Mass Media Effects

Where would society be without mass media? How would our society evolve with electronic communication? These are important questions. They demand investigation into how our world functions on a daily basis. The answers to these questions tell us how we think, act and feel every day. Without mass media and without mass communication, society would look much different. Every generation had its own leap in technology which dramatically changed the course of human existence. With each technological leap, communication and mass media evolved with it. When broadcast radio became mainstream, households across America gained access to live news and entertainment. When computers became the main source of filing and storing information, government, media, and the general public had a new resource for communication. As technology grew, so did society’s demand and with each new image, debate, journal entry or story, came a new challenge for the media industry. Media and society have a symbiotic relationship. There is the idea that media drives society’s conversation. Can it also be true that society drives the media?
Mass media is very powerful. The industry has its finger on the pulse of the world. Twenty-four hour news cycles, readily-accessible entertainment and social media have all greatly affected the psychology of society. There is no better example of this than of body image.
In 1991, a study was performed to investigate what young girls and teenagers thought the ideal woman is. This study showed that girls believed the perfect woman is five feet, seven inches tall, 100 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. (Groesz, Levine & Murnen, 2001) This image may evoke the prototypical Barbie doll. This, of course, is an almost unattainable stature for most women. How did this philosophy develop and where did adolescent girls attain that image? Is it possible this idea of the ideal woman was perpetuated by peer pressure or school? Yes. However, some of the most egregious...