Socialization and mass media socialization. They go hand in hand. Mass media socialization is the process by which individuals are able to evaluate the information they are exposed to, which includes both factual and non-factual information. For instance, a television station may one day air a documentary on the dangers of cribbing. The documentary will deal with the facts, and then the viewer will be able to make an educated decision as to whether or not the documentary is factual and legitimate. This decision will be based upon what they previously know about cribbing and their opinions about it.
Socialization through media socialization also allows individuals to make use of the vast wealth of human experience to help them make better choices in life. In a sense, media socialization has come full circle. It started when man first began to produce written information and then through history has had numerous forms of media literacy. Some forms of media socialization have come to be known as political socialization, because they attempt to make the masses knowledgeable about important issues and political conflicts through various mediums.
Purpose Of Media Socialization
The purpose of media socialization was for people to get their side of a political or other issue quickly and effectively. Nowadays, it is rare to find an individual who will not have used email, the Internet, or another form of electronic media to receive and weigh in on the news and other issues. This is so common that the term social media is being used more often these days to refer to the phenomenon. In fact, many people consider social media to be one of the major factors that has caused the global financial crisis.
While media socialization offers individuals and groups the ability to quickly and efficiently form their own opinions and convey their message to a large number of people, they also tend to make people more polarized than they might otherwise be. Because of the rapidity with which messages are distributed, it causes people to have divergent and incongruent thoughts. It also tends to break down political or social consensus, especially when a multitude of messages are distributed. This is because all conversations are now subject to the same pressures.
This form of media socialization is not always a bad thing, though. It is commonly used in sports, entertainment, news, and various other areas. Unfortunately, this also tends to cause people to lose sight of the goal of unity in the cause. Because of the rapidity of the mass communication, there is often a tendency for people to engage in self-promotion, rather than listening to what the leaders are saying. This will only cause more discord and division rather than uniting people into a unified front.
Problem With Media Socialization
One of the problems with media socialization is that people who are very skilled at it can use it to promote products and businesses far more effectively than ordinary citizens can. They can do this to such a degree that their efforts actually have a profound effect. The goals of unity and teamwork may be lost in the game of getting media attention. People tend to get caught up in getting the attention of hundreds of thousands or millions of people within the span of a few hours or a day. For those who cannot control themselves and act on impulse, this can be a disaster.
Topic Of Environmentalism
Another problem is that media socialization can work against a cause in an opposite way. If, for instance, the topic of environmentalism is popular amongst a large number of people, then it may cause many businesses and industries to try to spread the word out about the dangers of a large amount of industrialization. This can easily backfire as people begin to see through the manipulative tactics and begin to question why businesses are only interested in profits. Therefore, if the topic of environmentalism continues to gain in popularity, businesses will need to come up with more creative ways to spread the word.
Media socialization can be good and bad, depending on how it is used. The goal of media socialization is to create a situation where people are willing to be honest and open about their own self interests. This can be very effective, but only if the information being presented is true and not misleading. When the information that is being presented is false, this can lead to a lot of backlash from people who are suddenly unable to understand what the author was trying to say.