The influence of media is growing stronger and stronger as time passes. Because of this, the competition among producers and advertisers gets tougher as they try to come up with new ways to catch people’s attention through their newspapers, magazines, movies, shows, and commercials. If you have noticed, the speed at which news travels around the world has become faster with the development and advancement in technology. Everything is evolving depending on the demand of people. Media indeed can influence people in different ways but the pressing question is this: how does the media influence the way people behave?
Watching movies and programs on the television as we relax takes us away into this different realm—that is, there are parts in our being that feels we are the ones in the movie and sometimes we even feel what they are feeling as we get caught in the emotional excitement. The effect of media does not stop when the movie or program ends. And this lingering effect might just be the cause of behavioral changes in people.
With action films, children tend to emulate the movie hero, engaging him to violent acts thinking that it is acceptable because his hero became successful in the end. With cartoon programs, not everything is good-natured. There are those that show subtle acts of violence and deceitful acts against others (some even more vulgar). In return, children tend to copy the characters and think that deceiving other people is a way to confront their problems. They learn to transfer these ill behaviors to friends.
There are some television shows and movies that attempt to create an atmosphere to change the view of people towards social issues such as racial discrimination. These shows provoke criticism and tend to mislead the picture of reality. In the minds of other people, the effect can be for the better, but some unfortunately for the worse.
There had been instances in the past that teens commit suicide imitating her favorite actress. There was also a case where somebody set a subway ticket booth on fire just like the way he saw it in his favorite film. There are rape cases, too, that had been imitated from different movies. These are just some examples of the disturbing influence of media on people’s behavior.
An explanation to these sinful acts is that these people could not distinguish fantasy from reality. They get caught up in the realm of what they had been watching and the images and scenes get embedded in their minds. What makes these people pull these images and scenes from the recesses of their minds and turn them into reality is a psychological case.
So to answer the pressing question earlier, does the media influence the way people behave? Yes, it does. If we analyze fully and look at things in a bigger picture, the media is largely responsible for inculcating the minds of people with false notions and morbid imageries. They feed the minds of innocent young people with violence and other disturbing issues. They inform people on how to do acts that are deemed controversial to the society.
These lead to misbehavior against other people, which can create a vicious cycle among individuals as they attempt to do the same or even worse things to others.