IMPACT OF MEDIA ON COGNITION

Media which is also known as Mass Media has a very prominent role in our lives. They are the first and foremost part of the social systems in which they exist. They fulfil the roles of social maintenance that are unique in form while complementary with such other social entities as commercial firms, government agencies, educational centers and religious groups. The power of media can change the whole society to a better place since its main objective is to educate entertain and inform people. They reflect the features of their community, regional and national structure in terms of political philosophy, dominant interests and cultural norms. Media plays a vital role in everybody’s life thus it has become a part and parcel of our life. The media includes: Newspapers,Television,Radio,Movies,Magazines,Books,Cd’s,Dvd’s,Brochures,Leaflets,Newsletters,Cameras,Mobile phones and it also comprises of Internet. There are numerous effects of media in the society. It has got both positive as well as negative influence on our society. However it depends on the way we all perceive things. The primary purpose of media according to development media theory is to promote economic development, social change and nation building. Although much of the focus of development media has been on the print media. The use of electronic media particularly of entertainment, radio and television programmes has gained more attention as media systems and media access has expanded in many developing nations. One can’t get many insights about the character of a nation especially its dominant powers and institutional interest through careful attention to what its media publish and broadcast. Media serve as agents of social control. The view that media are national tools of development is prevalent where governments exert strong control over mass media. The entertainment education strategy has especially flourished in countries where media are regarded as a powerful means of development.

The media has both positive and negative influence on us. Lets first focus on the positive effect that media has on our society. Mass media is useful for educating young generations. It is an important source of information for individuals as well as society. Mass media helps in bringing a change in the society. Change would also mean things for the better. It has helped our society to get rid of all the old practices and equipment and introduce better and more efficient equipments. Mass media helps in maintaining a friendly relationship with our neighbouring countries. It brings people across the world closer. Television helps us to see what is happening in other countries, cities, continents.We can just sit and watch TV in a living room and visit all foreign countries, watch different people, learn their culture, tradition, the kind of food they eat, the way they dress up, their language, their lifestyle etc, number of events, happy or sad happenings anywhere can be seen live.

Television gives us the knowledge about the world we live in. Most useful programmes in television is various educational programmes thus it has a huge influence on a day today lives. It is been watched for many purposes. People watch television to watch the news since it provides the latest news. Then there are sports channels they provide us a live sports from the different country stadiums. People who cannot afford to travel foreign countries to watch their favourite sports can just watch it at home and enjoy like we all watch Olympic games at the moment.Televison provides reality shows which are extremely popular now a days.Televison also provides alot of animal channels such as Animal planet, Discovery channel, National geography channel etc.These channels helps us by giving us the latest information about animals and their new researches.

Before television gained popularity young people learned the newspaper reading habit from their parents with televisions arrival, families began to move away from newspapers as their source of entertainment. Newspapers perceive young readers in a variety of ways including newspapers in education, programmes that encourage reading newspapers in public schools, special sections in newspapers aimed at children and young adults and youth oriented websites run by newspapers. Newspaper contains variety of information such as Advertising, Opinion material, News, Graphics, National news, International news, Sports, Travel, Local news, Buisness news and Comics. Newspapers fulfil important role. They serve as a guard against governmental abuses of power and they define their communities by providing information about the daily and weekly activities of their town, city and country. They are considered vehicles of mass communication that target generalised audiences within a local geographic area. One of the main categories of the newspaper in opinion material this particular category appears on the editorial pages. Here the local citizens express their opinions about current political and social issues. Newspaper will remain an extremely important component of the media mix, as long as their staffs (include Reporters,Photographers,Designers,Copyeditors,Desk editors, Managing editors and An editor)  take advantage of new technologies and ensure that their content serves their audiences. Young readers have not deserted newspapers entirely. Almost seventy percent of teenagers look at newspapers at least once during a week, and more than sixty percent believe newspapers carry information useful to them in their daily lives. However, newspapers ranked behind television and radio, but above the internet, in amount of use. Newspapers are aggressively experimenting with new technologies as one way to build bridges to the communities they serve. The main objective of the newspaper to inform the public about government policies and programmes. Mass media helps the industries. Lot of industries make use of the media in order to introduce their newly products and service to the people through advertising. Without advertising the people will not know about the values and the features of the product which are available in the market. So advertising has been helpful to the consumers as well. Thus advertising promotes trade. This source of media brings buyers and sellers together in economic markets that supply the goods and services that people need and want. Advertising makes life easier. Without advertising, just getting the basics for living would be far more difficult and expensive. Imagine hunting for an apartment with no advertising except signs on apartment building you would drive to each apartment to find out how much it cost. That is why it is one of the most important channels of media.

