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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Impact of Media on Society

As a student I was one of those who loved to put slogans and quotes in my writings and speeches . Being a good writer  I used these quotes effectively too ---but many a times I never quite understood the meaning of  those words which I put inside inverted commas. .

It was only  much later in life that I could actually fathom the meaning of some of those quotes . The most important and effective one being " Media has  a very strong  impact on our lives " .
This is a truth which can be very heavily underlined and also put in bold letters  more so after the advent of the social media ,

Media can be classified into print media , visuals , audio visuals and  social media .

When we were young the only media which used to be blamed for misleading society used to be cinema or films and to some extent literature , we were asked to "NOT" read novels etc but news papers used to be forced down our throats because they imparted knowledge , general knowledge , and helped us improve our language (editorials specially were a must read ),  .

Being young I was a great fan of cinema , and film music and also an avid reader of novels both Hindi and English and so I never agreed to the verdict that reading novels was not a very good habit . nor would I accept the fact that movies could corrupt society . Though I know why reading novels was not welcome specially by mothers of us girls ---because we used to become so engrossed in and addicted to , reading them that we skipped the various household chores we were expected to do .

About the impact of  media over society I discovered the truth and seriousness of this statement  , not  when I  read reports of crimes being committed based on the story line of certain movies , not when I  read reports of children jumping from roof tops trying to copy Super man and Spider man  because I thought everyone had their own mindsets you cannot blame the cinema for making a man commit murder. I was not murdering people, my parents were not transformed into murderers ???   BUT  when I found children using terms like Ayushman bhavo .--and Pitashri and all those feet touching sprees they began embarking on after watching the serial MAHABHARAT .    I accepted  the fact that the media "did" have an impact on our minds and through us on the society as a whole .
This was something which could really be said to be the Impact  of T.V. watching .because I know for sure that before the telecast of the serial "Mahabharat" no child  had the streak or  even the faintest knowledge of the words Ayushyaman Bhavo, and Pitashri ---why talk about children even their parents had never heard those words.

Thus and then  did it dawn on me that the  media did have an Impact on our daily lives. Every housewife started preparing Toshey  a sweet made with flour and sugar after watching the serial "Buniyad " and most husbands began to add the sufix  'JI' to their wife'.s  names ( thanks to Lalaji addressing his wife as Lajo ji ) before this serial the suffix 'JI'  normally used  to be attached to the husband's name -even the form of addressing each other became  to be 'Aap'  a term of respect hitherto very rarely used to address wives .

This  forced  me to think that if a single serial could bring so much change (and that too positive ones)   in society then surely the claims of the police and sociologists about  the impact of crime stories   in the execution of certain real life  crimes could be the result of watching certain serials and movies. For example  there were reports that ......

"Silence of the Lambs" inspired Micheal Hernandez of Florida in 2004 to commit the  murder of his school friend ,

Fight Club the 1999 film inspired Kyle Shaw to place bombs at various places in New York city

Nearer home and the latest is the kidnapping of Dipti Sarna by her stalker inspired by the role played by Shah Rukh Khan in the movie 'Darr'

These are  just three examples and I don't  want to go deep into the list as there are many many many movies, T.V shows and novels  which have been the inspiration behind crimes The Impact that they have had on impressionable minds is gory and frightening . There have been instances of juvenile crimes being enacted inside homes between friends , brothers, brothers and sisters So many juveniles have  declared  on being caught that they had got the idea and learnt the modus operandi from the various media oriented episodes brought to their notice through , news papers, movies television and books ..

I feel that it becomes the responsibility of the media to bring a certain restraint in showcasing certain activities unless it is a must . They need not put an end to creativity and freedom of expression because reality is also to be shown and brought to the notice of the people lest they live in a state of  fake Utopia  which does not exist . Bliss should not always be brought through 'Ignorance'. But not everything is to be told to everyone a good system of 'Censorship' is always welcome .

I don't know if you will agree with me  but those movies where the story used to be about boy meets girl and then both run around trees was certainly better than boy sees girl  , girl becomes pregnant , boy ditches girl( at times vise versa ) and both run after each others blood  .

Acts of violence need not be glamourized  , because though the young have learnt to rationalize and use logic They have forgotten to respect the Good ,they have forgotten to differentiate between  Good and Bad they see everything through logic and ignore the consequences .

I am sorry that my positive attitude towards the media , that it is not instrumental in the degeneration of society has been proved wrong and it pains me a lot but facts have to faced , the only consolation can be that we take up the responsibility of applying the brakes where ever and whenever required and prevent society from further degeneration .

The media should be proud of the powers it holds , and aware of the IMPACT of its utterings and consequently use its abilities towards making a better society .

Its been the impact of the written word, the impact of the sung ballads , the impact of the enacted acts that have kindled the fire in the hearts of the people and brought independence to our motherland and also to many other countries .Let us celebrate the power of the media and steer society towards becoming more  positive .

The pen was always mightier than the sword and it has now been joined by television,and  cinema too.  Let the Impact of this group be felt ,.Felt in the betterment of society.


 This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can  apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.