Over decades, mass media has been used to propagate information to the target audience. It has been a powerful tool that has been used by different people to express their interests on their audience. However, it comes with both positive and negative effects to the society depending on the channel used. Sometimes, channels are not sensitive on the kind of audience thus arousing fear, controversy, violence, or other emotions associated with the message being conveyed.
Many experts have conducted research on the effects of mass media on the youth (Guarino & Carter, 2013). Their findings indicate that mass media has a positive effect on the young people due to its educative nature. However, they advise that the youth should be exposed to information that is in synch with their development phase. All the media sources enhance knowledge through provision of information. For instance, news increases self-awareness by updating the audience about the daily events happening in the society.
This develops concern about social issues within the population segment, which is most productive. Mass media not only gives the latest news and trends, but also contributes to the enhancement of vocabularies and command of language. Young & Launer (2011) explain that advancement of general knowledge leads to the rise of a youthful population that is able to express their views with appropriate language that alleviates conflicts and controversies as a result of misunderstandings. The print media is vital for the development of a reading culture in the society.
The habits ensure that the youth are well informed on the social trends and other aspects that are vital for socio-economic growth in the whole social matrix (Bacal, 2013). Studies indicate that the methods used to deliver information influences the cognitive processing capacity of the audience. Moreover, the methods improve the learning progress of the youth since their brains are at their optimum learning phase. Axon (2011) states that significant knowledge gains have been witnessed when the participants are exposed to current affairs, social issues, and other forms of information based on varying contexts.
Due to the broad range of information being propagated, mass media overwhelms us with tons of information. The nature and amount of information increases the brain’s capacity to gain more knowledge. So, mass media creates an avenue that stimulates the need for exploration and curiosity, which are essential for effective development of the brain (Donohue, 2011). In addition, mass media develops the reflective segment of the brain that processes the factual, objective, and analytic elements, which influence response to varying situations.
The development of this segment leads the person to have rational thoughts: they are the ones that determine the formulation of response depending on the situation. Therefore, the youth who are conversant with the dynamics of mass media develop a balance between the real world and the environment created by media activities. The efficiency of knowledge acquisition and retain ability depends on the ability of the mind to access long sequences of information and putting it together in order to establish relationships.
Wilson (2011) explains that our culture is dominated by activities which improve declarative memory if well utilized. Therefore, mass media is a major contributor to the development of various segments of the brain, which is an advantageous effect on the young population since they are a part of the target audience. In his article, Debatin (2013) further explains that mass media has profound effects on the modern culture. The availability of constant information influences the social behavior of the youthful population due to the nature of messages being propagated.
They not only promote the intended interests, but also stimulate attitudes, moods, and other forms of emotions that define social behavior. Therefore, mass media influences the transformation of the social and cultural values of the general audience. The influential nature of media contributes to positive development of thoughts and behavioral patterns of the youth. The media has contributed to positive transformation of the way people think. In reference to Gentile (2011), cultivation of good behavioral patterns strengthens the social bonds in the community.
It also creates a young population that is able to work and live together as a way of developing the country. The advent of media technologies that enable propagation of information to all population segments has led to effective social control. Through media, announcements, advertisements, and messages that require the audience to follow some form of instruction is possible. This has been made successful by the strong link that exists between the youth and mass media (Gunther, 2013). Its positive effect has created an audience that is obedient and flexible to the changes occurring in the society.
In addition, the media influences the health status among the youth by providing educative programs about physical fitness and diet. The programs can be used to influence the lifestyle of the young people by offering nutritional recommendations that promote a healthy lifestyle. Statistics indicate that commercials that encourage healthy eating take fourteen percent of the time spent by the youth in mass media platforms (Moran, 2013). Since the young people make up the most active population segment, many companies target them.
Products such as alcohol and cigarettes are mostly consumed by the young people. The mass media can be used to influence their consumption behavior through passive advertisements, which discourage their use. Therefore, the mass media can be used as a positive influence on the social behavior of the target population (Sterin, 2011). Oliver & Jinhee (2012) explain that one of the positive media effects is the enhancement of interpersonal relationships and communication. They further elaborate that the interpersonal relationships developed influence the complex social dynamics.
This is because the messages propagated affect the social institutions depending on their context as a major deciding factor on the choice of their response. Therefore, the efficient delivery of information to the target audience is a fundamental factor for determining effective interactions in the society. Porfilio, Car, & Miranda (2011) state that media activities change peoples’ perspective on various issues that affect society. These activities cultivate positive perceptions on the modern youth over time due to continuous exposure to mass media.
Although the creation of perceptions is a complex process, it shapes the methods, which the audience approaches social challenges resulting to the development of better social norms. Therefore, the role of mass media in manipulating perceptions within the social context comes with positive consequences on the young population. In conclusion, the amount of benefits derived from mass media depends on how its capacities are utilized. Its influential nature can be used to create social trends that promote better lifestyle, which is an essential factor for optimizing human capital.
In addition, it has made the world a global village where information reaches its target audience within a short time irrespective of their locations. This availability of information is vital for expanding the information processing capabilities of the modern young population. It also expands the knowledge base and command of various issues of concern in the society. At the same time, it creates self-awareness and a sense of responsibility among the young population. Therefore, the mass media has positive effects on the population segment under consideration. References Axon, D.
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