Advertising, media and the manipulation of the nations

We live in a media driven generation, even more so than in the previous decades where everything we learnt came from the television.  Now everything we learn comes from the friends we have on social media, the nonsense or brilliance uploaded onto Vimeo and YouTube channels.

Media is now not really an industry for a few elite members, it is not just for radio jocks, television personalities or film makers.  Media industry professionals can now no longer claim to have the ultimate influence over the nations.  We are all affected by media, all involved with advertising and everyone has the potential to greatly influence the world.

So when it comes to the world of media, advertising and social media, what is it that we are learning? What are we really discovering?

Most of the time I think we are learning how to make a great sales pitch, how to convert others to our way of thinking or how outrageous one needs to be to claim our 15 minutes of fame. We don’t learn from a select few who feed us well researched truth, we don’t get exposed to all the facts, we simply influence each other by our own assumptions.

There is nothing wrong with storytelling, there is nothing wrong with using rhyme and rhythm to make a strong statement.  There is nothing wrong with putting together an amazing piece of media but why do we do it and what is the long term effect?

What is it really doing and is it changing people for the good? Do you really care about the person that you are influencing? Do you really care about your own integrity?

Perhaps your piece of media, film, tweet, blog post or status update is doing exactly what you intended it to do, perhaps it is convincing people to choose your product above another or perhaps it is converting people to your way of thinking! If that is so then your question to me may be ‘why should I change if it is accomplishing what I want it to? Why should I worry about how it is affecting the viewer or listener if I am getting what I want out of it?’

Well, let’s say you do ‘convert’ someone to think whatever you want them to think and do it with incomplete information, sensationalism, half-truth, exaggeration or from an ignorant stand point.  At the end of the day, when the truth is discovered there will be egg on your face and the face of the product that you are trying to sell or the view point you are trying to convert people to.

The truth will always come out and at the end of it we will all have to be responsible for the influence, be it good or bad, that we leave in the wake of our own agenda.

What are we really saying and what are we building with the voice that we have, how are we building the nations and influencing the next generation?