever the news says and take a certain channel or brand as their only source of information. Then they lose the ability to think and make decisions for themselves.
The media, much like all things in life, needs to be taken with a grain of salt and in moderation. It does give us all information, but we need to be able to use that information and form our own conclusions. Media is a tool, not the only source of info we have in the world.