The Media Effects American Culture

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The media is the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines that reach or influence people widely. The growth of the media has spread vastly over the years. The media is also known as a “channel of mass communication.” “Mass Media incorporates all those mediums through which information is distributed to the masses. These include advertisements, magazines, newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet” (Sebastian). The media introduces many new things to the public, both positive and negative. The media harms the American culture by creating these celebrity idols, the glorification of violence, sex, and drug and alcohol abuse. The media positively affects the American culture by the quick and easy flow of useful information and education, its major role in developments like fight against racism, fight against gender bias, world poverty and spreading awareness about world peace. The media affects the American culture in several ways, beneficial and harmful. The media affects the way people view the world, others, and the way they live their life. The media also, however, influences the way people learn, interact, and engage with the rest of the world.

The media creates an image of celebrities, commercial products, and influences such as politicians that the American culture can become “wrapped” up in. Americans can look at celebrities and think that they have to look or act a certain way, just like the celebrity. An example of a negative aspect would be Paris Hilton. Many teenage girls look up to Paris Hilton as an idol, however, in 2003 an adult video was leaked to the public. If Americans see this, especially teenage girls, they will think that it is okay to act this way. A different example would be Britney Spears’ out lash in 2008, which showed America what the paparazzi and the “glamorous” lifestyle of being famous can do to a person. When asked if the media has mostly a positive or negative aspect on the American culture, journalist for the magazine The Knot, Melissa Coleman responded. She said “I think the most media, such as the Internet and tabloids, do have the most negative effect on Americans. People become consumed in this “fame and money” way of living that they will do whatever it takes to be just like the rich” (Coleman). The media puts the reality into things with a twist of any kind of story, quote, or anything that appeals to the public. This showed Americans that the media can negatively affect anyone’s life forever. “The glorification of violence, drug abuse and other unhealthy habits has a major role in the outburst of unfortunate incidents where children have gotten extremely violent and out of control. Be it the advertisements touting products that promise a fairer skin or bods-to-die for or the television shows and films, which portray violence, sexually explicit content and abusive language. There are music videos and rock bands that give out the message that alcohol; drugs and sex are an inevitable part of life. These ideals created by the media might not be necessarily appropriate” (Manohar). There is this “media frenzy” going on in America that not only teens are being affected, but also adults. There are misleading commercials or articles in the newspaper that lead people to believe things that are not true. Tabloids, television, and the internet will do anything to attract attention and for people to buy whatever they are selling.

One the other hand, the media is a positive influence on the American culture as well. The media promotes education and learning, interacting with the world, and the fights against different causes and to raise awareness. The media makes billions of dollars with the advertising they sell and what we are exposed to. We buy what we are told to be good, after seeing thousands of advertisements we make our buying decisions based on what we see on television, newspapers or in magazines to be a product we can trust and also based...
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