Social Media Impacts On Culture

Cultural production media

The most important element of "cultural production" in modern societies is the media. We learn through the media all that we know about our society and even the world in which we live. This applies not only to the knowledge of the society and history, but also to the knowledge of nature. We learn about the stratosphere just like Plato learned about Atlantis, "people say this and that". However, in the media we hear a lot the source of which we cannot trust. We resist medias influence, knowing that we are being manipulated, but essentially it does not change anything.

Through the development of mass media, a modern person lives in a world crowded with various kinds of information. Its scope is much wider than in the "pre-informative" era and is less tied to the cultural context of the community. Media open for modern people a diverse world of other cultures, the natural world, and the human past, make them aware of what is happening in other countries, make the viewer, in fact, a witness, instantly "transferring" him/her to the center of events, abolishing space and time as barriers to obtaining information.

Media for a modern person is not only an inexhaustible source of knowledge about reality, but also a factory for the production of "idols", "role models", the source of values and preferences. Popular TV presenters and their interlocutors become a source of "opinions" and "assessments" for their audience. Heroes of popular films generate a crowd of imitators and new trends in the mass fashion preferences. Their cues like slogans of commercials are included in the modern "folklore."


Since most information about the world is obtained today through the media, of enormous importance is the question what gets in the scope of media and what will be presented to the audience as "important" and "significant. Therefore, the media not only provide information, but also rank it. Media seldom get news from the world of science and the "high art" (if not sensational and not striking the layman), there are almost no topics related to everyday life and everyday duties of people. However, reporting of crimes and accidents occurs regularly. Information and news programs cover events taking place in a number of "leading" countries, while the rest of the country seems as if it is does not exist for the media and, consequently, for their audience because in the present conditions what does not exist in the media does not exist at all. Selection of information itself is informative. For example, "Oscar" awarding ceremony proves to be a huge success with all the viewers nationwide. This is a "great" event exciting millions of people, not only in the United States. All speculation about the "Oscar" eclipses all other messages and news. It is just one example of inadequate assessment of the significance of events and phenomena associated with the logic of the media, which are primarily important as "entertainment" and "sensational". However, this "inverted" logic is often absorbed by the audience.

Informational aspect and media impact

Media "dissect" in a specific manner the information collected according to their own logic operations. Much information is disseminated by the media, presenting news and entertainment stories. News should be "sensational" unusual outliers contrary to the regular flow of life (this is usually the "bad" news because they attract the most attention). The accuracy of information is not its main advantage. The media often contribute to the spread of unverified information, myths, stereotypes. Suffice it to recall many of the modern domestic television broadcasts devoted to "Mysteries" like UFO, "advertising" all sorts of witches and wizards, giving advice on air, etc.

Entertainment programs broadcasted by the media should be accessible to many and therefore not too fine. Sports competitions in this context are far preferable to literary readings, and the television series of programs on the problems of science do not have a high "Sensationalism" and not too high "entertainment" expectations. An important part of the information is advertising. Advertising has been criticized for implanting false ideals attempting to manipulate the behavior of people, etc. However, these problems are not insurmountable: there is experience of public television (for example, BBC in the UK) aimed at educating and information analysis; there are many specialized channels out of which today people can choose what kind of information they prefer.

Much more important feature is the not so obvious cultural effects of mass media. Among them, as we have already noted above, there is fragmentation of reality and ranking information. We should also note the change of the nature of the information and how it is perceived. Television (the most common of the modern media) operates not as words, but as visual images. The perception of such information does not require the work of the mind. A person only passively absorbs, "consumes" information. The mind is not involved, as well as there is no thinking. In such a situation, the opportunities for critical reflection on the information are reduced. A person takes for granted what he/she sees.

Living in the modern world, we are constantly confronted by the media. They have so firmly established themselves in our daily life that we cannot even imagine existence without them. For us, it has become pretty ok to watch the latest news on the favorite TV channel every day, to learn the result of a football match at a sports site on the Internet, to listen to the weather forecast for the day on the waves of the favorite FM-radio.

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Media and the youth culture

The problem of the media's influence on young people's behavior is very relevant in the modern society.

However, this essay will focus on the impact of media on young people's behavior because the youth is the most active part of the society that sets the overall tone of the social development.

The youth is a social group that uses the media to the maximum and eagerly receives information of different content. Young people are very curious and want to be informed about all the developments taking place not only in their city, but all over the world. Young people showing interest in this information is an established fact.

The media have an important influence on the lifestyle of young people. This effect applies to both directly through the media to the identity of a young person and indirectly through parents, teachers, peers, which are also significantly impacted by the media. Even the dominant social norms in a society are largely shaped by the media.

The media create a mutually exclusive dual effect on lifestyles of a young person: on the one hand, they act as a factor promoting healthy lifestyles among young people, on the other hand, they provoke the development of addictions, chemical dependency, contribute to the development of psychological discomfort, etc.

It is believed that one should not exaggerate the role of the media in shaping the lifestyle of young people, writing off all the existing problems of the youth on the corrupting influence of the Western World" and the commercial radio, television, and the press. In the past, there was absolutely no advertising in the media and censorship did not miss anything that might negatively affect the personality or lifestyle of a young person, for instance, such things as smoking, drinking, and promiscuity. Thus, it is not only the media today that leads to the fact that a significant portion of the population leads an unhealthy lifestyle. At the same time, the role of the media in shaping the way of life cannot be underestimated. However, it should be noted that over the last decade huge amounts of money have been invested by international corporations in advertising of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, which is in no comparison with the financing of programs, articles, and programs devoted to the development of a healthy lifestyle among young people.

