In today’s world, the media is an extremely powerful tool in society. Wherever we go and whatever we are doing, we are influenced by the things around us. Whether it is when we are online, listening to the radio, watching the television or reading a newspaper, these influences have a metaphorical pull that persuades and changes our opinions and decisions. Because of this impact, there is growing anxiety in the community about the negative effects that the media can have on a media audience. This is known as the dystopian view, where a negative mindset is held about the future with the media. Some of the key areas or ‘anxieties’ that are held by the dystopian view are:
- Cyberbullying &
- Video game violence.
In our current society, there are a number of social media platforms that enable innocent people to become victims of unnecessary and often quite harmful cyberbullying. In many circumstances, the immediate reaction in response to this issue is to blame the media source. However, as Luke Pollard said in February of 2016 in Philosophy Now: An Argument about Free Will, “while we may be pressured and bullied by our surroundings, it is clear that ultimately the choice is ours – and the responsibility also.” Using this statement, we can see how in context with cyberbullying and other issues that may stand, we cannot put the blame on the media. In fact it is the individuals who choose to use media platforms in the wrong way.
Similarly, video games have been blamed for causing users to become violent as a result of the material in the actual games. However, Mark Appelbaum, PhD, reported to the American Physiological Association in August of 2015 that “Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence.” This statement proves that the media is not to blame, in fact, in many violent crimes, it is later reported that personal factors contribute to one’s actions. This includes things like upbringing, poverty, neglect, abuse, and family circumstances.
To summaries these key points, society must learn that the media is not responsible for the effects that individuals cause. We have to become more open-minded to other reasons why these issues exist and obtain more of a utopian view towards the media.
Until my next blog,
- “Philosophy Now – An Argument About Free Will”, Luke Pollard, May 2016, https://philosophynow.org/issues/66/An_Argument_About_Free_Will
- “American Physiological Association – APA Review Confirms Link Between Playing Violent Games and Aggression”, 13/08/2015, http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/08/violent-video-games.aspx
- “Prezi – Cyberbullying”, Sean Benet, 02/01/2014, https://prezi.com/7whku3hq5ofa/cyber-bullying/
- “Wallpaper Cave – Gaming Wallpapers”, 2015, http://www.wallpapercave.com/gaming-wallpapers