Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are the few social networks that have taken over my life. Not completely, but a good portion. It has become a disturbing habit, but a reliable source. However, what many of us don’t know is that media can be an influence on our daily lives, whether it is good or bad.
Ask yourself, how often do you find yourself pulling out your smart phone and scrolling through your news feed on Facebook? Even if you don’t have a Facebook, perhaps you’re constantly checking your email. The point is that we’ve become so dependent on these things.
So why is this a bad thing? In 2010, the total media exposure among all 8 to 18-year-olds was almost 11 elevens hours (Kaiser Family Foundation). That’s a hefty amount of time spent instead of doing something else productive. Media constructs our culture. It uses forms of persuasion to get us to believe or do something. Often the content found in media delivers messages that encourage us to act upon a bad habit. For example, fast food restaurants advertise their food on commercials hoping to persuade the consumer to make a run to the nearest restaurant and pick up a burger and coke. Media also encourages us to conform to the norms of society or in other words, hop on the bandwagon. I think it’s time we start using the media for a better purpose. We should advertise healthier products. We should encourage physical activity. Unless we are promoting something for the well being of society, media shouldn’t be glamorized for what it really is. Monkey see, monkey do. But let’s do something great.