Comparative Study of how Media intrudes into our Everyday Life
In the modern world, human beings’ survival without the media is considered near impossible. This is attributed to the vital roles played by media in the lives of humans. Although there is need to appreciate media’s significance, it should not be forgotten that media has intruded in the everyday lives of human beings. As articulated in D’Arcy (2004, p 2), the manners in which human beings live currently as well as their behaviors are evidence of how media has intruded in people’s everyday lives. Several complaints have been raised in the recent years about the decay in human morals. Arguably, cultures and lifestyles are different.
For instance, the Western culture, African culture, and the Asian culture are different. In Europe, it is agreeable to find women walk in the streets exposing parts of their bodies. In contrast to the European culture, in Africa, the existent culture prohibits women from exposing their inner body parts. Morality is also upheld in the Arab world, especially among Muslims, who are forced to cover every part of their body with hijabs except for their eyes, feet, and hands. The diverse cultures have been influenced in the recent years. Africans are slowly embracing western cultures, and this is an influence of media. It should also be noted that global politics and global wars or conflicts have been facilitated through the media. Therefore, there is a need to explore ways in which media intrude in people’s everyday life. The influence of US and UAE media on citizens will be good platforms for the purpose of analysis.
Door-to-door interviews conducted among households in the US confirmed that indeed, media has to a large extent intruded in people’s everyday lives. The interviews were conducted in ten households. During the interview, each household was represented by one participant. In household A, the interviewed participant was in support of the fact that media has intruded in his everyday life. The participant confirmed that since he started receiving information from various media platforms such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the recently introduced social sites, his culture has been influenced significantly. The interviewee asserted that previously, before getting absorbed into the use of media, his level of interaction with friends and relatives was at an advanced level. He confirmed that when required to deliver a message to someone else, he had to visit the person, or he had to arrange for a meeting with the person targeted by a particular message. Through this, social interaction among people was enhanced. The interviewee confirmed that the inception of media has greatly intruded in this way of life. This is owed to the fact that today, instead of people visiting one another or arranging for meetings for the purpose of message delivery, they have turned to media. Shoemaker & Reese (2011) are of the opinion that media such as television and radio have been avenues for message deliveries for several years. Moreover, people have also capitalized on print media and social media for their daily interactions and socializations.
The implication of this is that social interactions among people have been reduced significantly, and this is a clear indication of how media has intruded in the everyday life of people. A similar interview on how media has intruded in people’s everyday life was done among households in the UAE. An interviewee from household B in the UAE stated CNN’s penetration in the country’s media industry has influenced the country’s Arabic and Muslim culture. The interviewee asserted that CNN has introduced the western culture in the UAE, and thus, people are slowly embracing the Western culture. In addition, the interviewee confirmed that the social interaction that he enjoyed previously is no more because he does most of his interactions and communication through media. For instance, he access information and sends messages to friends and relatives via media platforms such as television, radio as well as the recently introduced social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, according to Noor Al-Deen & Hendricks (2012), social media is on the verge of dominating the media industry in the UAE, and its implications are not welcome. The Arabic and Islamic cultures in the UAE have been seriously eroded thanks to the media, and this is a perfect example of how media has intruded into the everyday life of human beings.
Moreover, the study on the ways in which media has intruded in everyday life of people conducted among UAE and US households affirmed that media has had a significant influence on people’s nutritional choices and practices. The information and opinions of study participants were collected through interviews. An interviewee from household B in USA confirmed that there are myriads of nutrition and health-related programs and messages in most of the entertainment programs on television channels such as CNN. Although this has been expensive for companies manufacturing the advertised food products, their objectives have been achieved as more people have turned to use the advertised food products. The use of genetically modified food products is on the rise in the US, and this is owed to the fact that GMO products are frequently advertised on mass media (McQuail, 1977, p 73).
The interviewee argued that the shift and change in eating habits evident in most American households are attributed to the influence of media. More people are becoming obese, and the cases of hypertension are on the rise. This is a clear indication of how media has intruded in everyday life of people across the globe. An interviewee from a household in the UAE underscored the fact that media platforms such as Al-Jazeera have influenced how people feed and select nutritional foods. The interviewee confirmed that Al-Jazeera airs advertisements about genetically modified food products, and this has changed people’s feeding habits thus leading to health complications such as obesity and heart diseases. From the interviews conducted in the two cases, it can be concluded that the inception of media has resulted into an intrusion in people’s everyday life.
According to research done in households in USA and UAE, it can be concluded that media has intruded in people’s everyday life because of the drastic changes in body image seen among people across the world. The study in households in UAE and USA were conducted through questionnaires that were filled by participants. It was vital for the participants to understand that body image is a subjective opinion or picture of someone else’s appearance that is established through self-observation. The questions in the questionnaire that aided in the collection of information are as follows:
- Has media changed people’s body image in USA/UAE?
- What has been the response to people’s change in body image?
- Fashionists and models have appreciated media. Yes or No
- How has media facilitated change in body image among people?
- Is the change of body image experienced in the USA/UAE or other parts of the world too?
