Consumerism is defined an economic and social order that creates and fosters the urge to buy goods or services in large amounts. The term may also refer to a movement which aims at informing and protecting consumers through encouraging of practices such as honest advertising and packing and improving safety standards. Advertising seeks to arrest human intelligence in order to get money from it. Print media advertising ahs a great impact on cultural values and consumerism and this essay will highlight some of the major points that show the impact.
Impact of print media advertising on consumerism and cultural values
Print media advertising leads to consumerism whereby people find themselves buying goods and services which they never intended to buy in excess. Moreover, it has led to people losing traditional culture and replacing it with what the print media terms as cultural. This has led to acquisition of a culture that is less diverse globally. Print media advertising has affected every life’s aspect for instance the work preference and ethic is dictated by television and movies. This occurs when the characters in movies portray the desirable jobs and the less desirable jobs (Stearns, 2005).
It is important to note that justice, social responsibility and other concepts are portrayed differently in print media such as radio broadcasts, television and movies. The print media may twist, promote and even abuse the social responsibilities, justice and other aspects.
The other major concern of the print media is the happiness of consumers especially when it comes to the human body. The print media gives consumers views on what consumers need in order to be happy and how they are supposed to look. Most of the times the views given by the print media are conflicting and do not give full attention to consumer’s self worth. Hence, media has molded in such a way that they can fit into a given culture dictated by the media. Consumers who do not fit into this culture dictated by the print media are considered or viewed as abnormal or unfit.
Advertising has grown exponentially in the last few years due to people using electronic media such as the Internet. This has in turn led to increase in consumerism which most people have employed as a form of culture and way of living. An example of a trend that has become a key issue due to increased consumerism is the trend of pollution. This is because a great percentage of the population is driven by desire to purchase goods or services rather than the need to buy the goods or services. This leads to waste of unnecessary goods and hence pollution (Biagi, 2006).
Consumption of goods based on desire instead of need leads to many forms of pollution such as noise pollution, water pollution, air pollution and even visual pollution.
The print media has changed the human mind in that it has begun to lose a sense of self worth. This is due to the ever changing values and lifestyles dictated by the media. People tend to adopt a trend or value that the media declares healthy and fashionable regardless of whether it is needed or not needed.
The second example of a trend that has developed due to print media advertising is the rise in depression cases. Depression arises due to the fact that the human mind seems to be controlled and dictated by the media. People can no longer make their own decisions and this leads to devaluation of self worth and personal feelings. This in turn may lead to depression and most of the times a low self-esteem. There has been a global rise in depression in recent years especially in developed countries and this is clearly due to the impact of print media advertising. This has greatly affected the Americans who have shown increased cases of mental disorders.
The third major trend that has developed due to print media advertising is the gradual loss of culture. People are gradually doing away with the traditional values and cultures that were strongly upheld. The traditional culture has been replaced by a totally foreign culture dictated by the media and believed to be fashionable and healthy. Most of the times, the culture dictated by the media is that of the people who rank highest in the social hierarchy. This has lead to the poor people or those who are who are at a lower hierarchical level socially to view themselves differently and unfit. This leads to discrimination and development of a wide social gap between the rich and the poor (Biagi, 2006).
In conclusion, electronic media has taken consumerism and advertising to an entire new level especially the Internet. This is a threat to humankind since it will eventually lead to increased pollution, mental disorders and even the loss of culture.
Biagi, S. (2006) Media/Impact: An introduction to Mass Media (8th ed.) Cengage Learning.
Stearns, P. N. (2005) Consumerism in world history: the global transformation of desire (2nd ed.). Routledge
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