Another useful and very powerful channel of media is Internet. It has been the most useful technology of the modern time. It is full of information. It provides up to date information on variety of topics. It connects people to ideas and people all over the world from one end to the other. Online services are the area of greatest growth. Most of the growth is web based and services may be provided free. The internet provides services such as web based banking, from entertainment to shopping online, from news to parodies of news. Audio images and video clippings can be downloaded, and sites can be individually created. The online world is truly interactive.Internet has served to be more useful in maintaining contacts with friends and relatives who live in different countries. Internet chatting systems, emails are used in maintaining contacts with the people around the world. It also provides lots of fun these days for example games, online movies, songs, dramas etc.

It’s been proven that media has even negative influence not only on today’s youth but also on the majority of the world’s population.todays youth are affected by the media in a number of ways. The means of media which influence the young generation are television,radio,internet,newspapers,magazines,books etc all these manipulate teenagers in what concerns culture,politics,social life,religion,fashion,education etc.Because of media there is unhealthy competition in almost all aspects of life. Media is like a coin with two sides. It has both advantages and disadvantages. It’s like a double edged sword. If not handled with care then may turn out to be injurious. Media shows many a times twisted news thus giving wrong information to the youth and this affects the youth’s mind and can be harmful for the country as they are the future generation of our country. People spend lot of time watching movies and TV serials on television and they get attracted by the violence which is shown in those programmes. The traditional culture of our country is affected by mass media. Entertainment has become the main component of mass media and this affects the primary objective of media that is to inform and educate people. Media promotes violence. It causes a negative influence on children. People wants are becoming unlimited. Media brings the desire in people to buy an own products that are advertised through media but which may not be essential for them. Wrong news can present a wrong idea before the public. Misleading messages may divert young minds towards a wrong path. Media also affects politics. A lot of people decision on very important topics is shaped by what they in the media. When it comes to internet some people are getting addicted to the internet and therefore causing problems with their interactions of friends and loved ones. Another disadvantage of internet is that it has got different websites, forums and chat rooms available and this has allowed perverted individual to take advantage of innocent people. Because of the television we all have lost our old heritage to socialise the environment. Children are losing interest in outdoor activities and they prefer sitting in front of the TV for hours. Watching film or TV is typically one sided activity. Traditional conversation activities such as eating a meal with family, entertaining guest, has become socially stifled when the TV is turned on. Internet is particularly very attractive for a child since it has so much to offer in terms of entertainment. Pornography is serious threat in today’s world and it causes a lot of problems in terms of emotional and mental well being of the child.

So media has both negative and positive influence on the society. There is nothing wrong with the media itself; it can be a great source of timely information. It’s only when it’s starting to negatively influence you and your life that it becomes something that needs to be dealt with proactively. Children should be advised by their parents about the limited usage of the media. Children should not be allowed to spend too much of time in front of the television, social networking sites etc and parents should monitor their child’s computer usage by checking their kids social networking sites on a regular basis. Children should be encouraged to take part in physical activities, puzzles, read books, and draw and keep TV timing in minimum. A child will benefit from his/her parent’s guidance in helping them to balance media related activities with other activities such as reading, talking with family, and spending time with friends. Parents should help their children to make good media choices. Children should be warned about the risk of visiting computers chat rooms, watching misleading ads etc.

It’s impossible to imagine our life without mass media. Our information age is determined in many respects by the mass media. According to my opinion media has more pluses (advantages) than minuses (disadvantages). It’s a very interesting scope of activity which has the possibility of making everyone’s life brighter.

REFERENCE:

  • ·         Mass Media, Social Control and Social change by David Demers and K.Viswanath.
  • ·         The Media in Your Life by Jean Folkerts and Stephen Lacy.