The Influence of Media Globalization on People’s Daily Life Essay Example

The Influence of Media Globalization on People’s Daily Life

The Influence of Media Globalization on People’s Daily Life

Introduction

Globalization is a term that could be used in diverse fields and defined from different perspectives. The aspect of globalization cuts across all spheres of an individual and society’s existence. These include the economic, political, cultural, social and even historical sectors. More generally, globalization aims to bring uniformity across all parts of the world. In economics, the motive of globalization is to make the world a uniform market for organizations’ products and services. However, globalization is not only limited to the traditional definition from an economic perspective. Presently, globalization goes a long way to involve how the environment is exploited and the tremendous growth that comes with this exploitation. Globalization also entails the manner in which public services are being taken up by private owners and how the consumption of goods and services is being promoted largely. According to Cavanaugh and Mader (2002, p.19), the whole idea of globalization also involves the interaction between different economies of the world, how their cultures are integrated and the elimination of regulations in the corporate sectors. In essence, globalization covers a wide spectrum of peoples’ lives and existence.

On the other hand, media globalization particularly relates to how the media is crucial in driving forward the process of globalization (Devereux, 2006, p.33). Scholars have agreed that the media is the most important factor in the process of growth and expansion of globalization. Media has grown overtime from the traditional transistor radios and televisions to more sophisticated mobile phones and other handheld devices and computers. Most especially is the internet that has literally taken the world by storm. The globalization of these media channels has taken its toll on the lives of almost each person. Some people have accepted to be influenced by the global media while others have taken to the effects without necessarily knowing it. Global media have in turn influenced all the spheres of peoples’ lives in the present day. Connection between people from dynamic backgrounds and locations has now been made easier by the emergence of electronic media. Interaction between individuals has been made much more flexible and convenient by the globalization of media. This results in a whole change of the original cultural and social settings of a particular group or even location.

Media is powerful. It is made even more powerful by the rapidly growing and expanding globalization. Presently, information that is disseminated by the media across the world is adopted as the “truth” by its recipients. Consumers of this information regard it as credible and tend to overlook their customs and beliefs. Information from the global media turns out to be given more importance than a people’s authentic practices and customs (Muzna & Karachi, 2014). Nowadays, individuals live their lives in comparison to the image projected by the global media about perfection. Global media has made fine the art of portraying perfection in peoples’ lives. Global media provides the perfect bodies that ladies should have, for instance or the perfect dressing that should be taken up. They go a step further by using celebrities or other famous people to apparently endorse their ideas or even use their particular products. Such content gets almost automatic credibility from its consumers.

The result of this concerted effort by the public to take up certain lifestyles because they are in line with the global media results in erosion of their indigenous cultures and beliefs. They are replaced by a critical reflexivity of peoples’ lives against the backdrop of others who live in a completely different societal and cultural dispensations (Lerche, p.1). Presently, America is said to have dominated the media industry. It is the current powerhouse of entertainment content and information across the world. In fact, most films currently distributed across the world are from America. It is feared that this trend could impose the American lifestyle to people of other cultures. This compromises their cultural values, individualities and personalities. The effects of this cultural imperialism are more evident in teenagers. This kind of domination of the global media by a section of powerful global media nations is definitely a major worry in this era of media globalization.

Media globalization comes with changes in technology, ownership of the global media bodies and the manner or ease of access to information provided by this media. Notably, the field of media is in operation without as many regulations as would have been expected in such a wide area. In addition to that, the field of global media is very dynamic and exceptionally open to new information and technological advancements. This is especially in relation to information and communication technology.

The rapid changes in technology are the key driver to media globalization. Digitalization of media operations and emergence of the internet have brought amazing ease to the manner in which large amounts of information can be disseminated and spread to different parts of the world. Digital devices and the internet have made this process very fast and relatively easier. Besides, development and upgrading of mobile phone features has been a key player in this process. Mobile phone sophistication has seen the development of features that can now allow users to share different types of complex information including images, sounds and videos. These mobile phones also allow wireless connection to the internet for its users. This makes it much easier for mobile phone owners to access information on the internet. They can in turn disseminate it further with the aid of social media platforms. This whole process entails media globalization (Woodward, 2008).

