To What Extent Digital Media Has Changed Public’s Values
Through different forms of media people can now obtain vast amounts of information at the slightest touch of a finger. While it is convenient and comforting to have access to so much data, the question arises. How much of this information we receive shapes our lives? Mass media as an agent of socialization can prime and/or skew people’s belief system through mere exposure without the slightest clue of it affects. Mass media as an agent of socialization can structure people’s perception on society as a whole by simply using influence, control, and trust.
In almost everything we do, we use the Internet. Ordering a pizza, buying a television, sharing a moment with a friend, sending a picture over instant messaging. Before the Internet, if you wanted to keep up with the news, you had to walk down to the newsstand when it opened in the morning and buy a local edition reporting what had happened the previous day. But today a click or two is enough to read your local paper and any news source from anywhere in the world, updated up to the minute. The Internet itself has been transformed. In its early days—which from a historical perspective are still relatively recent—it was a static network designed to shuttle a small freight of bytes or a short message between two terminals; it was a repository of information where content was published and maintained only by expert coders.
This is the power that the media has in setting people’s agenda (Seib , 2003, p. 151). Hand in hand with these is the power that other news sources have on setting media agenda. According to a research conducted by McCombs and Shaw, crime, international news and terrorism also have the power to set the agenda for the media world.
As social media evolves, communication will improve and continue to soar to new heights. The positive impact on communication definitely overcomes the negative and makes it very beneficial.
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