How Does Electronic Media Change Society?
Media are generally the communication tools or resources used to transmit and store data or information. The word refers to varied units of the mass media communications sector, including television, radio, print media, the Internet, photography, films, theatre, advertising, and digital media. The mass media include television, radio, prints, films, theatre, newspapers, magazines, book-based publications, motion pictures, and music videos.
The influence of media in our everyday lives is considerable. It influences how we think, act, connect, and even generate ideas. As these activities shape who we are, so do the ways in which we communicate. Thus, effective communications psychology must consider the influence of the various media and the effect of different media on our behavior.
First, we need to note that the traditional forms of media were controlled by conventionalists. The dominant form of communication in the olden days was through the print media. For example, the vast amount of daily newspapers and magazines provided a significant portion of human communication. The “New Journalism” sought to subvert, limit, or destroy the power of the established media. Television, radio, and the printed books were controlled or limited by censorship.
The power of television, radio, and printed books were significant but not absolute. The power of local news and events-especially local news, like nightly news broadcasts-was more influential than ever. Furthermore, the “New Journalism” also produced a new kind of media consumers. The “New Media,” as it was popularly called, included such diverse and new forms of media as video, CD-ROMs, and the internet. Video integrated into television programming and radio programs; audio in newspapers and magazines; images on websites and billboards; and video and audio recordings for radio shows on other stations were all new forms of media that never before existed. As a result, people who never previously had access to some of this media are now experiencing it.
Video games have experienced rapid and extraordinary growth in audience ratings during the last decade. During this period, TV and radio show dedicated to video games and gaming magazines have reached unprecedented ratings. In fact, many of these media have become primary sources of information for a growing group of adults who have never before been exposed to media such as video games and movies. Many parents with small children who have grown up with video games as their only form of entertainment have noticed that their children seem to spend far more time than ever before playing video games.
The rapid growth of electronic media has created a situation in which one form of communication is becoming the dominant form of communication. As this trend continues to grow, so will its effect on our society. It is likely that the term media will continue to change as the world of communications changes. In the coming years, electronic media will likely be considered by most people to be just another form of communication.