The tool I used in evaluating the effect of mass media on people can be found after this paragraph. Now that everybody has participated in the survey, I have posted the results in this page. Hope this could enlighten you.

Hey there. I’m Regine Garcia. Aside from painting and designing, I am also taking my DevComm Master’s in UPOU. As part of my class requirement, I would like to ask for your help in evaluating the effect of mass media on people. Thank you so much for your time! smile

Below is a survey instrument that I have prepared for you to answer.

Results and Analysis

People these days depend on mass media for their work, education, health care, leisure activities, entertainment, traveling, personal relationships and other activities of daily living. It is no doubt that 64% of the participants of the survey believe that it is hard for them to survive without mass media in the modern age. The number shows how mass media became an indispensable part of almost everyone’s life.

From an age group between 21-60 years old, it is evident that these people have been thoroughly exposed to mass media. 33% of them watch TV shows, movies, or cartoons both within an hour a day and very seldom. The same percentage applies to watching news. However, 48% read books and magazines around 5 hours or less in a day. 52% read newspapers very seldom in a day and 33% of which reads within an hour. Avid music listeners, the whole 57% of them, tune in for around 5 hours or less. 43% listen to radio broadcasts very seldom in a day.

Due to the availability of smart phones and fast-speed internet connection which enables anyone to stay online anywhere and anytime, a whopping 38% spends most of their time (less than 10 hours a day) surfing the internet and using social media. Also, 29% spends 5 hours a day or less engaging in the internet.

The top three topics that interests the participants are lifestyle and travel (62%), local and national news (38%), and a tie between sports (29%) and technology (29%).

The measure of the effect of mass media on people could not be represented on numbers alone. The type of effect that it has on people are innate, meaning it could only be understood based on how well it made a change or an impact in someone else’s life.

The effect, whether media exposure influences a person’s mental processes, beliefs, judgments, feelings, moods, and emotions, physiological responses, and behavior, varies. Other than that, mass media can influence a person in different rates, whether an immediate effect, a construction or reconstruction process of acquired knowledge, an altering process, or reinforcing an idea or belief.

From the survey conducted, out of 21 respondents, 43% believe that the general effect of mass media on people is positive. However, 33% remain neutral and 34% are convinced that mass media has negative effects. The majority rated mass media’s effect as 4 based on a scale of 1(Negative effect) to 5(Positive effect).

Mass media’s positive effect, according to the opinion of the participants of the study, promote social growth and thinking skills and has a positive potential for learning and development in the youth. Mass media connects people without requiring the spending of a corporation to enable it. Some respondents believe that it presents a lot of information and has a lot of benefits if used wisely. Mass media creates awareness and opportunities among the people.

On the other hand, some respondents believe that mass media has a negative effect to people and to society. Some effects include its vulnerability for misuse and abuse. Some indicated that the information presented are not true. Others believe that negative news is being reported, thus, people are drawn to negative news. Another negative effect of mass media is that it stops you from thinking critically and that it is prone to misinterpretation. Mass media also glorifies homosexuality and makes people lazier.

With concrete evaluation being presented by the participants, some have pointed out the thin line between the positive and negative effects of mass media. The majority believe that it depends upon the people who will take it. Moreover, since mass media has the power to shape people’s opinions, beliefs, and decisions, it always has good and bad effects, not just being one-sided. Another pointed out that mass media distributes information which is always objective, thus, it only becomes biased, negative, or positive, when it is used. People can choose to believe it, act on it, or discard it.

Further investigation on the scale of influence of mass media on people in different aspects has resulted into the following: 48% of the respondents view mass media as not positive nor negative in the aspect of image and beauty standards. 28% sees mass media having a negative effect and 23% having a slightly positive effect on the measure of personal image and beauty standards.

The effect of mass media on glorifying negative behaviors is slightly negative for the majority (33%) and neutral (29%). Most respondents believe that movies and television programs that often show lead characters using drugs or alcohol and engage in violence has a negative consequence on the people.

In line with cultural and political awareness, 57% of the respondents has a positive and slightly positive view on mass media’s effect. 33% of which believed it is neutral. In social skills development, the numbers show that 48% thinks mass media has a positive effect on that aspect while 33% of them remained in the middle.

The effect of mass media on the diffusion of education to the masses remained slightly positive (43%). Whereas, social awareness and public opinion also has a slightly positive effect where 52% are in favor of. In terms of the utilization of leisure time, mass media has a slightly negative effect where 43% of the respondents voted.

71% of the respondents believe that the effect of mass media on people’s outlook in life depends on them. In terms of spirituality, 57% believes that mass media has neither a positive nor negative effect. 48% also remains neutral on the effect of mass media on people’s over-all health.

In conclusion, even though mass media hold a large importance in society and in every person’s life, it solely depends upon the individual whether an information should be used to his or her advantage or not. Information presented by the mass media can only be controlled and regulated by the end user, and that is always the person receiving it. If used positively, the effect of mass media would be positive. If interpreted and acted upon negatively, then the effect of mass media would be negative.

There is always that venue to choose.

(Published: December 5, 2014)