Media allows for us to easily communicate with large amounts of people all at the same time. It can appear in many forms, including, broadcasting, video games, publishing, and the internet. Thanks to technology, the internet has quickly become one of the easiest ways for us to access information about current world events, just moments after they happen.
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With media being so accessible, it is becoming a staple in many people’s daily routines. As technology continues to improve, it is giving the media a better platform for sharing information. Media now has the ability to reach us on our phones, televisions, and our computers. This means that many people are exposed to at least one form of the media at least once during the day. This information, whether positive or negative, is being publicized to thousands of people all over the world in just a few short seconds.
Since the rise of media, many researches have been interested in studying the effects that this exposure may have on an individual. With it actively becoming more accessible to the masses, many researchers are wondering what this means for society. The switch of our society to a more technologically based culture is still relatively new and leaves us with many unanswered questions about our future. Media separates us from the physical world and distracts us from the people around us. One topic that has been heavily researched is the media portrayal of violence and the impact that this will have on an individual’s health. Violence is one of the most prominent visuals broadcasted today. Media is showcasing large amounts of violence because it knows that, this topic is something that draws consumers in. Research shows that by the time they reach age 18, American children will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence (American Psychiatric Association, 1998). With all of these new developments and trends, it has left researchers with many questions about the long term effects that media may have on an individual.
Cultivation Theory looks at the long-term effects of media, specifically television, on an individual ( Potter 2014.). This theory is one of the essential theories in media effects. It was introduced by George Gerbner who was interested in studying the long-term effects that media has on an individual. Gerbner believed that if an individual spent enough time watching television or exposed to other forms of media that their sense of reality would be warped based on the things that they were being exposed to. This theory suggests that individuals are heavily influenced by the media that they are exposed to throughout their lives. Many of the images and scenes that we see in the media are exaggerated beyond the truth and used to create new realities for people.
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