What is the nature of the impact of media on the young people's behavior?

If we talk about the influence of media on young people, we can distinguish two kinds of exposure. The fact is that the media can generate both positive and negative effects on young people. The nature of this influence may be traced on the basis of an example of such media as television.

Television: positive and negative impact

In recent decades, sociological studies, which have been carried out in our country and abroad, have repeatedly confirmed that the structure of children's and youth television viewing arbitrariness is considered as the most affordable, universal form of spending free time. According to researchers, the strongest impact of television is produced by the formation of ideas about the current state of society, the level of the existing equity in it, and the most typical characteristics of modern people.

It turns out it can be argued that it is the media in the face of television broadcasting models, styles, and patterns of consciousness and behavior.

Nowadays, a particularly acute problem of television is violence . Virtually all modern TV shows, movies, cartoons present violence. The term "television violence" has long been used in the scientific lexicon and combines demonstration of damage or damage characters of television programs or movies. On the one hand, there are many studies that show that viewing violence on TV programs and movies is associated with subsequent aggression. It has been proven that television violence may cause short-term stimulation and so-called "modeling effects". One of vivid samples is a famous Oliver Stones film "Natural Born Killers". After its release, the world saw a wave of robberies, thefts, murders committed by young men who claimed after arrest that it was done to imitate the heroes of this film. At the same time, no less authoritative opinions are presented by modern scholars who use the cause-consequential statistical models to show that there is no evidence of a link between the use of television violence and subsequent aggressive behavior.

Media are also a source of vulgar information and pornography. In television broadcast, there are a lot of erotic films that corrupt and trivialize the youth of today. It is terrible that these vulgarity and impurity are seen not only on television, but also in newspapers, magazines, on the Internet, i.e. everywhere. One can trace the negative effects of television on adolescent sexuality. "Values, norms and patterns of sexual activity, which are broadcasted by the media, are often far from reality, orient young people powerless sexual relationships that are not based on mutual feelings of love and responsibility, provoke and stimulate the already increased teenage sexuality".

Nevertheless, TV is an essential element of culture of the twentieth century, a component of the spiritual life of the society and the individual. Television, in its developed form, increases the possibility of participation of people in different events, making advances in science and culture accessible to the masses, expanding the limits of the living world of each individual.

In addition to the negative impact of the media on youth behavior, one can identify several positive developments:

  • media keep young people up-to-date of all events;
  • media increase the overall, including political culture of the population;
  • they provide mutual information to the authorities and the public;
  • they relieve possible social tensions.

The media have not only become an integral part of the popular culture of modern society, but also an important institution of socialization. The most powerful means of information in terms of effects on people's minds is TV due to allowing visual-image perception and hence a stronger emotional impact on people.

Social study of television broadcast and its result

In 2003, the sociological laboratory of London University conducted a sociological study to examine the content of television programs broadcasted by the TV channels to determine the characteristics of their impact on the life chances of students.

Study results:

  1. The results of the study showed that watching television has a very important place in the structure of leisure activities of young people, second only to friend communication.
  2. Analysis of the main motives for watching movies and programs showed that students watched TV for entertainment. At the same time, the depth analysis shows that television for young people is a source of information and a purposeful way of emotional discharge.
  3. An analysis of young people's attitudes towards aggression and violence presented on television shows that the average student, living in London, every day sees at least 10 scenes of violence; contrary to a popular opinion that young people prefer to watch aggressive scenes, the majority of respondents (80% respondents) refer to such scenes with indifference or reject them.

TV powerfully affects the meaning of life orientation of students, sets standards, and promotes a good life.

Television strongly affects the behavior of young people, making a significant contribution to the nature of their communication with the world, which is an incentive for actions that one does not need to reinvent by oneself as they are ready-made.

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A particularly susceptible to the influence of television group is young people, teenagers, and young men. Media are characteristic of modern mass culture and common personality patterns and behaviors that are projected on the youth subculture and thus are assigned to teenagers to form their value orientations and actual behavior. In this regard, of particular interest is the analysis of both positive and negative patterns of social behavior that are spread through media channels as it is relevant for understanding of a meaningful context and mechanisms of socialization of adolescents.

One can trace the significant controversy in the value orientations of young people. On the one hand, on the level of consciousness there is a declared desire for personal independence, good and stable interpersonal relationships, creation of a family, and getting a decent job. On the other hand, in line with the results of factor analysis, there is a clear focus on the Western standards of living. Television in this context plays a significant role in shaping attitudes of young people. As young people are sufficiently set apart culturally from the older generation, the TV via using in its broadcasts Western programs and films successfully promotes the Western way of life and perception of the world.

The essay has considered the topic of media influence on the behavior of young people, and now it is safe to say that the impact of the media exists and it is quite significant. The youth is a social group that is very much subject to the influence of the media. Also, there is posed an important question, namely, the question about the influence of the media. It has been found that there are both positive and negative impacts of the media on young people, and the world is now increasingly talking about the negative impact of the media, which is reflected in the inadequate behavior in the society.

This problem needs to be solved, despite the fact that it will be not profitable for someone. A healthy lifestyle, high intellectual potential, and good morals should first of all characterize the younger generation.

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