News and social media molds current society

Feeding the audience with lies and biased information and articles, newspapers and media are influencing how the viewers think and feel in a negative way. Media is one of the main sources of fear and polarity within mass society. Whether it be for political gains or the mind games that journalists, news industries, and social media play, we, as a society, fall for these tricks.

The average civilian watches news stories about the many dangers in this world. Some of these dangers shown in the media include terrorism, sickness, corruption, and war. Some people think that society is getting worse in this world and this is the most dangerous time to live in. Although the media presents their stories with negativity, studies have shown that the world is not a bad place. As a matter of fact, this generation is the safest to live in currently. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Firearm-related homicides dropped from 18,253 homicides in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.” Almost every day, the media posts or airs news of the negative things within this world.

The majority of society does not believe that they would fall for these “tricks.” Scientifically, the brain is powered and engineered to learn how to protect itself. Within the brain is a specific part of it called the amygdala. The amygdala is within each cerebral hemisphere of the brain, and it contributes with experiencing and perceiving emotion and how it is processed as well as establishing the connection between certain stimuli that would cause fear and the perception of this danger. There is a multitude of possible stimuli, but the information being brought up by the media should be identified better throughout society. News stories such as terrorist attacks, viruses, natural disasters, and negative political outlooks would create the stimuli that would trigger as negative emotions.  This results in the brain adapting to this as well as possible danger being presented. Because of these news stories, the media uses the adaptability of the human brain as a key component, and they instill fear within society to make people think the world is a more dangerous place than it is.

Although it seems that the media has no reason to brainwash the mass public, here lies a hidden truth buried beneath the false statements. The endgame is simple enough: advertisement and persuasion. Since the media has the audience’s attention, they take advantage of the opportunity at hand and slip in advertisements. The media persuade society to believe what they claim to be true, because the people still think, “since it is on tv it must be true.” In reality, the media only presents arguments and thoughts as black and white, meaning it is either one side or the other. They use the technique of polarization to brainwash the public to choose their own side of subjects. Mass corporations own the media which, in turn, results in some news companies choosing an extreme side to certain viewpoints, such as political applicants and biased laws that are being created. Not only does the media create mass movements to form opinions, but they use more techniques for additional views. They amplify news items and repeat them to keep the public engaged. They tap into the human’s nature of fears and insecurities to keep everyone engaged. Because it boosts ratings, they continue to use this technique. Growing up with the news covering every aspect of important events, most of the population is unconsciously conditioned to follow the media and the extravagant claims that come with it. In other words, the media is using a type of echo chamber to constantly repeat information so the brain processes that as truth.

There are social media platforms, as well, that give out information known as “yellow journalism,” or, in other words, journalism that is based on sensationalism and crude exaggeration. There is a multitude of categories of false news that fall into yellow journalism. Whether it be fake news or even clickbait, this falls into yellow journalism. Although the majority of news industries attempt to give the truth, there are still violations of yellow journalism that occur. To identify fake news and yellow journalism, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) published a summary to assist people on how to identify fake news.

While there are some incidences of news sources sending out false news and overexaggerated news, there is a problem that society itself has created. Currently, there are such things as “safe spaces” for universities and select schooling. These safe spaces are meant to only focus on one side of something, such as schools that focus primarily on conservative beliefs and they do not even listen to opposing sides. This has definitely hurt society because one can not truly understand a topic unless it is viewed from all sides.

Even though some news sources are reliable and unbiased, some media now present lies and plays into the insecurities of others, forming extreme opinions and molding society’s image of perfection, the perfection being the image of beauty, for example. Everyone knows what the “perfect woman” looks like just by looking at fashion magazines. The media and press release the perfect woman as a nearly impossible goal for the majority of women in the world. Magazine companies and social media do, indeed, control what is seen as beauty as they post it on their own social platforms.

Most believe the news and media release pieces of political items or even just news stories about someone’s innocence or guilt based on unbiased facts.  These pieces being presented are biased opinions that the media trains society to believe as facts. Between yellow journalism, biased information, and impossible goals of beauty, the news, and social media platforms are shaping society into what they see as fit without the people actually realizing it.