In response to the first question, participants from USA and the UAE articulated that media has indeed played an integral role in changing people’s body image, and that is an indication of how media has intruded in people’s everyday life. A participant from USA added that media, especially television channels, have capitalized on advertisements for fashion and cosmetics to change how people view one another and how people view themselves. This is in contrast to the ancient times when body image was of no significance. In answering the first question, other participants noted that media has led to young children and adolescents developing unhealthy attitudes concerning their bodies when they view the advertisements about fashion and cosmetics. In the UAE, the participants confirmed that media has greatly changed the body image of people, and this is owed to the fact that television channels such as Al-Jazeera have slotted in advertisements on fashion and cosmetics. As a result, Arab youths have become more focused on their fashion and lifestyle, and this is an intrusion of their everyday life. In response to the second question, participants from USA and UAE had similar sentiments. They affirmed that the change in the image seen among people is an evolution that has been facilitated by media platforms.
The participants added that people have responded positively to change in body image through the influence of media, and this is attributed to the fact that more people are fast in adapting to new fashions and styles advertised in media platforms (Mansell & Raboy, 2011, p 102). While responding to the third question, the participants in USA and UAE affirmed that media has intruded more in the lives of fashion specialists and models, and this is attributed to the fact that they appreciate the fashion and cosmetics advertisements done on media platforms. Participants of the study in USA and UAE argues that media has intruded in the lives of people by influencing their change in body image, and this has been facilitated through US media platforms such as CNN and Fox News and Arab media platforms such as Al-Jazeera. The participants of the study confirmed that the presence of media not only in the US and UAE but also in other parts of the world has led to change in body image and experience among people worldwide.
It should be noted that peace and political stability is part and parcel of human everyday life. A number of countries thrive economically because of the peace and political stability that they enjoy. However, this has been affected considerably in the recent years. For instance, there have been constant conflicts and wars between the US and most Arabic countries. There is a misconception about the cause of hatred in existence between the US and Arab countries. Willis (2007) argues that terrorist activities have resulted in the US abandoning its connections and relationships with Arabic countries. Although the misconception has some truth in it, one fact that cannot be ignored is that US media and Arabic media have had a hand to play in the wars among the US and the Arab world. During the study in US neighborhoods, it was observed that CNN and Fox News television channels are biased when it comes to reporting about issues in the Middle East and the entire Arab world. Through the observation, it was found out that CNN criticizes Arab style, culture, as well as the way of life, and this has resulted to continuous wars and terrorist activities targeted towards America.
The wars have interfered with the everyday life of human beings, and this is owed to the fact that media have had a hand in sparking hatred among different countries. In the UAE, through observation, it was found out that a number of households give preference to Al-Jazeera, which is a global television channel. It was observed that most of the information disseminated to US citizens were biased and were against the level of civilization and culture in the common in the UAE. Despite their negatives, media platforms both in the USA and UAE have had an integral role to play when it comes to ensuring global security. During the study, it could be observed that the behavior among young people such as North American boys is influenced by the fact that most media platforms portray violence on television. Sources during the study in UAE and USA gave conclusions that when people were exposed to media violence, there was a higher possibility of them developing behavior described as fearful and aggressive. Thus, these were indications that indeed, media has intruded in one way or another in everyday life of human beings.
In a nutshell, the effect or influence of media on the lives of human beings is enormous. It is notable that human beings’ survival in the modern world without media is impossible. This is because have clung on media to facilitate almost every activity and operation in everyday life. The effect of media can be seen in the manners in which people behave in the world today. There is a great difference between modern life and ancient life. Advanced technological developments mean that people are focused on moving forward. How media has intruded in people’s everyday life remains a major question in the world today.
With these being the major purpose of the study, researches conducted through interviews, observations, as well as the use of questionnaires in USA and UAE give evidence to the issue at hand. First, from the study, media has intruded in everyday way of life of people by influencing people’s ancient cultural practices. Participants of the study confirmed that social interaction was at an advanced level initially though the inception of media has eroded this. Second, studies conducted indicate that media has intruded in everyday life of people by influencing nutritional choices and practices. This has been achieved through the constant advertisements on food products seen on various media platforms. The advertisements have changed or affected the eating habits of several people. Third, media has intruded in people’s everyday life because of the drastic changes in body image seen among people across the world. Fourth, the influence of media in political activities is an indication of how they have intruded into people’s every day activities.
D’Arcy, J. 2004. Media Influences in Young People’s Lives. The Canadian child and adolescent psychiatry review, 13(1), 2.
Mansell, R., & Raboy, M. (2011). The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy. New York, NY, John Wiley, & Sons. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:101:1-201412295841.
McQuail, D. (1977). The influence and effects of mass media. Mass communication and society, 70-93.
Noor Al-Deen, H. S., & Hendricks, J. A. 2012. Social media: usage and impact. Lanham, Md, Lexington Books.
Shoemaker, P., & Reese, S. D. 2011. Mediating the message. Routledge.
Willis, J. 2007. The media effect: how the news influences politics and government. Westport, Conn. [u.a.], Praeger.