Media affects or influences are terms widely used in psychology, media study, sociology and communication theory to explain and elucidate the theories on how mass media affects its audience thinking and behavior. The media has played the crucial role of connecting an individual to the world and reproducing their image to the society. It has been argued that independence of an individual’s capacity to reason and think is widely affected or limited by media. However, the study has also shown that the cultural and personal beliefs are as per the prevailing propaganda models (Sauer, 1997). Indeed, mass media creates credible events and stories that shape the belief systems on most individuals in the society. Moreover, a considerable portion of the news in the older tradition was widely regulated to suite the targeted viewers. However, new media have challenged these old traditions and have as well involved the alternating public participation. The introduction of internet has increased space in diverse social and cultural viewpoints, political opinions and as well increased the audience participation. Media has influenced the society in so many different ways (Sauer, 1997).
As a fact, in whatever decisions we make our value and believe are influenced by the information we know, the assumptions we make as well as our experiences and studies. In addition, a person can only work and conduct various activities depending on his/her experience and education (Sauer, 1997). However, our daily lives depend on media. New information regarding all that we do is unveiled to us through media, such information may interfere or change the ways we normally do things. Consequently, this explains and informs the influential power of media in our lives. The media can influence and change the information as well as some of the important facts that we know, therefore, changing the course of work related to the changed information. Therefore, we can trust in the media to inform, educate, and entertain us. Nevertheless, the influence of media on kids, teenagers, as well as the society is so great and transformational (Sauer, 1997).
The contemporary society relies on information and communication to keep its activities and programs in the direct direction or to do different activities (Sauer, 1997). The day-to-day activities that have been influence by media include work, entertainment, education, relationships, health care, travelling among others. Individual lives revolve around communication. For example, when a person wakes up he reads the newspaper or views the TV to get crucial information on the current affairs. He goes to work and as the day progresses he interacts with people verbally, through phone calls, and his decisions at the end of the day will depend on the information he obtained either through direct interaction with the coworkers, TV, News papers, financial reports among other. Therefore, the decisions made by a rational individual are widely influenced by the media. The television is considered to be the most influential and it as well exposes viewers to violence, sex, advertisement, celebrities, among others (Sauer, 1997).
The media is controlled by individuals who influence and societal decisions, values and belief systems. The five major companies dominating the media industry include Time Warner, Vivendi Universal, New corps, and Walt Disney (Sauer, 1997). These companies own ninety percent of all that is viewed in America and provide a variety of TV programs as well as integrated telecommunications, software, music industry, electronic media among others. Since there are few players in the mass media, these companies have the power to shape the beliefs and opinions of the society by determining what the public can view and at what time. Therefore, it would be advisable to guide the kids on what to watch and what to avoid.
Through advisements, the media has the power to influence the viewers towards a particular. From the advertisements, people buy opinion of the media since the consumers purchasing decisions are based on TV programs viewed and magazine or newspaper advertised (Sauer, 1997). This habit is common with the teenagers. Their buying decisions are based on ones favorite celebrities as well as the current acceptable fashion and trends. The trends and fashions are widely influenced by the media through celebrities. Research suggest that media influence can be negative and positive, however, there negative influences outweigh the positive media influences in the current society and especially among the teenagers and youths who are often overwhelmed by peer pressure (Sauer, 1997).