The influence caused by media upon human beings is getting huger as new media appear rapidly in our society. The impact of different media on relationships have been constantly brought up. In this assay, I will focus mostly on the aspect of human relationships and on the impact of three different kinds of medium as well as two other derivatives, namely TV, mobile phone, Internet, and Facebook, smartphone, respectively, discussing the differences between media themselves as well as the differences of impact on human relationships. Television, the medium which penetrated deeply into families, unite people at first but break them up at the end. It's an one-way medium that you can only receive information from it rather than use it to maintain relationships; Mobile phone, in contrast to television, is a medium whose function is mainly used to contact people and maintain human relationships. Internet, unlike television and mobile phone, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it allows distant people to keep in touch. On the other hand, people spent more and more time socialising in front of screens causing the intimacy of face-to-face communication gradually disappeared; Facebook is a small part of Internet so that it shares the same pros and cons as Internet, but it advanced the functionality of Internet and created a powerful network in human society.
"According to Daniel Lerner whose classic text, The Passing of Traditional Society, argued that mass media opened closed traditional minds by revealing the vast world of difference, facilitating the 'empathy' that was a prerequisite of the mobile, politically participating, opinion-holding personality essential to modernity" (Lughod 1995: 190). It is true that the invention of mass media has made an information explosion, broadening people's perspectives and hastening the speed of acquiring information and knowledge, but what comes along with them are issues of impact of media on human's relationships, as well as political and social problems. Nowadays, human society is rife with media images. People were affected by those images without any conscious. So, how does media play a role in people's life, or more specifically, people's relationships? Is there any difference between impacts caused by different media? Television
I consider television as a medium that people can only receive messages, rather than interact and converse through it. Unlike mobile phones or "skype", or social network such as facebook, which can be used to connect friends in a distant place, television can only play the role of conveying information and entertaining, but not positively improve the level of relationships. Somtimes it even makes relationships insecure. Many people gather around a television, watching football, saying nothing just for the anticipation of future events. Since most of television programs will have the same result, I will focus on 'Soap Opera' and will concentrate on its function of 'plausibly holding people together in front of television'. From Lila Abu-Lughod's book, The Objects of Soap Opera, we can see the national fever heat on television serials in Egypt. Also can be seen in Cuba or elsewhere in Latin America, the most common evening activity is to watch television broadcasting of "telenovelas" (Pertierra 2009: 115). The magical power of television unites people so easily and quickly, even people who have never seen each other before can share a television and break the ice by talking about the contents of television. Does TV really shorten the distance between people? In the aspect of gathering people and opening up a conversation, I believe the answer is positive. Not only do people gather around to watch a serial or a soap opera during the show time, but in the aftermath of the show, people talk about it. However, I argue that the seemingly intimate relationship between people, caused by the impact of television in this case is temporary,...
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