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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Media (in any form) (11/11/10)

TITLE: Media Power
By Ramona Cook


“What are you afraid of, information overload,” I asked of him? “Yes!” was the return grunt.

I was interested in nothing more than giving an accurate description of the problem for which I sought an answer. He was the one who should have known either the answer to my question, or where I could find the answer. In our world of mass media it becomes an interesting situation that we feel overloaded with the very thing we are so busy trying to produce.

Flashbacks from high school years and the experiences concerning requirements from various teachers come to my mind. The English teacher wanted concise, well chosen words, and no extra verbiage in answer to her test questions, while up the hallway was the science teacher who wanted reams of paper submitted for her tests.

I am left with the conclusion that the speaker, or the writer, must know their audience and also be prepared to duck quickly in event of an error in assessment.

I have determined that personally, the most irritating media with which I must deal is the advertisement media. I understand it is a part of our economy, I understand that it is how we find things we need sometimes, but I also consider the marketing segment of the media to be the most intrusive, and opportunist of all forms of media communication.

Without the public realizing the pressure that forms very much of our culture and shapes so many of our impressions, the Marketing Media hides itself well. For an instance, this year it is cool to have high heeled boots that reach the knee and last year it would have been taboo in fashion. The color of clothing that we wear, the styles, and the texture of the material of which clothing is made is very controlled by the fashion companies. Their choices are then transmitted through media of marketers to influence not only what we purchase, but also how we view other people concerning what they are wearing. Our culture is heavily influenced by such visual marketing as it is presented to the public.

One of the reasons that the older generations have not been the target for the clothing marketing media is that the older people know that happiness cannot be found in a red dress or a navy blue suit. They tried it the last time it was the big fashion statement and discovered that the advertisement was false. Younger generations are still a gullible market.

The older generation of our culture is now the marketing media target for products that keep you looking younger. What a market that is; but it too will fail because the products and the prices are not equitable for the delivery of satisfaction received.

Visual media is powerful indeed all media is powerful. For instance, listening is a tool for receiving instruction and marketing uses that tool; the percentage of retention for the ‘listening only process’ is something like 5%. Add to the hearing of any thing the visual aid of the information being heard, and the percentage of retention increases dramatically to about 10 to 15 %. If the visual is a demonstration, it can increase to 30%.

Media, in all its forms, has a great deal of influence in our culture and shapes our lives in very formative ways. While much of media information is not desirable, we must realize, however, that all the information sent into the streams of the various media paths, are neither deceptive nor destructive. Some information has a positive influence and is vital information for which we applaud the accessibility.

We are privileged to be a society of well informed persons. The trick is to be able to evaluate that which is presented to us for the determination of whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. We need to be able to evaluate whether it is simply a sales tactic for the acquisition of our dollars, or if it does in fact meet a need that we have, and the answer for which we are looking.

The word of caution for us in dealing with all forms of media that offers to us information for our lives is to be able to evaluate whether the information is truthful and, “What is the purpose the sender of the information hoped to influence in my life and my decisions?”

My thought about “information gathering” is that, “Too much information is not bad, unless it is gossip.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 11/18/10
Good spread of ideas and cogently presented. Perhaps a few media synonyms would add extra variety.
But you're right. As a card-carrying member of the older generation, I would never find happiness in a red dress!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/20/10
This was an essay that causes one to think. You definitely got your opinion across in a clear, concise manner.
Lillian Rhoades 11/21/10
Interesting and very true re your comments about older people and the media. The show, not tell principle comes in handy here. A few anecdotes to highlight the facts would give your article more sparkle.