Usage of Media
Media is essential in humans’ daily life experiences. In the last couple of days, I have used media in the four areas they are used; cognition, diversion, social utility, and withdrawal (Dominick, 2009). In cognition area I always ensure that I solve crossword puzzles in the daily local newspapers. The crossword puzzles have enabled me to come up with complex solutions, increase my alertness, and anchor my memory. These are all elements of cognition, which the media through newspaper puzzles, assisted in developing. Newspapers have also assisted me in interpretation, where I am to convert abstract facts into information that is relevant to me, like politics.
Also, in the last couple of days I have been having financial trouble and so I found myself using the media as a diversion. In the evenings, I have been listening to Marvin Gay’s classic tracks with the view of relaxing and taking my mind off my troubles. In relaxation mode, I am able to reflect on current successes, personal resources, and thank God for having a healthy life. Therefore, I apart from being a diversion, radio assist me in terms of entertainment.
The online media have been helpful as a social utility. One such application that I have been using in the past days is Facebook. In the application, I have joined groups such as ‘Life is good’, and ‘How to be successful’. They have been helpful in improving my collaboration skills. The web is also beneficial in surveillance as I am able to keep track of my friends and latest activities.
Television media have been a media type that has helped me withdraw myself from current life happenings in the last couple of days. At home, after a tiring long day and do not want to be disturbed, I glue myself on the television. On the television, I just listen to news and watch sports. My loved ones know that when watching television, I do not like disturbances, hence the reason it has always been a key diversion tool.
Communication if fruitful only when the message sent can be interpreted as it should be by the recipient. However, if there is a problem in the processes of communication conveyance, then a breakdown occurs (Dominick, 2009). One such instance is, when I quarrelled with my best friend over who should pay for lunch. It was at Wendy’s, where when the bill was brought each of us insisted that the other to pay. It was a quarrel, and after 30 minutes we agreed to split the bill.
In analysing the breakdown, it is essential to note that the problem might arise in any of the eight processes of communication. In the sender process, there might have been a problem where one sender conveyed the message from a cultural perspective, while the other from physical. Other perspectives include social or chronological. This might result in differences in expectations. Secondly, the sender of the message (Encoder) might use different symbols that might not be understood well by recipient. Third, the message might not be clear where it might have been muffled in the many pleasantries. Fourth, the channel might be a problem where the communication might be through a way where no direct feedback was obtained. The decoder (recipient) might have been ignorant or was too destructed to understand the message. Also, the feedback might have been the problem where one party might have used non-verbal messages, which can be misunderstood. Noise is also a problem where the numerous types of noise might have affected the meaning of the message.
Therefore, the problem could have been fixed through; using proper media channel such as verbal face to face that would draw an instant response, using clear language to avoid misunderstandings, avoiding too much information that can result in overload, avoiding mixing emotional states with communication message, and active listening.
Cultural Perspective of Mass Communication
According to Papathanassopoulos (2011), the society and individuals bring out different meanings to messages communicated. According to the critical/cultural perspective, the media are seen as a story teller where the messages it sends to the audience can influence perception of events or towards societal elements. The media strives to sell their stories that it can alter tragic news, like the Iraqi war that was turned into a war where Freedom of Iraqi people was the main agenda, which was not the case.
Similarly, the theory asserts that media should be a protector of cultural institutes. The institutes are categorized as beliefs, art, schools, and media itself. In good culture, the ancient perception was that it should uplift people and not glorify evil. Nowadays, the media through internet specifically glorifies poor values such as immorality and violence. This has resulted in the spread of culture that is neither productive nor beneficial.
Furthermore, the critical perspective views the media as one that shifts values of modern and postmodern culture (Papathanassopoulos, 2011). Evidences of alteration modern culture values are: working efficiently, insisting on rational thought, glorifying individualism, and degrading traditions. Similarly, the post-modern era’s values are shifted through culture diversification and recycling, questioning scientific findings, rebelling against present hierarchy, and acceptance of paradox.
The perspective also views the audience as those looking for messages reflecting their own ideas and values. This is termed as selective exposure, and it is evident when the audience avoid informative or factual messages if they do not relate to their ideologies. This results in media houses twisting the messages to accommodate different values and ideas, which will be accepted by a majority of the audience.
Dominick, J. R. (2009). The Dynamics of Mass Communications (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Papathanassopoulos, S. (2011). Media Perspectives for the 21st century. New York: Taylor & Francis. Pp. 41-166