Over the last 500 years, the influence of mass media has grown exponentially with the advance of technology.
First there were books, then newspapers, magazines, photography, sound recordings, films, radio, television, the so-called New Media of the Internet, and now social media.
Today, just about everyone depends on information and communication to keep their lives moving through daily activities like work, education, health care, leisure activities, entertainment, traveling, personal relationships, and the other stuff with which we are involved.
It's not unusual to wake up, check the cell phone for messages and notifications, look at the TV or newspaper for news, commute to work, read emails, take meetings and makes phone calls, eat meals with friends and family, and make decisions based on the information that we gather from those mass media and interpersonal media sources.
We need to be aware that the values we hold, the beliefs we harbor and the decisions we make are based on our assumptions, our experiences, our education and what we know for a fact.
We rely on mass media for the current news and facts about what is important and what we should be aware of.
We trust the media as an authority for news, information, education and entertainment. Considering that powerful influence, then, we should know how it really works.
The degree of influence depends on the availability and pervasiveness of media. All of the traditional mass media still have great influence over our lives.
Books once were supremely influential because they came first before newspapers, magazines, radio or television.
Newspapers and magazines became great influencers after they were developed.
Sound recordings and film were and still are influential.
Radio and then television were very influential. As the 20th century closed, TV exposed us to untold numbers of images of advertising and marketing, suffering and relief, sexuality and violence, celebrity, and much more.
Rajat Singh Rautela
R D Rajpal Public School, Dwarka, New Delhi