The Power of Media

Google Images

I grew up in a generation that experienced the before and beginning of social media. Before the internet, traditional media like magazines, newspapers, and radio were the main avenues of communication. News and storytelling have branched out from traditional media onto social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now that social media has taken over our lives, how does it influence our society?

Social media makes it extremely easy for users to share thoughts and articles circulating the internet. But what is stopping them from spreading misinformation? Unfortunately, misinformation is just as easily spread as factual information.

Google images

Traditional media was once considered a trusted source of information by the people. Now that social media has made it so easy to spread misinformation, it has created distrust.

The Hypodermic Needle Theory of Communication talks about the media’s power over an audience. The theory explains how media controls what the audience views and listens to and the effects on the far or immediate future.

Since I belong to a younger generation, I have more of an understanding of how social media works. I understand that it’s easy to create a meme with a caption that can be purposely misleading or support a certain viewpoint and that others can see this message and use it as factual information. I understand that some media networks and channels tend to be biased and lean towards a certain direction. Since we carry small computers in our pockets everywhere, it is increasingly easier to research topics and discussions showing various viewpoints and factual information. I have gotten into a habit of researching topics I knew little about on various different news platforms; getting into this habit has helped me become a bit less vulnerable to misinformation. For some, social media has become a source of factual information and news.

Google Images

According to research done by the Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans say social media has mostly a negative effect, in particular, with misinformation and online harassment. The Hypodermic Needle Theory explains how mass media plays a large role in how its audiences react.

Like I said before, social media has made it increasingly easy for users to share articles and information, whether or not it was from a reliable source or factual and users tend to share articles solely based on their viewpoints and nothing else. The Hypodermic Needle Theory helps us understand that media has power over an audience — like a magic bullet that enters the minds of an audience and injects a particular message. While social media does have positive effects on society like bringing people together, sharing moments of our lives together, and inspiring others, there also comes responsibility on social media.




Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

7 Foolproof Ways to Promote Your NFTs on Social Media

How to repost on Instagram in brilliant quality (and videos too!)

Cheering the Collapse of Facebook

It’s Time for a Change

Facebook parent’s head of communications leaves company

There is Life after Facebook

Revision 5.3: DASH File Format Specification and File Intercommunication Architecture.

Celebrate Father’s Day to include all LGBTQ+ families

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Kim Carabis

Kim Carabis

More from Medium

WaterPup — A Water Tracker for your Pet

Crash Course AI: What is a Neural Network?

How to Run 100 Miles: The Art and Science of Endurance-Week 9

Wondering What to Post Today… Easy, UGC