March 19, 2001    





To what extent do you think people are controlled by the media?

I think the media keeps people informed to all areas of life. But some things just don't need to be known by the general public. For example, who is cheating on who in the celebrity circle or who has gone bankrupt. That  stuff is not news, it's gossip.

Stephanie, 25

To a large extent if you let your TV think FOR you. Shut off the idiot box and suddenly life becomes much clearer. When your opinions and knowledge isn't filtered through that worthless medium it becomes easier to think and feel for yourself.

Maggie, 20
, IL   USA

I use to think advertising was bogus. I mean showing me a Coke on TV doesn't propell me to drink Coke. Yet now I realize that a constant bombardment of images and messages is like a silent virus. Yeah media controls, but not in a really obvious way.

Felicia, 35
, MA    USA

People are maybe not controled by, but manipulated by the media. They are great spin doctors of the truth. As a camera is focused at something it turns its lens against something else.

Tina, 31
, MA    USA

To a very large extent. I find it frightening how much power the media has over the large majority of the public, most notably the tabloids. They have the ability to change people's opinions completely. It's very, very 1984.

Shanna, 15
Cardiff  ENGLAND

Controled by the media? I think sometimes people's perceptions are scaped by the media, but I really don't think people are wholly controled by the media.

Jaden, 21
Brampton, Ontario   CANADA

That depends on the person.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR    USA

I think people who are controlled by the media extensively are a bit. . .well, I don't know how to say that nicely, so I'll keep my mouth shut. Let's just say smart, interesting people live according to what they want and think, not what some publication/TV show/whatever says.

Karen, 21

This is a hard question.  I don't think anyone is "controlled" like mind-control, but I think media has an enormous influence on our habits. Commercials in particular have a big influence.

Laura, 36
, MA   USA

People who are "controlled" by the media are people who avoid self-examination. The unexamined life is not worth living.

Jill, 60

a pretty great extent. I believe that a lot of our opinions are based on what we see in the media, and the sad part is, the media is often bias.

Angela, 16
, SC   USA

It's an unfortunate fact, but greatly.

Fisch, 45
, CT    USA

I don't think the people are controlled by the media to any extent.

Jason, 21
, NY   USA

I hate this type of question. I think people are to "some" extent controlled by the media. That's my answer - "some." It depends on the person, it depends on the amount of exposure to the media, etc. etc.

etoile, 20
, DC   USA

It depends on the intelligence and education level of a person. The more uneducated and unenlightened a person is, the more likely he is to follow what the media tells him. Just look at the Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal.   Tons of other presidents have had affairs, from Jefferson to FDR to JFK. But the media exploited Clinton's case for a story, and made a lot out of nearly nothing. But when a person is more open minded and eduated, he sees beyond the media's hype and takes a look at the real person or issue. We all fall  victim to media -- from the images of the starving children in Asia to stories of Bush's drunk-driving charges from several decades ago. The trick is to filter the information for the truth, and to discard the hype.

Katie2, 18
, MI    USA

That is a question for people far smarter than me to answer.

Mick, 30
, IL    USA

I don't know if anyone has seen the movie "Danicng in September" it is an HBO special. Something in that movie really made me think. If the media can convince us that a certain kind of soda is "the right one" and that a certain kind of breathmint is "fresher" than others, why can't the media in turn convince these school children that violence is the only way to solve problems

Anjel, 19

To whichever extent they allow themselves to be controlled.

Kim, 30
New York, NY  USA

A HUGE extent. Even if you do think for yourself, the only information we get is through the media. It's impossible to avoid their control!

Eric, 18
Beverly Hills

i think most people dont have any concept of the great control the media has over us. think about it... the media is where we get all of our information... and they can edit tapes and use certain soundbites to manipulate what we hear... in effect manipulating our opinions. how many times have you heard someone complain that their comments were taken out context by the media? all the time. while i dont think the media is being harnessed in any sort of malevolant way right now... the potential does exist.

Steve, 29
Lake Worth

totally and absolutely. . . we are all mindless automotrons, and we just don't realize it. . .And Bill Gates is God. . .

mothmc, 36
Los Angeles

Well, I think that people tend to believe everything they see on the media and then stick with that point of view. I've noticed that here, because of drugs that have been used as raves, the media has labeled them as "parties where teens go to use drugs" and that's not what true raves are about.

Jeremy, 13
Highlands Ranch

Only as much as they allow themselves to be....

Firelady, 23
, TX    USA

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