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Posted on April 15th, 2014, by

Today, the development of contemporary mass media contributes to consistent socio-cultural changes that may and do affect the contemporary society, the public and individual consciousness. At the same time, the overwhelming impact of mass media is potentially extremely dangerous. At this point, it is possible to refer to the study conducted by Postman, who insisted that mass media have a negative impact on the society and eventually lead to the degradation of each individual and the entire society. In this regard, the contemporary mass media have changed since the time of Postman but their impact has not changed much and they still may have a degrading effect on the society. At any rate, the audience, which is now the entire society, grows more and more dependent on media, while the information has started to devaluate substantially and its role has decreased to the role of a mere commodity instead of a socially significant good. In such a situation, people should develop critical thinking, which is annihilated by the contemporary mass media because this is the main way to prevent the degradation of each individual and the entire society under the impact of mass media.

The key idea Postman develops in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death is the idea that the form excludes the content. In fact, Postman stands on the ground that mass media attempt to create a plausible form that can attract the audience, while the content turns out to be insignificant. In this regard, Postman refers to the analysis of TV news reports which have turned into a mere entertainment instead of news issues that raise the public to critical evaluation of socially significant events and policies.

Postman believes that media can sustain a particular level of ideas. For instance, as mass media focus on entertainment of the audience they affect only certain feelings and emotions but they do not evoke critical thinking of the audience. Moreover, mass media do not draw attention of the public to important issues. In such a situation, even if mass media raise serious issues but present them in the entrainment form, the content becomes insignificant since the audience perceive these issues as a mere entertainment. Hence, the audience degrades under the impact of mass media

The various types of media, such as television, internet, social networks, and mobile technology dominate today and structure the audience’s worldview. The contemporary mass media environment tend to produce the mindless society, where entertainment and pointless information sharing is a form of entertainment. Even though the contemporary society has unparalleled access to information and information sharing, people do not use it for the benefit of the society, for instance, to solve socially significant problems. Instead, people focus on entertainment being raised up by entertainment-oriented mass media.

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