At present, we exist in the information age, and we are a part of it. A day in the life of any person is not without the array of messages being bombarded from every direction. Be it television, radio, billboards, the point of sale displays, retail outlets, carts, every encounter we have with any of these, brands are displaying there merits through various advertising media. This plethora of messages have come about in an attempt by brands to become a part of the lives of consumers, to live with them, to become a part of society. Thus, the impact of media and advertising has been on every aspect of life and has influenced all those exposed to them, which includes practically everyone.
Children grow up watching television, playing video games, and seeing billboards on the roads. The advertising material that one sees on TV, the characters in movies or other shows tend to influence the behavior of children. For example, watching Dexter’s Laboratory on Cartoon Network encourages children to learn more about science. Moreover, violent video games may have an impact on children in the negative direction raising their aggression levels. Thus, media is like a two-sided coin. It can leave the most positive impression on its viewers, or influence them in a negative way.
Different societies are also influenced by media exposure. Western influence through English channels is spread across different countries in the east where people learn from the western cultures and adapt. A person from India may prefer wearing western clothes instead of sari, speak English instead of Hindi, and eat burgers instead of south Indian food. This is how widespread the impact of media is today. Some people may view it in a positive light, i.e., you may get influenced to learn a new language, but others may view it as losing out on your cultural traditions.
Ads on cigarette and alcohol may be harmful to teenagers who adopt these habits due to exposure to advertising content. A positive aspect that toddlers may learn may be from programs like Barney and Sesame Street where they teach co-operation, kindness, togetherness and even alphabets and numbers. A very important media today is internet which on the one hand presents people with the immense amount of information.
On the other hand, it can expose people to sexual or violent content and present a bad influence. Also, children or adults may become so indulged on the internet that they may tend to ignore other aspects of their social life. To conclude, I’d say that advertising and media do have a profound impact on everyday life of people presenting both its negative and positive aspects. It is up to those being exposed to the messages to learn the positive aspects and filter the negative ones while recognizing the harmful effects such messages could have.