Is it the media’s fault, society’s fault, or my fault?

Since the introduction of media in the 18th century, the world has always regarded any new forms of media in a negative light. People would view it with suspicion, worried that the medium audience would be easily influenced and emotionally vulnerable. These anxieties evolved around the argument that people mimic what they see. The context of what we see effects what we think about and how we react to it. This argument is still relevant today. Each year brings newer, more technologically advanced forms of media. This growth walks hand hand with the increase of anxieties of media and its manipulation.

But how much of this negativity is caused by the media itself, and how much of it is actually us as individuals? How much of the blame should be put onto society?

Every single time a girl goes onto Instagram and sees countless skinny girls parading around in a bikini, who is to blame for her feelings of self loathing and doubt?

  • Instagram for showing her?
  • Society because they’ve ingrained into us what the ‘perfect body type’ is?
  • Or herself for not realising the trap she’s fallen into?

There are countless arguments that support each point.
This is my argument:
Instagram isn’t doing anything – it’s just giving people the option to post pictures and gives others the option to see those pictures. There’s a choice either way of what content is going in and what is going out. I believe the real problem of media anxieties is society itself. Society uses media as a way to portray its (mostly grossly inaccurate) opinions and views. Because of this, we need to start questioning the social context, rather than the media. For example, what are the social pressures working alongside the media? In this case, it’s body image.

Audience members need to make their own decisions about how the media effects them personally and act accordingly. Perhaps the girl who doubts herself when going on Instagram should not allow herself to go onto the site anymore. If a boy finds that he has more violent thoughts after playing a particular video game, he should then limit the time he spends on it. If a mother finds that her child is spending too much time online and not enough time outside, then they need to limit time on technology and encourage time outside. (Easier said than done though right?)

Photo found here

In this day and age, media consumption is unavoidable. Media anxiety is avoidable. We just need to realise what the real problem is.

If you’re interested in more:
– How the media you consume can change your life
– Miss Representation
– Articles on social media anxiety

Until next time,

  • Georgie.

3 thoughts on “(ME)dia

  1. That was really interesting to read and I found I agreed with you. I truly do believe that instagram is not in the wrong, it really is up to the individual to either not follow triggering blogs, or to choose not to click on the hashtags, or as you pointed out, simply to not use the app anymore. It’s quite interesting how the media and societies expectations work alongside each other, it could definitely be argued that there is equal blame on both sides, however overall I think individuals should be held responsible for their own actions more so than the media or society as a whole. Thank you for your time, have a lovely night.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very enjoyable read! I had not considered the topic from this perspective. I found your opinion very reasonable and highly logical. You could possibly add to your perspective by considering the effects on children growing up around social media such as Instagram in comparison to children who grew up in a social media-free environment. By contrasting their two opinions, you could asses the effects of social media on self-confidence. For example, children who have grown up exposed to social media platforms such as Instagram may be more vulnerable as an audience to be affected by perceptions of the ‘perfect image’, as it is something they are a custom to, rather than something they have had to adjust to over time. Over all however, this a great and very enlightening read! Nice work Georgie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed your opinion on this topic and have a very similar view. I feel as though blaming media for social issues (such as body image, obesity, social anxiety etc) isn’t constructive or realistic at all as they, as you said, are only providing content and the way we consume the media is where the real responsibility lies. No matter the media, these issues will continue. I feel as though it’s been the same for years: there’s always been body image issues whether it is through instagram, Facebook, magazines, television, advertisements… The media itself doesn’t create the issue, it’s how we consume it! Loved what you wrote!

    Liked by 1 person

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