In the modern society, the media plays important role of providing information of any kind to the people. People need sources of information before they make any kind of decision in their lives. The media is also the main form of disseminating information in the society (Ashbach 117). This paper seeks to establish other roles played by the media in the society such as shaping the attitudes, ideas and opinions of individuals.
The researcher is a college student and hence, has chosen to dwell on how media influence personality in both the education process and in general terms. The paper presents the media and how it influences human personality. The fact that media has brought positive impacts on the lives of human beings is undisputable. Media has helped children in their language development when used correctly and has continued to provide meaning information and entertainment to human beings. However, media could also affect people negatively, especially in their personality development.
Many studies conducted have shown that media has great influence on the human mind. They have also established that media affects people’s personality in one way or another. In the past, most of these studies focused mainly on the impacts of violence media which included the movies, music, video games and violent television programs. These media were found to lead to the development of violent behaviors among children and the adults. Today the studies have be broadened to include all negative impacts of media on human personality development. There are a number of abnormal side effects that people acquire as a result of their exposure to any kind of media (Ashbach 117). It has also become clear that people, especially the young children tend to incorporate whatever behavior they observe on the media.
Long –term exposure of children and adult to media makes them insensitive to the people around them, their environment and events around them. For example, a person who believes that violence is a vice in the society may change his attitude towards violence after they have been exposed to too much violence in the media. They began treating violence as a norm in the society, they fail to report violent acts and could not help a person who is being robbed in a broad day-light.the media has a huge impact on the minds of people that long term exposure makes people to stop being horrified by things that they could not tolerate in the past. Long-term exposure to violence reduces the remorse among people. Human brain is wired in a way that makes watching a television very enjoyable. People have no time for self-reflection; they do not have time to evaluate their actions and behaviors anymore.
Children’s psychological development is entrenched in the media society. Human beings develop through their interactions with their environment. Media has taken over the task of accomplishing developmental milestones and its presence in every aspect in human life greatly alters the socialization process of human beings, especially the young ones. Television has exerted a great deal of influence on the children and the youth (Ashbach 125). It captures a person’s thought through its long discussions which affects a person’s pattern of behavior. Children have the tendency of getting too engrossed on television or movies as if they are watching real happenings and in the process waste time doing nothing. The school children and the youths neglect their studies at the expense of watching movies.
Media includes all technical means through which human beings use to transmit information in the society, including the school setting. Mass media dominates every aspects of life and the modern man has been conditioned to the media. Each day human beings continues to face pressure that arises from people’s opinions propagated through the media. Television represents the most influential force of media. Books, magazines are some means in which media is used to influence the society (Ashbach 123). Devices with internet connectivity provide unlimited access to information at the finger-tips of individuals. This information could have great impact on the decision and behavior of the individuals. The models used in advertisements motivate people to behave in certain way which in the end have strong impact on their personality.
In the education process, media forms a significant factor in the informal education. The concept of informal education is based on social influence and seeks to expose learners to as many educational messages as possible. This increase the media influence on young people, who in the same time, return to their homes daily and are exposed to the media devices in their households. The television influence on human attitudes and behaviors is a major concern. At their young age, the main goal of each young person should be to develop their action ability and critical thinking. Too much exposure oppose this goal and tend to diminish the ability of the young people actively participate in their existence. They lose the ability to engage in activities that passively help in planning their future. Studies have shown that when people are repeatedly exposed to media stimulus, their emotional and mental growth could be affected negatively. Media stimulus has the impact of denying the brain needed experiences or creating specific circuit in the brain.
A child or a young person who engages in watching too much TV shuts out other real experiences necessary for his mental and emotional growth. These experiences have activities that are known to produce positive stimulation necessary of character, body and mind development. In this sense, any form of media that overstretches the safety limit takes a lot of time that could have been used in activities that enhance positive growth processes. The young ones are only able to have the best growth experiences when parents control the amount of time they spend on TV (Ashbach 127). The teachers could also help by ensuring that the amount of media children are exposed to are within safety limits and are crucial to their emotional and mental development.
