A famous man, known to many as Malcolm X, once said: “The media’s the most powerful entity on Earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent, and that’s power, because they control the minds of the masses.”
Most people do believe that media, in any form, is negative. It corrupts the ‘innocent’ minds of the younger generation. Vulgarity, violence, and hatred are all that are depicted nowadays. The teens choose to follow the latest fashion trends, at the expense of their innocence and purity. The gap between them and their parents is an ever-widening one. The media definitely influences the youth in an adverse manner.
Nonetheless, as Aesop declared: “Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both before we commit ourselves to either.” I, thus, believe that media is not always a bad influence. If we look at the flip-side of the coin, it is pretty beneficial to adults and to youth.
Everyone is aware of the daily happenings in the city, the chaos and turmoil that is prevalent since the start of 2013 and people are taking the necessary precautions. My question is, what made them aware of all this? It was the media. News channels keep us aware of not only local happenings but global issues as well. People rushed forward to donate when the Japanese tsunami was projected by the media. News of inventions and new technology is brought to us by none other than the media.
People highlight that media entertainment is not age or culture appropriate. But I say, watching movies like ‘Taare Zameen Par’, which focuses on dyslexic children, is an excellent and very informative way to spend quality family time. I can vouch for current Pakistani drama serials at least, that they are a very accurate mirror-image of daily life. They promote many priceless messages, which are necessary, especially for teenage girls. While advertisements may be irritating, the PSAs-about issues like smoking, frequent mobile usage, conserving water and electricity and common diseases-that pop up from time to time, between shows on television, are helpful and enlightening.
Moreover, cooking shows, such as those aired on ‘Masala TV’ are useful for new brides, or brides-to-be. Watching healthy sports like cricket, football, hockey and the Olympic games encourages the youth, and especially the boys, to live a healthy, playful life, because we all know that: “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.”
Besides television, cell phones and the internet are also advantageous, if used suitably. Cell phones connect you to your family and friends, and ease contact within times of emergency. Social networking websites, like Facebook and Orkut, can help establish connections with family members abroad. Other websites like LinkedIn can assist in finding jobs. Tutorials on YouTube, such as those for software like Adobe Photoshop and Flash, are very handy and instructive.
Therefore, the media will always be an influence, but it cannot control us unless we ourselves hand it over control. In essence, there is a vast difference between influence and control. The media can be a good thing-if we let it be so.