Essay about Impact of Mass Media on Individuals, Society, and Culture

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Impact of Mass Media on Individuals, Society, and Culture

Mass media, over the years, has had a profound effect on American society, on its culture, and on the individuals exposed to the media. Mass media is a form of socialization, having a long-term effect on each member of American society. While mass media targets the individual in short-term intervals, the overall influence on them has been established as the consumer moves from one impressionable age category to another. The long or short- term effects of mass media are separate and distinct when its role in America is evaluated. Mass media effects people differently because of varied amounts of exposure and formats.

Mass media has a socialization function in American
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One of the most shocking and ridiculous examples of mass media’s manipulating audiences to react irrationally in a brief period of time was the radio show Mercury Theater of the Air. The broadcast was only a radio play, a clever adaptation of H.G. Wells’s science fiction novel War of the Worlds. But it was so realistically presented in a newscast format that the many listeners who turned in late missed the information that it was only a play. They thought that Martian monsters were taking over (DeFleur and Dennis, 545). This is a perfect example of how an impressionable public can overreact in a brief period of time to a believed “news” broadcast, because America considered the media to be honest. While the illogical response was short-term, the public was not only entirely embarrassed, but also completely angry about the media abusing the public’s trust for ratings. This event was one of the contributing reasons which has led the public to distrust and lose interest in the media productions. Examples with this kind of distrusting reaction have contributed to a long-term response, in which audiences have ignored these programs.

While programs such as the Mercury Theater of the Air have had little integration with
American society and its culture, less ludicrous productions have become recognized as an integral part of our culture. The most popular forms of media which have influenced the

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