I am Prisoner to Mass Media


Jasmine Grannum, Arts and Business, 2B

I was talking to one of my closest’s friends the other day. We caught up on life, but then the conversation diverted from talking about our personal well-being to Kim Kardashian’s make-up line and how people are “bashing” it. Of course, when we speak to a friend or an acquaintance, we speak about commonalties and similar interests, whether it be a movie, hobbies, etc, but the way we diverted our conversation to speak about a celebrity speaks loudly about the impact mass media has on our lives.

There is no doubt that entertainment and news deviates us from the harsh realities and problems the world faces. Mass media distracts us from the hate crime, war, discrimination, racism, inequality, and other social problems by highlighting what they feel is most important to the general public. The media also has a reputation of over-emphasizing some crimes and social problems over other’s enforcing fear and creating a group consensus of thinking based on the information they output. Ultimately, I believe that mass media, pushes forward the agenda’s of the government and multibillion dollar corporations.

Although I try to avoid the media, and try to limit how much attention I pay to mass media on a daily basis, I read and observe posts about celebrity breakups; I see trailers for the latests movies; hear music commercials about new releases; I see advertisements promoting superfluous consumer items; updates about major league game scores, the list goes on. These mass media projections make me become over-consumed about the unimportant issues of society. I find myself engaging in conversation about the latest Apple product that was released, and which celebrity cheated on their partner. I often don’t pick up on what I am doing, as it becomes habitual and natural. The mass media controls my life in so many ways, which is ultimately the goal of the platform: communicate information to the masses to achieve a general consensus on the “current social conditions”.

When I am not so consumed by what mass media communicates to me I find myself starting to care more about the broader social problems that is occurring. This got me thinking, if I didn’t have the ability to avoid the mass media, or the ability to pick and choose what I want to see and hear, would I still view the world in the same way? Or would I simply be a sheep following the heard? I began to think about all of the people who are not able to get away from the strong influence of mass media. They can’t think for themselves, because they’re so dependent on what they see, hear, and read.

To me, there is something horribly wrong with the way the media manipulates society by highlight and constricting what they think is important for us to know. It’s like we have no control over what we know about the world or control over what information we receive even though we feel like we do. I feel like I am a prisoner’s in a relatively free world, constrained to what I are allowed to hear, see, and read.