I would argue that the media are perhaps the most influential source of information for society. The media dictate what we think, how we dress and who we are. They tell us what to consider important and what to completely disregard. Most of us can remember growing up with certain ways of thinking ingrained in the culture of that time. If someone or something is criticized, we are most likely going to take the same standpoint. What's more, we will search for and find the type of entertainment or news that upholds our beliefs, so that the only information we are consuming is that which reinforces our current thoughts. But I do believe there is a qualifying factor involved; that is to say, we can and should decide how the media might really affect us and can't be the ultimate cause for ones actions.
As a child, the only things important to me were sports, video games and doing well in school. But as I grew up, I began to see violence in the media-and lots of it. My brother and I were very competitive and we played Nintendo games like Mortal Combat and watched cartoons where the blood and guts of household animals were popular images. More recently, we play more realistic games such as Grand Theft Auto and Counter-strike. It seems the media chooses to show images of death, destruction and despair over and over and over again. Not only that, but sex is portrayed as something valid in releasing your anger as well. We have a situation in which men must be macho and protective and violent-and women must be passive, nurturing and sexy all at once.
Interestingly, after the infamous school massacre of Columbine High school, the publicity generated...