Modern media - can we live without them?

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1. Introduction - the topic of the presentation

What I am going to discuss in my presentation, is a matter of modern media. I am sure that all of
you can say more or less about this issue. First I will give a definition of word 'media', then discuss
good and bad points of them. In the end, I will try to answer the key question of the presentation - can we live without modern media?

2. A definition of word 'media'

Simply, the media are the institutions which are to deliver us an important, or less important
information from the world. The recipients of the information are us - the whole society. The media are often called 'the fourth power' - I am going to explain this term a little later.

We can specify a different kinds of modern media without any problem:

* high-edition press and books
* radio
* television
* internet
* audio-visual means like CD, DVD discs
* widespread movies
* video tapes

The media has always been a basis of communication in mass culture, but we cannot say that they have been present since the world began. The rapid development of media occured in 19th and 20th century. The press appeared in 19th century. Later, in twenties of 20th century there appeared first film productions; in thirties radio developed, TV became popular after World War II, in fifties, and in the beginning of nineties the Internet network grew up.

3. Functions of the media in our lives

Let's have a look at functions fulfilled by media. We aren't able to discuss all functions - I will concentrate only on these which are the most important. It will help us realize that media are present in almost every aspect of our lifestyle and sometimes it's difficult to avoid their influence.

First of all, as I mentioned in an introduction, they supply us with information. I suppose all of you sifting here watched any news programme on TV, listened to radio or surfed the internet in last 24 hours. Thanks to them we know what's going on in the world, we are ready to discuss about it. Shortly, it improves our competence and forms our point of view on many cases that directly relate to us.

Media are also great source of entertainment. What we do when we are bored and the weather seems to discourage us from going out? The answer is obvious, we turn on the radio or TV, start surfing the net, reading a book or watching a film. Another aspect is that media like radio or TV are often treated as a members of our families - for example, when my mother comes back home from work, one of the first thing she does before starting her housework is turning on the radio. It became a habit that there can't be silence at home.

that there can't be a silence in home.

Morever, media are often helpful in education. They are often a valuable source of information both for learners and teachers. The content is usually provided in attractive form, which makes the topic interesting. Thanks to them, the role of alive teacher may be much reduced. They help us expand our minds, give us an opportunity to see things such as African animals in their natural environment, historical events in as faithful way as possible. We can learn much, watching documents on Discovery Channel for instance.

We can't forget about media as a stimulators of some social processes. I will explain it briefly. Let's ask ourselves: who discovers all these affairs we still hear about? Yes, reporters TV and radio stations. That's why they are often called a 'fourth power' as I mentioned before. Exposure of some facts, for example showing the famous person commiting a crime, can force organs like police react in proper way.

4. Dangers carried with media

Apart from that, there is big BUT in that deduction, Discussing the influence of media in our life, we can't forget about dangers they carry along with.

The first important warning is a matter of manipulation. Media has an incredible power of creating an unreal reality, which is hard to differ from a real one. We musn't believe everything we see on TV or websites but improve an ability of criticizm. So, depending only on one source of information isn't enough - good choice is comparison between the same info provided in different sources, Only by this we are able to establish our own point of view and see the matter more objectively.

When talking about manipulation, I suppose all of you hardly stay calm when your favourite TV program or website you look at is spoilt by advertisements. We can't do anything but get used to it. Their main goal is to make us think the current product is the best and we have to buy it immediately.
Of course, when we look closer at typical advertisement, we notice that it isn't true at all - the product is idealised, sometimes using very simple tricks.

Moreover, watching too much TV or surfing the net can lead to a serious addiction, which is [email protected] treated equally with alcohol or drug addiction. It starts when person prefers his virtual reality than contact with real people. In short time he can spot difficulties in communication, empathy, becomes less emotional, gets worse school grades.

We must be aware of the fact that the internet, which is probably the biggest medium, is a public network. It means that everyone can public his own content there, from animals' photos to hardcore porn. So we must be careful and realise that not every information found on the web is reliable. Sometimes we must spend a lot of time to find what are we exactly looking for, especially when our topic is very specific.

And the last but not least, surfing the net isn't secure at all. We are still at risk of hackers' and virus attacks from each side. Many people only wait to have an opportunity of taking over our credit Gard number or infect our computer with many aggressive stuff like trojans, dialers and so on.

5. Media still change

We must realise some important factors of media. They are creators of so-called mass-culture the universal culture for masses of people, no matter who or how intelligent they are. Such media like TV or radio are completely different today than they used to be. Nowadays, they play more important role as a source of entertainment, less important as means of education. Being honest, the crucial factor of modern media is - unfortunately - money. The more people watch the program or listen to radio station - the better it is.

The press changed dramatically too. It became a cheap and little ambitious piece of entertainment, which we have to pay only one or two zlotys for. There are some magazines, which keep a high level of their writing, but their prizes are often about 10 times higher than a typical cheap newspaper. More and more magazines try to attract their readers with gadgets or DVD films. As you can see, the educational role of press seems to disappear.

6. Conclusion

The question I was supposed to answer was, 'Can we live without modern media?'. My aim of presentation was to show you good and bad points of media and how it has developed. But coming back to the question - personally I find it impossible, no matter how hard we would try to avoid their influence. Someone said that internet is the best invention since the sliced bread was invented - I fully agree with that. Moreover, it can be said about media at all. They seem to be an integrated part of our minds - they can't be removed and replaced by anything else. Remember that they develop mainly thanks to us - because we have the use of them. Nowadays, media are rich mix of contents which are valuable and completely useless; reliable and unreliable. We have to make a premeditated choices between them. Generally, modern media can be compared to a big playroom, where people just want to have fun. Like in the advertisement of Samsung - everyone's invited.

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