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Active Audience

For me the theories associated with an active audience are the most compelling to me. For too long we have been overly concerned with how the media is affecting us. For instance we worry about how the media has influenced the image of women in society, and whether or not it influences the image that women have of themselves. Similarly, people say that violent content is harming our children and will cause them to act violently simply because they believe kids cannot differentiate what’s right and wrong. The book offers up a challenging opinion in saying that the relationship between people and media is in fact the other way around entirely. The real question that the book proposes is what the people will do with the media. It is clear that producer obviously have some sort of intended message that they’re trying to get across, but it is up to the public to take what they want out of it. People often perceive messages differently, a concept that is contradictory to the hypodermic needle theory which says that the audience takes the media as it is.

The theory of social context also seemed very compelling to me because this is what is currently happening now with an increase in social media outlets. In our modern day our social interactions have become consumed by Facebook. If you think about how our lives have actually changed it is quite remarkable. For instance, I was friends with and had had full conversations with my roommates, who lived half across the country in various places, and who I had never met before in person in my life. Facebook also has allowed us to almost skip out on all physical face to face interactions. People find it easier now to leave a Facebook comment on someone’s wall rather than simply calling the person up to say it in person. Conversation has been overtaken by the “160 word” limited blurb. Social media has become an everyday part of our lives, and it purposes many political and social issues through the lense of our peers as well as the other some 800 “friends” that we do not actually know on a personal basis.

It is also very compelling to me that there is no other real reason why people watch television other than to receive pleasure from viewing a certain program. And if perhaps there is something that we come upon that is thought compelling, people are able to identify when there is something that is completely against their beliefs. Then once that something is identify, we have the ability to go on to those various media outlets and express our opinions of what we see on television and other media to all our friends and people that we think we know.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Kathleen
    October 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Sam, way to cut right the main point: how do people really interact with media and how what are the effects of those interactions? That’s exactly what all theory tries to establish. Good post.

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