Media Use and Identity

The Media has been amongst us in one way or another for several years, one common form and perhaps the oldest, is newspapers. Newspapers were introduced over 400 years ago and have since become a major factor in the media domain of today.

Title page of Carolus' Relation from 1609, one of the earliest newspapers

Title page of Carolus’ Relation from 1609, one of the earliest newspapers

More contemporary forms of media used today such as the Social Networks, Blogs, Radio, and T.V. etc, are currently leading the way in vast world of digital media. Most of which are designed to be just the push of a button away, for anyone and everyone to access. Despite the fact that these are ground breaking innovations, there are of course consequences, both good and bad. Also, because our world is so incredibly saturated with these forms of media, I can say with absolute certainty that these consequences will inevitably have an effect on almost every single individual.

My personal media use revolves heavily around the Internet, film and T.V. The Internet and by extension Social media is where I consume most of my information about current happenings in the world, the music industry and entertainment in general. Beyond that it’s also a communication tool I’m extremely fond of. Most of my other association with internet is music oriented. Film and T.V., to me, above anything is a great source of entertainment, I very rarely go a day without watching some form of film or T.V..

These media forms been a big part of my life for the past few years of my life, and only when I force myself to think about it, do I realise just how much I depend on these recourses and how much of my life they absorb.

A study was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation a few years ago, the objective of which was basically to find out how much time people spend on their devices with media access. The results stated that people between 8 and 18 years old spend over 7 hours accessing media resources, daily. Most what these people (us people) are accessing falls under the entertainment category, most of which is video streaming, social media and music. This really makes me wonder how this mass consumption influencing me. Or to put it differently, without the media who would I be? Would I be different compared to who I am now? My understanding is that the media is continually changing our identities and our self perceptions, usually indirectly. The influence comes from the various forms of media, and we are the catalyst. We shape Identity according what we see and hear.

Also, what do all these forms of media that I use, say about myself and others as creative people? I believe it suggests what forms of creative media we’re attracted to, what we like about them and what kind of interests we have. For example, Facebook, in my opinion has a level of connectedness and availability that many other forms of media just dont offer, it brings together so many media forms into one and makes it incredibly simple to share information and material, and so a vast amount of people flock to this one form of media.

References: – Kaiser Family Foundation Study’s%20page.htm


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