It seems that these days, we are inundated by breaking news and stories of sombreness and despair have become resolute fixtures in our everyday lives. We turn on the television, computer or radio, and our feelings of happiness are turned off and replaced by feelings of grief and sorrow because someone has hurt someone or someone has got hurt. In 1997, Ninemsn which is an Australian media website was launched online. This website is relevant to channel 9 which is one of Australia’s regular television stations. Before sites like Ninemsn, we only really heard about tragic events on the 6:00PM news or in tomorrow’s newspaper. Now though, the media is like a 7-eleven store running rampant 24/7 and sharing all the melancholy which the world has to offer and all the joy which has been taken from the world. The average teenager is exposed to 8.5 hours of electronic media a day and here’s an interesting point from a study done: “Participants had significantly greater odds of developing depression by follow-up for each hour of daily television viewed” (Source: http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/02/06/excess-media-in-teen-years-may-cause-depression/3962.html) Then there is Social Media where websites can be conducive to segregation and vitriol of not only a person as an individual, but the people as a whole. For example, such websites promote accepting and rejecting friendship requests and vandalising people’s walls with messages of denigration and resentment. You may also say something in a moment of haste and unclarity, but one thing is clear, that comment you posted on the Internet is there forever. Here are some statistics from some research done in 2011 from which social media has only grown since then: “One Million Children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the year of 2011” (Source: http://www.internetsafety101.org/cyberbullyingstatistics.htm) “2.2 Million Students experienced cyberbullying in 2011” and “71.9% reported being cyber bullied once or twice in the school year” (Source: http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/statistics.htm) For the record, the Megan Meier Foundation was created as an awareness organisation as a result of the death of Megan Meier who experienced cyber bullying on MySpace. She was only 13. Overreacting to the media is a possibility as everybody reacts differently; but one thing is for certain and that is that the media has an overwhelming presence in our lives and this can’t be underestimated. Yes, we do have a choice not to watch the television, listen to the radio or interact with the computer. In a sense, we are liberal when it comes to choosing what we want to know when it comes to the constraints of media reporting. The media also keep us up to date and knowledgeable with facts and information which we would have not known about if we did not learn it from this vast resource. Social Media can also be seen as a pleasurable thing by wishing somebody happy birthday or congratulating someone on their first child or new husband or wife. It can also allow people to share their treasured experiences such as holidays they’ve experienced at exotic islands. So it also can keep people updated on exciting things which happen locally in someone’s life when under ordinary circumstances, the sharing of such experiences could have been lost without social media and global broadcasting. I have setup a poll on this. Do you think the media and social media is more of a positive or negative element in our lives? I welcome your comments as well. I know there are many opinions on how the media is viewed and maybe even a few ideas on how the media can be better channelled and become a good publication for us all.