Fear In The Media Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You Hear

1755 words - 7 pages

Fox, Msnbc, The New York Times… The news, in all its formats, dominates our lives. It’s where we get our information about what’s going on in the world. When we wake up in the morning, it’s what we leave our houses to collect; what we turn on the TV to see. We read it online, in paper, and on TV. It’s an inevitable part of life. The news the media feeds us… most often, it’s anything but hopeful. Stories about shootings in cities or children drowning in pools or terrorist attacks; sometimes, stories that haven’t even happened, stories labeled with a large ‘if’; these stories have a large effect on our lives in the fear they impose on our daily activities. We see these stories and assume that’s the way life is; a dangerous world where the wrong turn will get you killed. In America, as technology advances and culture adapts to an ever-changing society, one element, the element of fear, is being blown completely out of proportion; abused and manipulated by the mainstream media and large news networks to boost ratings and attract viewers. However, the media is not aware of the dire effect on the American people. Fear, in this dosage, can be deadly.
It’s true that the world the media shows us is not exactly reality. Elements are exaggerated; facts torn askew and threats dramatized. Life is shown as a hyperbole; everything exaggerated. From body image to potential threats in the nation, from the supposed fallout the nation is in to the reality of the situation, the news networks have a tendency to be blown out of proportion.
While, not necessarily present in news networks, other forms of media, such as magazines, commercials, and websites illustrate a body image that is nowhere close to reality. It’s a very present danger in people’s lives, especially in teenage girls’. It leads them to dissatisfaction with who they are, and fear that they’re overweight or ugly; not normal. In this instance, the media is not only using fear in their tactics, but also, more or less, bending the truth to suit their needs. Teen magazine reported that “35 per cent of girls 6 to 12 years old have been on at least one diet and that 50 to 70 per cent of normal weight girls believe they are overweight. Overall research indicates that 90% of women are dissatisfied with their appearance in some way”. This is due, in part, to the extreme expectations caused by the media in their portrayal of body image. Fear about ourselves is always present in the form of self-consciousness, and to an extent, it’s healthy to worry about your body image. It keeps you from making unhealthy decisions, like over-eating. But the images we see in such a context as displayed by the media promote anything but healthy decisions. Anorexia, Bulimia, many health disorders can be caused or influenced by the images of so-called perfect bodies we see in our everyday lives. Eating disorders aren’t necessarily caused by the media’s image of a perfect body, but it remains a definite influence. But fear about...

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