Playing with a Powerful Medium: the Media's Role in Shaping American Society

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Playing With A Powerful Medium: The Media’s Role in Shaping American Society

American stereotypes are far from scarce. The most recent ones I came across were in the blog called Tobsy says on “10 common German prejudices about the USA,” where certain typecasts about Americans were listed, such as being extremely superficial and the need for everything to be in an XXL (houses, cars, burgers, breast implant, etc). It’s quite fascinating how prejudices can sometimes be so precise. The American society as a whole has no one to blame for our habits and lifestyle except ourselves, well maybe the media might also play a small part in shaping our minds to be this way.

The statistics on media use in this country is staggering. In this day and age, the average American adult uses 6.43 hours a day in media attention, with American teenagers using up to an average 7.48 hours a day. It is therefore kind of hard to deny that the media has become an intricate part of American society. All the media we are exposed to influences our decisions on what’s important, what to enjoy, and even what to wear. It’s no coincidence that the total advertising revenue in the United States was 285.1 billion dollars in 2008, which was approximately 44% of the worldwide advertising revenue. Why are these advertisers paying so much money, especially in America, to get their products out there? It’s because it works.

Advertisements are out to persuade audiences to buy their products and they have done so with great success. So much so, that it is kind of hard to walk down the streets of Any Town, USA without seeing someone on their iPod touch, sporting the latest Nikes, or handling a caramel cappuccino from Starbucks. America, also known as the Coca-Cola and McDonald’s capital of the world, worked hard to achieve such a prestigious accolade. We live in a country flooded…...

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