Media ownership is also a crucial factor in the discussion of the topic of media globalization. The ownership of media organizations on the global scale is characterized by there being dominant global corporations. The owners of these corporations also double up owners of media organizations. The implication of this fact is that these individuals can choose to, if they wish to dictate what kind of information is put on the media platforms and how the process is conducted. In essence, there are some individuals out there in whose hands lies the power to determine what information the public receives. In the long run, these individuals have the power to influence a very large number of peoples’ decisions through the content they are exposed to. Eventually, it can be said that these individuals are in control of peoples’ lives completely. This is basically through the ownership of global media (Devereux, 2006). Examples of corporations that are dominant in the top ranks of global media are the Time Warner Corporation and Disney World. These corporations are charged with the processes of producing, distributing and making sales of media services and products. It is notable that most of such corporations originate from particular nations. In addition to that, these nations are the ones that are regarded as the powerhouses of global media. The environment in which global media operates is less regulated as would have been expected and in comparison with other sectors. This raises an eyebrow on the fitness of the information produced for ultimate human consumption. Suspicions arise from the fact that filtration of this information is definitely not done to meet the appropriate standards. Technically, the choice about the kind of information that reaches the public is entirely left at the disposal of producers of the information. This is very risky to the public that is quick to consume any information that comes to them.

Another key factor that plays out in the process of media globalization is the question of access to this global media. It is very unfortunate that the process of media globalization is found to have been riddled with social and economic classes. There exists the “haves” and “have-nots” in the global media world and this is undeniable (Kaul, 2011, p.1). There is a massive digital divide when it comes to media globalization in which some societies are exceedingly rich of information from the global media while others are in abject “poverty” regarding this information. Research by the United Nations Development Program revealed that those places with the world’s most population are incidentally the ones with the least percentage of internet connections. Examples are given of Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia that have only 0.1% and 1% of internet connection respectively. The existence of this digital divide is determined by the peoples’ attitude towards media globalization, the social divisions in society, their geographical locations and their levels of education.

The first step in establishing the influence of media globalization in people’s daily life is by looking at the importance of the very media in these peoples’ lives.

Importance of Global Media

Global media has become an integral part of each person’s existence in the present day. Dissemination of information depends wholly on the various channels of global media. People and societies are turning to the media to make an impact in their operations through getting global media coverage of their activities. Organizations are also turning to the global media to promote their products and services (Shah, 2012). This promotion can reach a bigger audience in a short span of time. The fact that the global media can transfer a message to a very wide audience in a short time is what draws more people to embracing its usage.

Global media is also important in that it can target a specific group of people who are supposed to get some particular information. Organizations can use the global media channel to make sure their information reaches at least each sector of the public. If the organization also has a particular target group for the reception of the message, it is made possible by media globalization. In addition to that, individuals, groups and societies who have turned to global media end up getting the opportunity to receive publicity that is otherwise very hard to get. The major advantage of this kind of publicity given by the global media is there being no charges. The fact that it is free makes it a haven for organizations which operate under budget constraints.

In addition to that, people use the global media to give more credibility to their information or content in the public eye (Gillard, 2014). It is common knowledge that the public tends to regard information that appears on global media as credible or all the more important. In fact, the public currently wholly depends on global media to dictate the products and services to choose and which ones to ditch for a difference. Therefore, content that appears in global media gets some sort of importance that would have otherwise not been received quite easily. Besides, organizations which regularly take to the media to display their content or information are held in high regard by the general public and key decision makers. Such organizations get more support from the public and attract more customers to their products or services. These organizations may also obtain a seemingly vantage position in their respective governments and states. This gives such organizations more power and relevance on the government scale. Previous opinions that were held about these organizations may change as the people get a more positive outlook of them as portrayed in the global media (Gillard, 2014). Of course organizations will, on their part, only want to project their positive side on global media platforms as opposed to the tainted negative sides.

