The Power of Visual Media By: Shannon Lamont

Visual Media has a lot of power over us.

Visual Media is all around us and allows messages to be fed into us easily. It has become so attached to us and so much a part of our lives. Visual Media has good and bad power over us but we need to learn how to deal with its influence over us.

How Does Visual Media Have Power Over Us?

For starters, what is Visual Media?

Actually, lets break that down even further, what is media?

Media is the main means of mass communication.

So.

Visual Media is communicating to the masses visually whether that's through pictures, videos, TV shows, movies, etc, and this is often done through social media.

So how does Visual Media have power over us? Well, because it's EVERYWHERE!

Times Square in New York City

Now a days almost everyone has a social media account whether that is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or something else and this means we are all exposed to Visual Media. Visual Media allows companies to have an easy way of advertising to us, an easy exposure to a lot of people. They can get their message out quick and it can be put out anywhere and everywhere. Advertising for a company is the main thing we think of but it can be any message anyone wants to put out. That's the thing about Visual Media anyone and everyone can put whatever they want out whether it is true or not. Things in the media are often peoples opinions and their perspective. Do not believe everything the media tells you!

Social media has become so advanced that it knows to advertise things that you are interested in. For example, if you like a lot of exercise pictures than it knows to advertise exercise equipment. Media feeds us the things it knows we want so we keep coming back for more.

We are all so attached to our phones, our electronics have literally become a part of our bodies, like another limb that if cut off we could not live without. I know for me when the wifi goes out even for just a couple hours I find myself sitting there with nothing to do. All the things on my to do list require internet in some way or another. It is also now a common thing for people to experience something called "Phantom Vibration Syndrome" this is when one thinks they feel their phone go off yet it never did.

This photographer decided to remove peoples phones from these pictures which I think really shows just how ridiculous it is that we ignore each other and pay attention to our phones instead.

When it comes to what kind of Visual Media impacts us the most I would say videos do and I think the recent obsession over video clips proves my point here. A video has the ability to tell a story and allow the audience to create an attachment to the characters. Not that pictures can't do that but videos are just better at it. Videos have the added advantage of audio, music in the back ground or even a voice over (tone of voice) can have a much larger impact on the audience.

Although this picture does get the message across, this next video does a better job.

Recently the obsession over videos has grown a lot with the start of Vine and Snapchat. Short videos are what people love, why? Because videos allow the audience to be a part of the experience. Why so short? Because electronics have caused us to have very short attention spans. And now all different social media platforms are taking on this new trend with all of them introducing "stories". Our world has become just about watching things, TV shows, movies, YouTube videos, stories and the list will continue to grow. That allows a very easy way for people to feed their morals and values into us and we do not even question it.

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Now that we have established that Visual Media has power over us let's talk about what kinds of power it has over us.

Bad Power

Visual Media distracts us even in dangerous situations that should have our undivided attention! We have become so addicted to it that we put other lives and our own lives at risk.
It's called Social Media yet it has made us less social.
Girls are told through Visual Media that this is how they should look which is so unrealistic and not okay for girls to be thinking.
People say they can mulitask, looking at their phone while working yet studies prove that this reducing quality of work.

People are able to put our this perfect image of themselves that is very unrealistic which only makes others feel less because they do not have their own lives together.

Good Power

People can stay connected with friends who live far away.
Can stay informed about what is happening around the world but even then check your sources and understand that some news stations may lie or not have their facts right.
A form of entertainment that can bring people together like a family movie night.

These are just some examples of both types of power, there are many, many more.

Moving Forward

We are the first generation learning to deal with this, we are the guinea pigs learning all the good and the bad involved with Visual Media. We have to figure out what to take away and what to ignore. We need to learn to guard ourselves from the bad and not be affected by it.

I think it would do us all some good to turn our devices off for even a couple hours a day so we can have real life connections. Learn from real experiences and build our own morals and values. Stop listening to everything the world is feeding us and make our own decision. Be smart about what you take away as truth and right.

References

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Created By
Shannon Lamont
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