Week 2: The Big Impact Of Mass Media On Business And Technology
The problem with the media is how easily it can be manipulated. Images give us a sense of reality but it isn’t a complete picture. People have a hard time not accepting media because it paints an almost exact copy of the world. The media is blamed for everything wrong with the world when it itself is just a mirror. Philosopher Jean Baudrillard believes people engage with media in order to find an extension of themselves. Its why people have particular tastes and avoid watching things they don’t like. Take for instance, my mother. Despite a low crime rate where I live, she is convinced there’s a 100% chance I will get kidnapped and sold to some rich merchant in another continent and blames, of all things, the media. Why don’t people do anything? Why do they just stay there and show us these images? Yet, despite her protests, she still watches paranoid stories of mass killings and rapes as if the world is a horrible place where everyone is murderous and wants your money and life. What she wants, she gets. This tendency, Baudrillard believes is because of people’s fixed attitudes towards images almost like they were brainwashed, thinking what they see is real as opposed to only a depiction of a time and place at a certain moment. While the media corporations are part of the blame for this tendency, some of it is partly our own fault. We consume what we choose and believe me, there are a lot to pick and criticize. Just from YouTube alone, there are millions of videos streaming everyday and thousands more added every second. Thanks to the Internet and freedom of speech, there’s a video just for your enjoyment somewhere on the web. However, even in the world wide web, media is still controlled by big corporations. Search for any news and the same stories keep popping out but with a different angle. It’s always about war, who’s winning against who and what is cool today. The same things repeat except not all the time. If you search for other news outlets not controlled by the conglomerates, you get a lot more diverse stories despite not having that many viewers as the well established veterans who are rampant everywhere. This chapter showed me how deceptive and powerful media can be.