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But is this a good thing?

Those involved in multimedia studies have been answering this question in different ways for many years. Which is to say, mass media simultaneously benefits us and creates new problems. Here are a few of the pros and cons. Before mass media, you could live your entire life knowing nothing about the world outside of your village.

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Now, we are all connected. And this can be a very good thing.


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For instance, when a tsunami strikes, people all over the world hear about it within moments and can mobilize immediately to help. Where would business be without advertising and marketing? Thanks to the business communication made possible by mass media, businesses can reach potential consumers faster and easier than ever before. This helps keep our economy going.

In addition, numerous TV and radio programs devote themselves to exploring the world, offering us the chance to discover new things and new ideas, and enlighten ourselves in the process. While mass media can create opportunities for anyone to share their story, the vast majority of our mass media is bought.

This gives the rich—and those connected to the rich—a far louder voice than the rest of us. At its best, this is unfair. While some sources of information are far more trustworthy than others, mass media as a whole is vulnerable to propaganda and its lies. Totalitarian regimes have used mass media for nearly a century to control what their people believe. With the rise of the internet, even those in democracies can be easily exposed to media designed to drive us to hate or believe in lies.

Before mass media, art and culture were more localized, so they reflected diversity in how people spoke, dressed, and entertained themselves. Now, the entire world often sees and hears the same cultural influences. While diversity still clearly exists, there is the risk that mass media might reduce cultural variety, leaving us with less art and fewer inspirations.

As much as mass media can connect us with people all over the world, it can disconnect us from the people right in front of us. While some enter the field with a business degree , a communication degree may better prepare you for the full breadth of careers available in mass media. In particular, you should consider earning a BS in Communication. With a bachelor degree in communication , you can gain the knowledge you need to work in a wide variety of communication jobs. Numerous online universities offer communication degree programs, giving you the flexibility you need to complete your coursework from home and on a schedule that can let you continue working full time.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online BS in Communication degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life. The rise of self-service supermarkets reinforced the extension of labour into leisure, requiring shoppers to take on the work of selecting items, transporting them home, and with the spread of domestic refrigeration, storing them. In the era of free-to-air network broadcasting, audiences could only be mapped in general terms by size and social composition and appealed to as a collective market.

The advent of cable packages allowed marketing to move to targeted and personalized appeals. The information about themselves that subscribers provided when they signed up to services—as well as other streams of marketplace data gleaned for an emergent database marketing industry—facilitated both direct mail shots and tele-marketing campaigns using post code data, and a movement toward greater individualization and addressability by name Turow, Responding to marketing addresses, however, depended on ability to purchase, which depended in turn on spending power.

Following the economic crisis of the mids, real wages fell, necessitating an increase in the volume and flexibility of the credit available for consumption. This was achieved by moving credit from an instalment to a revolving basis, and by issuing credit and store cards with generous maximum limits.

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Instead of paying an agreed sum each month, consumers were only required to meet a minimal payment on their debt, often a small fraction of their total liability. By reducing the gap between looking, evaluating, and buying, cards usable anywhere, at any time, ushered in a seemingly frictionless mode of payment that actively encouraged immediate responses to product appeals.

Turning to the present, we argue that the emerging digital consumer environment is defined by the intensification and acceleration of these tendencies toward the integration of marketing, marketplaces, and systems of payment. This is not simply because digital systems offer new technological possibilities. It is also because the rollout of the Internet and mobile devices has coincided with the creation of an operating environment with minimal regulation of online corporate activity Schiller, In the sections that follow, we focus on two key developments: ubiquitous connectivity to media and markets, and the arrival of always-on arenas of consumption.

As these developments are co-constitutive, we do not treat them separately; instead, we present case studies to analyse points of intersection within our conceptual frame. In pursuit of this goal, capital imagines a consuming subject capable of ever more socially cultivated desires and gratifications. Giving expression to this surfeit of wants requires the construction of a marketplace capable of mediating more transactions more often. If, as Marx noted, a track without trains is not really a railway, then a showroom without payment processing is not really a store.

