Psychological role media plays in people’s minds
Communication is the key to everything and anything – be in tv, internet, cinema, magazines, newspapers, direct mail, sms or even the telephone, media yields power both visually and auditory. This power is seen and shown today via social media platforms which have been used to carry out regime change, change governments & even depose leaders. Everywhere we look or whatever we hear – messages are being blown into our system to influence our thinking patterns. This means media can influence the way we think according to how we should think unless we are intelligent enough to think for ourselves. If we accept everything media drowns us with, then we have fallen under their spell. If we evaluate and analyze what the media drown us with, then we will definitely come up with quite an opposite conclusion to what we are required to think. This is the key to ensure media does not manipulate how you think.
Media platforms are regularly accessing our information & building up our portfolio. The media owners know more about you than yourself and can use that information to further manipulate how you think angling the manipulation in line with what your media preference is. The government of Egypt was overthrown after a video of protestors on the streets of Cairo began circulating round the world. The slogans, the emotions that were aroused alongside this protest led to inspiring similar protests in other parts of the world. These were coloured revolutions steered using the platform of media. Had there been no
This was a perfect case of how from behind the scenes, people could be led to do acts using people, an act that previously required armed mercenaries. The intel officers of yesteryears are today the handlers of the data obtained using media. People are turned into virtual zombies using mode of media. A child frequently watching violent cartoons will end up adopting violent practices in his life. This is why media needs to be a lot more intelligent in what they relay. Constantly showing depressing scenes as the media does presently, repeating the same depressing news and visuals – automatically creates a depressed and angry set of citizens. Is this their objective? Why don’t they concentrate on giving happy news, happy incidents? Why do newspapers always prefer to carry incidents of accidents, murders, rapes etc in the front pages instead of happy news? These are all intentionally done – what is their purpose?
The media is not always correct but rarely do they offer an apology or correct their news. The initial reports combined with sensational visuals gets embedded in people’s minds that even after a correction is made, people remain focused to the incorrect version. These are all intentionally done to trigger people’s reactions/actions & kept to use at a later date. Media often adopts Goebbels theory – present a person as a rogue, repeated long enough using all mediums and a person automatically becomes a rogue in people’s eyes. Whatever is presented to the contrary rarely gets accepted. Character assassination is one of the key tactics by media & those that own them which are often linked to and used for political & commercial purposes.
In this ‘information society’ people are being bombarded with information via a plethora of mediums.
Media is used for consumerism – what we purchase, what we are persuaded not to purchase, what we are persuaded to purchase – the mindset of people is carefully programmed by media. Just follow how media promotes products and the tactics they use – popular personalities, colors, images etc.
In many ways the media does a component of what intel agencies are tasked to do. Just as intel agencies dabble with information and use them to their advantage, media likewise does the same but they are so powerful that they can influence any segment of society. The worrying factor is not their ability to persuade or influence but the media’s ability to control people and their thoughts. The mental impact to people’s minds by media is what has led to very dangerous scenarios across the world – where media is encouraging protests, instilling hate, vengeance and animosities, turning good people into bad and bad people into good – in short media can even dethrone leaders or enthrone them.
The “people’s uprisings” across the Middle East and elsewhere promoted by media embedded the notion that it was timely to start similar uprisings. If media is the mother – the surrogates are media channels – Social media platforms (internet, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, youtube etc) Print media – newspapers etc – electronic media (television / radio etc)
Facebook was created only in 2004 – in 18years analyze how FB has influenced close to 845million people’s thoughts. Youtube was created in 2005 and is a key influencer among all age groups. Twitter was launched in 2006 and its viewers exceed 400m.
Imagine all these platforms being well choreographed to influence people without them knowing they are under a spell & being manipulated?
The social media breaks traditional socio-economic psychosis – every person whether poor or rich has access. No one is treated differently because of their colour or creed. This invariably opens a platform for their voice. However, unknowing to them their ‘voice’ is data and this data is filtered and relayed to create the societal change that those holding the data want to create.
When we use internet – the backoffice knows what we are interested in. This shows them how they can influence us
When we comment – the backoffice knows how our minds work. This shows them in what way they can manipulate our thoughts.
Thus, the backoffice has a better cv of us then we can write of ourselves. This has been done by filtering what we are drawn to when we use the internet – what we google, what we search for, what products we look up, what services we search for, what topics we comment on, what angers us, what makes us happy – all these are known to the people who have access to our data. Media is the ‘intel’ agency of people.
Media has played a key role in the so-called calls for ‘system-change’ if we have understood the real workings of media in particular social media, we should know by now that all these events are controlled acts with intent to create a ‘paradigm change’ – for whose advantage & by whom & what is the ultimate goal is what people need to find out.
The media is today able to do far more than a government – media can oust politicians, media can promote politicians, media can sway public opinion against police/military, media can shred ministries, local government authorities to pieces with their reporting. But, with what intent media takes these actions or why media promotes one and demotes another is never told and is for us to use our own intelligence to find out without being manipulated.
To do this, people need to start thinking for themselves, instead of being taken with the tide.
Shenali D Waduge