Over the course of my blogging, and reading fellow BCM bloggers, i developed a new understanding and appreciation for how to successfully run an engaging blog. For your post to stand out, you need a short but eye-catching title, short and succinct information to maintain your reader’s attention, and consistent use of images, videos and links but being careful not to overly distract. I’ve learnt that trying to condense what you want to say is extremely difficult.
Arguments over the effect of media tend to centralise around children as examples, due to their susceptibility to influence and profit potential. Children and the media has always been a sensitive topic, generating more and more issues each year. The media is constantly blamed for corrupting the youth and influencing violence, as we saw during the second week exploring the media effects model. It could be assumed, showing violence on TV to children can cause violent behaviour. However it all comes back to nature vs nurture, is violence something we learn through observation or are we inherently programmed with this kind of behaviour that can be exacerbated. Film and TV and video games are an easy target with our society fuelled by moral panic, there must always be something to blame and justify.
The image above is a perfect example of societal fears as it detonates the media influencing and corrupting the youth. The girl on the left, the focus of the image casually holding a cigarette, while the girl in the background, clutching a bear, connotes innocence is being left behind. the relationship between the signifiers and the signified is heavily influenced by our understanding and knowledge as well as our ideologies.
Society fears the unknown and what we haven’t yet experienced, which is what causes periodic moral panic. As we learnt in week 5, this panic generally tends to be localised to one individual at a certain time, a celebrity or figure head easy to point blame with supporting evidence, such as Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus or Britney Spears. This makes discussion in the mediated public sphere directed at a certain point, to which we argue and take sides on. It is also in the public sphere the moral panic is generated, in this cycle of fear and reacting from fear.
So are the media to blame for corrupting the youth? Or is it simply the evolution of social structure over time, that society as a whole has not caught up to yet. It is true we are exposed to more at a younger age than generations before, but our generation is also equally more adept at responding and understanding the dangers. If we are aware of these dangers, can’t it be assumed eventually, we will learn how to recognise these threats to our innocence and respond accordingly? Within the image, one possible reading of the girl in the background, watching the other being ‘corrupted’ understands and knows to maintain her ‘innocence’. It seems education is key to prevention. Society fears what it doesn’t know or challenges our way of life, the forever changing forms of media and the issues they present will always be present in our lives, what we can change is how we respond and deal with these challenges.
Image Source: Tumblr