The anxieties that surround media have existed for as long as media itself, however whilst the relationship between the two has stayed relatively similar and peaceful over time, within the last few decades there has been a major shift in power dynamics and favour. People are now blaming the media for problems all over the world, creating numerous anxieties that did not exist before. As media outlets have exponentially grown within the 21st Century, the media we view, read and hear is now being targeted and blamed for political, personal and social problems. Although this may be the most popular view in today’s society, this does not necessarily mean it is the correct one.
David Gauntlett’s “Ten things wrong with the effects model” opposes this view, and instead focus’s on the flaws surrounding this popular theory. Gauntlett highlights the issue that the effects model is often based on studies with misapplied methodology, that is makes no attempt to understand meanings of the media and that fundamentally the effects model is not grounded in theory. Its continued survival is largely dependent on the idea that most people are not looking for a grounded well supported theory, just an easy one. The easiest option in regards to the media is to blame it for causing complications within our society. People see violent movies and create a link between them and the rise in violence in their community. They associate their child’s lack of social skills with increased screen time, and their obesity with the growth of the television world. Whilst media outlets may have some level of influence over these issues, ultimately, each individual is responsible for their own actions, regardless of what may or may not have assisted in their choices.
Some of the most common media anxieties are related to and focused on the media directly related to the Internet. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the main platforms where we see a high turnover of activity. These outlets are being labelled as the source of the issue, but is this really the case? Yes, bullies are online on these sites, but Facebook doesn’t create the words, it just provides the platform to post them. It is time to step back and stop blaming media for what people are doing. Whether they post it online, or say it aloud, they will say and do what that want, not because ‘Facebook made them’.
Here’s an interesting article i found relevant to the topic –
David Gauntlett 1998 ‘Ten things wrong with the effects model'<http://www.theory.org.uk/effects.htm>
Google Images <https://www.google.com.au/search?q=facebook+twitter+instagram&espv=2&biw=1297&bih=634&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF-rKslc7LAhUKn5QKHbXUClgQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=sTL1f82r8VZ5sM%3A>
Jared Keller 2013 ‘The internet made me do it’ <http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/internet-blaming-social-media-behavioral-problems-59538>