We’ve all heard the stories where the media are blamed for the effects they have on individuals in our society, such as the shock death of the celebrity Charlotte Dawson who had announced her depression publicly in 2012 yet was constantly harassed by online ‘trolls’. The negative effects of media are more present than ever in today’s society. It is so easy to become a victim or a bully through an online social media platform. Once – a (not so) long time ago – to tell someone something you had to do it face-to-face and take responsibility for doing so. Nowadays, people can so easily insult someone and there are no repercussions whatsoever, the internet has provided people with a cloak of anonymity.
The media is constantly blamed, particularly when it comes to the effects it is having on children and teens. Is this justified? To a certain extent perhaps it is, many studies show that violent gaming often causes a person to be more violent in real-life situations without feeling the same levels of guilt. Is this as a result of the video game or does it depend on various factors within the individual?
We turn to the media for everything these days and use it as a guide as to how we should portray ourselves. Thanks to the media there are so many expectations, particularly for women. Let’s not even get started on the obsessiveness over so called ‘thigh gaps’. I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve seen a ‘shock’ story of how much weight a celebrity has lost or gained splayed across the cover of a magazine. OK! Magazine caused outrage with their cover ‘Kate’s Post-Baby Weight Loss Regime’ which hit stalls only one day after the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth. As a result they had to deal with a campaign on Twitter using the hash tag – #dontbuyOK. Similarly the covers of multiple magazines are always showing “scandals” of celebrities in public without makeup. So apparently we have to be dressed up with a full face of makeup before we can pop out to do some grocery shopping or we’ll be shunned? Right.
Sometimes the media is blamed because that’s the easy way out, however they’re one of the various symptoms which result in things such as distorted views of body image and violence, eating disorders, self-harm and other things.
Nytimes.com. 2014. Log In – The New York Times. [online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/science/studying-the-effects-of-playing-violent-video-games.html?_r=0 [Accessed: 24 Mar 2014].
Dumas, D. 2014. Charlotte Dawson dead: Shock at sad loss of ‘consummate professional’. [online] Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/charlotte-dawson-dead-shock-at-sad-loss-of-consummate-professional-20140222-338km.html [Accessed: 24 Mar 2014].
Knudsen, M. 2014. Stars without makeup!. [online] Available at: http://popbytes.com/stars_without_makeup_star_magazine/ [Accessed: 24 Mar 2014].
Rudd, A. 2013. Royal baby: OK! magazine apologises for Kate post-baby. [online] Available at: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/royal-baby-ok-magazine-apologises-2086348 [Accessed: 24 Mar 2014].