Over the past ten weeks, I have learned a whole lot about the complex relationship between media and society and how these have developed along side one another over time. One of the first things we learned about was how media companies operate and who owns these companies. I was so interested to learn about conglomeration because I had not really thought of this before. I had heard about big companies like Comcast and Walt Disney but never realized just how powerful these companies are. One of the main reasons companies have gone through conglomeration is to make the maximum amount of profit they can. I think in the future companies will continue to conglomerate with one another, because in the end, one could argue, their sole purpose is to make more money. This in turn will lead to media content becoming more and more similar across the board, having more and more people derive similar opinions from the media
I think it is so interesting how much the media has changed, not just over the past 100 years, but also in my lifetime of 21 years. Since the beginning of media, when people relied on their radios and newspapers to retrieve information, the way news is portrayed has definitely changed. News today is very dramatized and exaggerated to help engage the public and catch peoples eye. News is much more about drama than about actually explaining concepts in the media. But in my lifetime, the media, specifically social media, has drastically changed and influenced my generation. I remember when Facebook and My Space first came out in middle school and how new these concepts were to me. Facebook now a day is a main source of communicating for many people. For example, when I went abroad and phone usage was expensive, I relied on Facebook to communicate with the people around me as well as people back in the US. Other forms of social media such as twitter, tumbler, instagram, pinterest, etc. have become extremely popular over the past 5-10 years.
All of these forms of media have had a huge effect on society and have caused people to become dependent on their phones and computers to 24/7. When eating in a restaurant these days, you will often see younger people on their phones while older people are engaging more in conversation with one another. Social media has and still is really changing the way people have a relationship with one another. I think it has been good for people who have more of a long-distance relationship with a friend or family member but can negatively affect relationships of these who are located close to each other.
One of the great things about social media is that it has allowed for citizens to be more active in the news, expanding journalism. Citizen journalism has allowed for more diversity in the media from more voices being heard. With all the new forms of citizen journalism, from blogs to wikis to you tube, more opinions and ideas are being spread around the world. This will definitely continue to grow in the future and help keep diversifying the few opinions coming out of the conglomerates.
An example of how much social media and citizen journalism effects people opinions and ideas is from an article by Eric Mantion. He explained,
“There have been some news stories not that long ago about movies, in which they thought some movie was going to do really well, but the early reviews off of Twitter on, let’s say, Friday night actually dampened how much people went to see it on Saturday and Sunday. It lowered the overall weekend. Even though there was a huge flush because the marketing was great, the feedback was, “You know, the movie was a B, B-minus,” and not as many people go.”
I think this quote really goes to show how much social media has grown and effects peoples’ opinions and actions. Media will continue to grow and will continue to be one of the most important aspects in our society today.