The Influence of Social Media on Human Behavior

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The Influence Of Social Media On Human Behavior

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Scream (1996) is about its characters watching so many horror films that they know what to do in any ‘horrific’ situations. This alone shows how the children are influenced by the horror clichés and bring it into real life. The horror clichés are presented to them through an awe-catching mass media, movies. The statement refers to how those movies do not influence people to go psychotic but makes those who are already abnormal are influenced further.

I believe that people are heavily influenced by the media, whether they are a psychopath or not.

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Influence refers to the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something. Media, which refers to the main means of mass communication, has the capacity to have an effect on people. This can be seen in the three main types of media, mass, social, and new media. Media has an impact on anyone who uses media, be it on technology, or traditional ways. Media could cause a change in a society or individual beliefs. This can be seen when media has motivated people to make a change in their lives or those around them.

Media has positive and negative effects on people such as changing for the good or bad Media affects people as based on the social learning theory by Albert Bandura (1977), people are affected by others who are around them. Relating it back to media, when one sees someone on media platforms, and the person or character has a character trait that is similar to theirs, they would naturally want to act like the person or character.

Media is widespread. There are multiple personalities all over the world that are on media and many ideas that are spread to others everywhere. Effects from media are caused by media influencers or a media message. The media being spread to the whole world so quickly that it results in people’s behaviors change.

Mass media has influenced public opinion, education, popular culture, and the depiction of society. Similar to the movie Psycho, movies, which is a form of mass media, tends to influence people. It is not only movies, but television shows too. Movies and television shows bring you into a fictional world and can make you feel like you are in that world. As the show progresses, you feel more one with the show, resulting in having an emotional connection with the characters in the show. Even when the show ends, there will be this lingering effect which affects people’s

In a study aiming to find out whether movies have an influence on people’s views of the government, conducted by an associate professor of political science at the University of Dayton, where she made the participants watch two movies, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, where both movies had characters that are portrayed as diligent people, despite being in a “flat” movie. The result showed that 25% of the participants changed their view of the government after watching one of the movies. This shows how movies can influence people to change their opinions.

Social media is another influential form of media to people. Content online that is directed at you, is aimed to grab your attention. Once they get your attention, the content would sway you to follow or do whatever the aim of it is. Advertisers are coming up with more ways to grab the attention of social media users. Their smart marketing strategies result in us buying and using their products. They have influenced us to buy the products. These can also be seen on social media influencers’ respective platforms. They advertise products for companies and their large base of followers, where the majority aspire to be like them. And since they advertised those products, they think that the influencers would use them to become how they are like. They influence their followers to get the products.

Teenagers have a large exposure to social media and because of the many influences on social media, many body image issues are arising. Because of people who are deemed as “attractive” or “beautiful” to society, teenagers all over the globe have been affected. With the pressure to look as good, teenagers would result to photoshopping their body or even become anorexic, starving themselves to get the ideal body. According to an eating disorder treatment center in Chicago, 30–50% of its teen patients used social media as a means of supporting their eating disorders. This shows how teenagers are affected by what they see on social media. The need to look as good as those online are ideas that came from the internet. They were influenced to try to look as good and as a result, their health is affected. This also shows the power social media has to influence people, to the extent that their health is at risk.

One common new media is blogs. A blog is an online platform for one to say his or her ideas can upload it publicly for all to see. One could say their opinions or ideas and the online community are free to comment on them. If their opinion, or whatever they are saying is strong enough, people would be swayed by it and perhaps see situations differently.

Blogs are becoming much more variety in their format and their function. They are now part of the whole system of reporting politics. By reporting politics, people are now more aware and conscious of whom they vote for. Political blogs in the UK had a role in reporting political scandals such as John Prescott’s sexual relationship with his secretary, and his meetings with the American billionaire who wanted to buy the Dome. They would not have carried the story by themselves, but they added elements that pushed the agenda forward for mainstream media political reporting.

Despite these incidences, many claim that we all have our opinions and minds and are not necessarily influenced by the media. The media cannot force a thought or idea onto humans. The media simply displays a series of news from around the world or the opinion of others. People simply need to be conscious of what they read and be aware that whatever they see or read is not their opinion.

However, whether one tells themselves to not be swayed by the opinions of others, it only human nature to be clout by the many voices of people.

In order for people to not be influenced by the media, should media be controlled? Would that be for the greater good? Media is a privilege and when used wisely, can be of a great tool to humankind.

Works cited

  1. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  2. Chang, T. K. (2013). Movies and public opinion: How political films influence audiences. Lexington Books.
  3. Cohen, S. (1973). Folk devils and moral panics: The creation of the mods and rockers. Routledge.
  4. Cole, J., & Griffiths, M. (2007). Social interactions in massively multiplayer online role-playing gamers. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4), 575-583.
  5. Fardouly, J., Diedrichs, P. C., Vartanian, L. R., & Halliwell, E. (2015). Social comparisons on social media: the impact of Facebook on young women's body image concerns and mood. Body Image, 13, 38-45.
  6. McCombs, M. E. (2004). Setting the agenda: The mass media and public opinion. Polity Press.
  7. McQuail, D. (2010). McQuail's mass communication theory. Sage Publications.
  8. Rubin, A. M. (2002). The uses-and-gratifications perspective of media effects. Media effects: Advances in theory and research, 525-548.
  9. Smith, M. J., & Boyson, A. R. (2002). The role of blogs in political discourse. Journal of Public Affairs, 2(4), 293-302.
  10. Sparks, G. G., & Sparks, C. W. (2002). Film theory goes to the movies. Routledge.

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