The digital media environment meets this requirement by facilitating exchange and consumption at any place and at any time. The arrival of digital platforms renders these claims both visible and traceable Mosco, Tablets, smartphones, and television screens are not just delivery platforms for messages designed to stimulate desire; they can also become virtual storefronts in which desire can be realized through an immediate purchase Andrejevic, They are the latest stage in the increasing integration of marketing and marketplace.

Marketers encourage social media users to endorse their products and document purchases in public fora by offering incentives. These might include financial remuneration, free products, or the symbolic capital of enhanced visibility and status within the attention economy of these media networks.

As Edward Comor has pointed out, however, the fact that individuals may derive pleasure from this participation and utility from customized products does not preclude exploitation. Prosumption may not be new, but mobile computing and Internet services have installed this logic as a central organizing principle and operationalized it on a much more extensive scale, and with greatly enhanced speed and specificity Manzerolle, As Christian Fuchs caustically notes, this paves the way for every act to become reincorporated into the labour process. Amazon is now extending its reach, bringing major bricks-and-mortar retailers into its fold by exhibiting goods for them and directing customers to their websites.

In the process, it collects fees from retailers and appropriates the data generated by users. PayPal, formerly owned by major online retailer eBay and now a standard-bearer for processing online payments, claiming more than million customers and U. By the start of , 18, retail locations in the U. Expanding its mobile phone applications to create a discrete payment ecosystem, with consumers using their devices to scan items and pay directly from a PayPal account updated in real-time, it aims to import the speed and convenience of Internet shopping into physical retail spaces.

It is competing with the digital wallets operated by Google and Amazon, and the NFC-based systems run by credit card and telecommunications firms—and now Apple. Beyond streamlining payment and customer processing, mobile payment systems facilitate data capture, customer analytics, and personalized marketing strategies. Leading Internet firms are leveraging existing advantages to establish pivotal positions in the digital marketplace. At the same time, hardware companies are building the often unseen material infrastructure for digital commerce into their products.

A sceptical reading of this account, however, might argue that we have taken insufficient stock of the continuing fall-out from the financial crisis.

Advertising management

The high levels of unemployment it has exacerbated and the austerity programs introduced in response have pitched increasing numbers of households into poverty and restricted the consumer choices of many more. Young people, previously seen as a primary consumer segment with high levels of disposable income, have been particularly hard hit. However, as with the crisis, which played a decisive role in creating the institutional and ideological market environment that allowed the major Internet companies to develop as they have, the primary response has been to encourage people to maintain their consumption by taking on more personal debt.

With devices that can support shopping and purchasing immediately and anywhere, consumers are now always already in a marketplace presented as the central arena of social and imaginative life. The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which provided the funding for this research. Andrejevic, Mark. Defining the sensor society. Your wallet. Without the wallet. Barragan, James. Retailers use apps to track shoppers. Los Angeles Times , p. Beniger, James. The control revolution. Bensinger, Greg. Amazon tempts the anti-Amazons.

Wall Street Journal , p. Bertoni, Steven. Wallet wars. Forbes , 3 , Bulik, Beth Snyder. Retail marketing. Calder, Lendol. Financing the American dream: A cultural history of consumer credit. Comor, Edward. Contextualizing and critiquing the fantastic prosumer: Power, alienation and hegemony. Critical Sociology, 37 3 , — Value, the audience commodity, and digital presumption: A plea for precision. Manzerolle Eds. Cooperstein, David. Competitive strategy in the age of the customer.

Cambridge, MA: Forrester Research. Crary, Jonathan. London, UK: Verso. Hot new thing at the mall: Heat maps track shoppers. Elkin, Noah. Key digital trends for Fitchard, Kevin. Apple Pay delivers a double whammy, bridging in-store and online mobile payments.

The Pros And Cons Of Mass Media

Fromm, Erich. On being human. New York, NY: Continuum. Fuchs, Christian. Labor in informational capitalism and on the Internet. The Information Society, 26 3 , — The Gartner e-commerce vendor guide.

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Harvey, David. The condition of postmodernity.