There is a need for caregivers to carefully select the programs children watch in the media and to limit the time children spend on the screen. When children are addicted to the media, the mental functioning is affected leading to poor mental growth. Exposure to television also exposes children to irrelevant information such as drug abuse, violence and sexual behaviors. Their emotional problems seem to grow with their exposure to television. There are some people who develop fear just from the devastating scenes they watched on television in their tender age. The type of music played in the media and uploaded online has negative influence on the behavior of young people. This kind of music promotes various vices that are not needed in the society.
The children could associate good life with the things they see on the screens; smoking of cigarettes, substance abuse, and drug dealing among other things. The modern day movies praise and promote violence, drug abuse and sexual activities. Young children could become sexually active at a very young age because of the things they watch on screen. The drug and alcohol advertisements on the screens are too persuasive to the young brains. The advertiser’s health warning could not be easily noticed by many young people.
These movies project things that are not acceptable in the real world but the young minds of the young children could not comprehend the difference. They may believe that violence is a normal part of life. They could develop aggressive characters and believe that when a person wrongs you, the only way to settle the dispute is by fighting them (Ashbach 125). These behaviors are only acceptable in the movies but young people tend to project them in the real life. The behaviors have serious societal costs and consequences. Issues of cyber bulling, harming other people around them while threatening others are some of the attributes that children and young people develop as a result of too much TV exposure.
The behaviors developed in the early years become part of an individual’s personality into adulthood. Without appropriate intervention, they children could become thieves, murders, rapists and drug peddlers and addicts. The modern video games are other forms of media with significant impact on the children’s personality development. Children who are exposed to video games engage in a visual world where crime, violence and substance abuse are adored and are the order of the day. At a young age, children believe everything they see and they eventually imitate these behaviors. Video games that involve characters participating in first-person killing practically trains children on how to kill without remorse. This is an alarming factor because over 90 percent of the video games that are approved for children and young people contain forms of violence.
A studies show that a child could experience psychological changes as a result of having too much exposure to television. He went further to explain that these changes occur regardless of the programs children watch. Studies have also established that exposure to television reduced the children’s exposure to healthy activities such as recreation and academic activities. When children are exposed to too much media, it affects their academic performance because it causes attention deficit. The deficit has been found to not only affect children’s visual processing, but also affects how they interpret them things they watch on television. It is important for every child to retain their ability experience and know what reality is all about, but this ability is greatly reduced when children spend most of their time glued to TV and computer screens.
When children leave school in the evening, they wish to engage in activities that require less of their intellectual efforts. Traditionally, they would engage in playing with their friends or exploring their environment. Television and other forms of media have replaced these traditional ways and in the process affected the development of the children’s whole personality. It would be difficult but not impossible to convince modern-age children to engage in puzzle solving, cooking, reading and gardening among other things as opposed to watching TV or playing video games.
The amount of time that the young people engage in any form of media affects their personality because it has impact on their identity formation. The constant flow of information from the media provides children and the youth with enough information they sue for self evaluation and social comparison (Ashbach 127). They children find themselves immersed with lots of information that they have hard time deciding on what they want to be. The ideas they believe in are either enforced by the rapidly changing information or totally corrupted. Persuasions in the media are some of the ways through which it influenced the change of attitude among human beings.
These persuasions have immediate social impact on how an individual perceive social reality. The female gender is greatly affected by the continuous advertisements of beautiful models; they end up unhappy with their body image. They shift their focus to the physical beauty and believe that when they are not attractive physically then they are lesser human beings compared to the beautiful models. They develop negative self-image and may become shy and pessimistic.
Media has great influence on personality development. The use of media for constructive purposes such as for educational purposes is highly encouraged as long as they are within the safety limit. Parents and other stakeholders should ensure that their children never spend much of their time watching television, playing video games or browsing the internet. The kind of programs the children are allowed to watch should be limited to those that do not promote societal vices and risky behaviors. The young children need parental guidance on interpretation of the messages they receive from the media.
Ashbach, Charles. “Media influences and personality development: The inner image and the outer world.” Media, children, and the family: Social scientific, psychodynamic and clinical perspectives (1994): 117-128.