Apart from the numerous advantages that global media has on organizations; it can also be used to educate the general public on various matters and issues. Global media can be very instrumental in enlightening people. People get a wider scope of issues that affect their daily lives through the global media. Their perspectives on various issues in life are broadened by the exposure to a large information base. Psychological analysts have observed that people who have access to the global media information eventually let go of their narrow beliefs and stereotypes. They instead open their minds to new theories and better perspectives in life that are more productive and beneficial to them. In addition to that, certain negative ways of life that were previously held by certain communities or individuals can be erased by the global media (Tomlin, 2003). They are replaced by positive, progressive information.

The various governments can also take to global media to serve as a link to its people. The media can be a very effective way of conveying their policies and informing the public about the ongoing government activities. The same way, the public can use the global media to pass their opinions regarding certain matters or topical issues to their governments. These open channels of communication between governments and the public can be an effective way of fostering democracy. The public also gains trust and confidence in their authorities while the authorities improve their ways of service delivery to the public.

Globalization of the media has come with the much needed worldwide advertising of products and services (Muzna & Karachi, 2014, p.1). Companies with new innovations and ideas can make them get known by a large number of people in the public domain. With media globalization in place, advertisements have even gone a notch higher and seen there being utmost sophistication in the channels and techniques used. Advertisements have been bombarded with various enticements to increase the consumer base of products and services. More importantly, the costs of placing these advertisements on the global media have been cut down, making it more affordable by most organizations. Even still, organizations have to spend on advertisements in the global media owing to the stiff competition brought about by the sane globalization. The world of advertising has become sophisticated to an extent that images can now be manipulated to fit perfection in an effort to influence the public perspective. Most advertisements also come with particular entertainment features in order to maintain the product or service’s consumer base. Companies now use comedy oriented advertisements or films whose main aim is to promote a product or service embodied in the film’s theme (Shah, 2012, p.1). The political and corporate authorities also have an influence on the content and extent of advertisements in the global media. As consumers of media products begin to get globalized and obtain global perspectives on their desired products and services, advertisements are also being stepped up in order to maintain relevance of their content in the diverse cultures and fit the different opinions globally.

Lastly, globalization of media plays a major role in creating correlations between different parts of the world. The world is said to have become a global village courtesy of the media. Information produced in a different location in the world can spread across the globe quite easily by use of global media. Consumers of this information get a taste of the ways of life of people from the places where the information is sourced. As a result, they begin to relate to that kind of lifestyle (Kaul, 2011). Social media has been crucial in connecting people of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Through this connection, cultures and beliefs are exchanged, relations made and connections strengthened. The users of this media become open minded to different ideas and opinions.

These numerous benefits of global media are a way of seeing the manner in which media globalization has influenced people’s daily life. Apart from these benefits of media globalization to people’s daily life, one can also discuss the ways in which media globalization influences peoples’ decisions as a link to the overall influence it has on their daily lives.

Ways in which Media Globalization Influences Peoples’ Decisions

Peoples’ decisions are greatly influenced by the global media. There are various factors which contribute to the extent to which globalization of media is having an impact on how people make their decisions and the kind of decisions that are made. The first factor is the ease of access to global media. Nowadays, half the world’s population owns televisions, radios and mobile phones which are the main channels of global media information. Then there is the internet that is an even easier way of accessing this information on global media. The second way in which media globalization influences peoples’ decisions is through repetition. Psychologists have established that when humans are exposed to a similar kind of message repeatedly, they begin to accept the message as the truth, even if it is not that necessarily (Woodward, 2008). This is a fact that has been taken advantage of by global media owners and advertising agencies to influence peoples’ decisions. Various products or services are advertised repeatedly on global media platforms so that the public gets used to their positive sides. These products and services are eventually adopted by the people in their day to day lives. The same idea of repetition is used in the global media to drive forward politically instigated messages, certain tenets of religion, ideas about economies and trends on how to make business decisions. The public being dependent on the global media adopts these aspects in their decision-making processes.

