Hello there. It has been a while since I have written. I will be getting back to the Proverbs 31 woman but over the past couple of weeks I have been acting on the Word and not just studying. 🙂 If you are interested to see what we have been up to, hop over to this site and check us out! The following post was a paper written by a friend of ours who is in college. He has given me permission to use it here as I thought it would be a blessing to some of you out there.
Mass Media: by Jace Verdin
The most effective way to advertise any and every product or service. Anyone who watches TV or surfs the web is bombarded by countless ads advertising everything from diet pills to hair growth formulas. Elizabeth M. Perse states, “Media companies derive profit by promising that they are effective vehicles for advertisements or product placements, messages designed to persuade consumers to purchase” (4). These ads are flashed in front of millions of people every day. People are influenced so drastically by what mass media says is right or acceptable. The Journal of International Business states,” Influence is often a key in managerial success” (Yukl, 2002). The reason people are influenced by this, is because they allow this to mold how they view things which in turn affects their choices. Many argue that as time changes people change too. Some even say that the influence of the media is due to subliminal messages. These both hold relevance in this debate, but only to a small extent. The truth is instead of everyone being grounded in the Bible, the Book this country was founded on; too many people are concerned about what other people think instead of what God thinks. Mass media influences people because people allow themselves to be influenced by mass media.
A very common reason people are influenced by mass media is because they just go with the flow because everyone else is. They are not aware of how the media controls the society. It seems fine to them because everyone else is doing it. They never stop to ask themselves if it really is the right way to go or the correct thing to do. It is taken at face value and never thought twice about. This shows ignorance on society’s part. It is very interesting how most movies made today have at least one sort of promiscuous sex scene in it; yet, they hardly ever show the possible consequences that can be suffered from sleeping around. They portray sleeping around as romance and fun. They do not show the accidental pregnancies and STDs that happen because of it. These are just a few among the many consequences of promiscuity that mass media shows as perfectly normal and ok.
Besides the people who are either consciously or unconsciously ignorant and unaware, there are those that go with the flow because they want to fit in with the crowd. These people are terrified of not being accepted into the clique. They refuse to be the one to say something opposing common belief fearing that they will be pointed out and made fun of. Instead they follow everyone else because they would rather stay in their comfort zone than be cast out for doing the right thing. Something that mass media advertises more than anything else is attractiveness. This is how sales are made. It is implied that if it is not attractive, then it is not wanted. This includes women. It is portrayed that women have to look, act, dress, and speak a certain way for them to be attractive and worth something. This could not be farther from the truth. Because this has been believed as true, there are girls that starve themselves and search for validity in ways that will never give them the satisfaction they are looking for. Having a certain figure or status does not compensate for knowing you have done the right thing on the inside.
Some are not completely influenced by media, but do not take a stand against faulty media because they have the mistaken idea that it is someone else’s job or responsibility. They feel like standing alone will not make a difference or get the job done. This belief is very unfortunate because it is quite contrary to the truth. A huge chain reaction can and must be set off by one person. Take the Montgomery Bus Boycott for example. Rosa Parks was the main person who sparked the desegregation movement. I doubt that she expected her actions to have as big of an impact as they did. It was something as simple as not giving up her seat on the bus. Rosa was not ashamed of what she did. She had confidence in what she was doing. Not because people told her it was the right thing to do and certainly not because society and common belief said so. She was confident in what the right thing was to do and did it. Society desperately needs to get to the point where it does not depend on mass media to tell it what needs to be done and how to do it.
Mass media changes daily. Everyday there is a new fashion and a new way in which society is being influenced to go. As long as this is followed, those who choose this path will go around in circles until they are gone. By no means is all mass media bad. In fact, there is quite a bit of it that is good. It is crucial for one to be able to distinguish and discern between the two. If anyone wants to follow something worthwhile that is not wishy-washy, different everyday, and actually profits something when it is all said and done, the Bible is what needs to determine influence. As the Bible states, “For I the LORD do not change…” (Holy Bible, E.S.V. Vers., Mal. 3:6). If God’s Word is what someone follows, they will never be wrong.
Perse, Elizabeth. Media Effects and Society. Hillsdale: L. Erlbaum Associates, 2001. Print. Reuters, Thomson. “Journal of International Business Studies.” Palgrave Macmillan
Journals. 2004. Web. 02 Dec. 2010.
The Holy Bible, E.S.V., Good News Publishers. Wheaton, Illinois: 2009. Print.
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