Mass Media Advantages and Disadvantages
During the early centuries, human beings communicated through abstract methods. Messengers, smoke, songs and folk tales were the most common ones. Gradually, there was increased sophistication and technological advancement, which resulted in the advent of the information age. Information age was heralded by print media first, before later on, social media came to the fore. Media can be referred to as any mode through which information can be passed from one entity to the other. Mass media is considered the fastest mode of information exchange and captures a huge audience through for instance radio and televisions. The primary benefit of mass media is that it can be used as a tool for preaching reconciliation through reconciliation programs which reach a huge number of people and thus effective. In addition to this, it has various other benefits. However, mass media also has numerous disadvantages.
Mass media is a great tool for education. Through the various forms such as TVs, radios and social media, information can be disseminated to very many people at once. In this manner, people acquire knowledge in various contemporary issues, such as health, environment and energy. For children, this can be a great source of knowledge, as they learn about animals and society. Mass media promotes cultural awareness due to its ability to employ different local languages within its programs. Mass media is also a weapon of togetherness as it spreads information and gives entertainment programs which boost unity and connection. Mass media also allows live coverage of day to day news and thus keeps individuals updated on the global events.
Mass media boost economic growth by allowing companies advertise their products to the target audience. Mass media acts as an educational tool and promote interconnection between people which make the communication processes more efficient. People can also advertise their businesses and reach a greater number of clients via mass media. This results in greater sales for business people than before. Above all, mass media plays a crucial role in cultural diversity by creating a cosmopolitan environment. People tend to learn about other cultures and in this manner, are able to be more tolerant to new practices, hence more interpersonal understanding. However, mass media has its downfalls too.
One of the disadvantage is the fact that images and messages spread through the mass media are limited to a given viewpoint. It is also expensive to access some mediums, and thus only the individual with vast amounts of money can access such services. Mass media is at times involved in misinformation which confuses the public and often results to misunderstandings. Increased extremism and terrorism has been subject to mass media, as much of it is believed to be disseminated online. Radicalization of youths is rampant, due to mass media. So, while radios and TVs are being praised for being important instruments of peace, they also contribute a great deal towards lack of it thereof.
Mass media at times distort complex data to create sensational news to the audience, and this could trigger conflicts. Mass media is both useful and distorting and it’s the responsibility of the public to take news and synthesize them in the right manner and thus encourage positive change. Mass media cannot operate without people’s support, and thus it is our duty to use it wisely. The other disadvantage is that mass media is often addictive. People gradually become hooked to TV screen, radios and even the internet, which result in lesser productivity. Reputations also get ruined by such occurrences ,since there is little to no realization of the basics needed from such partaking too.