Global media also use experts to influence peoples’ opinions about certain aspects. According to psychological analysts, users of global media often look out for information that has apparently been sourced from scientists or researchers. Such information is immediately embraced as valid and credible without any counterchecks for validity or reservations. Producers of global media information have capitalized on this fact and will quote or use famous individuals in their content in an effort to promote it further. Such information almost has a guarantee of acceptance and adoption by the public.

Another way that global media uses to influence peoples’ decisions is by making the people committed to their information or products. Many people would want to appear as committed to a certain thing and would therefore turn to the global media to source reasons for being committed to a product or service (Nwegbu, et. al. 2011). The global media, on its part, will offer more reasons for the commitment to that product than the user expected. As a result, the desire for commitment will keep the user coming back for more. This is an influence on the individual’s ability to make their own decisions. Global media also uses the scarcity of products and services to their advantage. The global media owners will use the strategy of banned information or there being limited editions in order to make the consumers of this information emotionally attached to it. This emotional attachment will influence the user’s decisions on wanting to own or consume more of the information or service and product.

After media globalization has devised ways of influencing peoples’ decisions, the result is there being a whole effect of media globalization on the people’s daily life. People now live as dictated by the media. The following are the different effects of media globalization on the various aspects of people’s daily life.

Effects of Media Globalization on the Aspects People’s Daily Life

Economically, media globalization expands markets for peoples’ products and also gives them an opportunity to obtain goods and services from a global market. This means that the quality of these products would also be better than those of a domestic nature. Companies can advertise their products and services on a global scale increasing their customer base. Media globalization also raises peoples’ standards of living. People have access to better lifestyles as portrayed in the media. They then strive to live up to these lifestyles. The result is a completely improved standard of living (Akram, et.al. 2011, p.293). On the flipside, however, globalization of the media can lead to higher spending habits by individuals. People tend to buy what the global media portrays as perfect or fit for certain features. People could get immersed into the buying of such products and end up living far above their means.

Politically, media globalization increases the dependence among nations. People of different nations depend on those of other nations for various products and services while those of other nations equally depend on them for other products and services (Romadhan, 2011. p.1). This somewhat reduces the independence among individuals of a nation. Moreover, media globalization has also led to the existence of global media powerhouses. This phenomenon has been referred to as the “global authority crisis” (Lerche, p.5). Some people have plenty of global information while others are in dire need of the same. The latter will live their lives in a continued struggle to source for more information.

Culturally, media globalization leads to the integration of different cultures. People get to connect and interact with others of different cultures improving the quality of their cultural lives. Media globalization leads to a faster access to different cultures of the world on the internet. This speeds up the process of cultural education and learning. Media globalization also helps to digitize different cultural heritages of people. However, media globalization also has its negative effects on culture. First, the cultures of different communities have been made commercial by the expansion of media globalization (Nwegbu, et.al, 2011, p.1). Indigenous cultures are eroded and replaced with new lifestyles and products. The cultural values of a people are polluted as well as their languages and even religion. More generally, media globalization has destroyed peoples’ cultural identities and is quickly replacing them with westernized homogenous cultures (Tomlin, 2003, p.269).

Socially, media globalization has received accolades for improving peoples’ social lives by a great margin. Interaction, especially among teenagers on social media has progressed to a whole new level. Relations are made out of global media and a whole lot of experiences shared (Woodward, 2008, p.3). On the negative side however, the same teenagers are influenced negatively by social media in that they try to copy the ways of life of global media icons. This could result in self-denial, low self-esteem or even more serious social disorders when the desired results are not achieved.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the influence of media globalization is hard to escape. Media globalization influences both the economic, political, cultural and social aspects of people’s daily life. This is achieved through the ease of access to information on global media, the nature of repetition of its content, its nature of making user commitments and creation of artificial scarcity of the information. It is therefore encouraged that individuals embrace the positive influence of media globalization and use it to develop themselves while escaping its negative influence at the same time.

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